“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare’s quote seems to have become the rallying cry for teachers who were wronged by principals in the New York City Department of Education. Armed with the Freedom of Information Act, sheer will and determination to have their stories heard many of these educators have turned to blogs to out those individuals who have wronged them with false allegations and investigations that have wasted taxpayers money.
According to the New York State Department of State Committee on Open Government (http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/freedomfaq.html#subject) Every New York State or municipal department, board, bureau, division commission, committee public authority public corporation, council, office or other governmental entity performing a governmental or proprietary function is subject to the Freedom of Information Law.
Teachers like myself, Francesco Portleos and Lydia Howrika (http://www.DTOE.org ) have used FOIL to expose some of the corruption that exist within the school level of the New York City Department of Education. For example, Most recently I blogged about a FOILed document for a Financial Audit during the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 at Manhattan Center for Science and Math High School. The auditors noted in their finding a possibility of a misappropriation of funds. Francesco Portleos in his blog (http://protectportelos.org) documented the possible financial misconduct of Breta Dreyfus IS 49’s principal Linda Hill. Lydia Howrika, was an untenured teacher at the Academy for Language and Technology high school in the Bronx when saw a misappropriation of funds and reported it. For her honesty Ms. Howrika was reassigned and then discontinued by former Principal Arisleyda Urena. Unfortunately, for the Department of Education these three educators would not go down without a fight.
Recently, Lydia Horwika sent me a FOILed document about the substantiated charges against Principal Arisleyda Urena for misappropriation of funds. As I read the document and compared it with the recent Manhattan Center audit document I received.
I began questioning:
How many other schools is this going on in?
Would this activity fall Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO)?
RICO definition (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-1/chapter-96 )
Let’s look at the Facts:
Both Principal David Jimenez and Arisleyda Urena are graduates of the Leadership Academy
According to the NYC Leadership Academy’s website, 1 in 6 NYC school principals graduate from the Leadership Academy. Judging from Jimenez and Urena I would say that the leadership academy needs to re-evaluate the successfulness of its program.
Both Jimenez and Urena have been investigated for misusing the Procurement Card (P-Card)
On June 5 2009 Jimenez made 6 purchases from Expedia Travel totaling $8,503.76 using the P-Card.
On June 8, 2009 Jimenez purchased plane tickets from Cathay Pacific Airlines totaling $6,230.00 using the P-Card
On June 8, 2009 Jimenez purchased one ticket in the name of Jose David Jimenez for a trip to Bangkok Thailand totaling $370.00 using the P-Card
Jimenez also used the P- Card for Parking between 2009-2012 totaling $198.00
On November 18, 2011 Jimenez used the P-Card in Long Island City to purchased time at a parking meter totaling eight dollars
In 2010, 2011 and 2012 Arisleyda Urena made 19 purchases From Modell’s, Best Buy, Frank’s Sport shop and Apple Inc. totaling $11,700 in P Card Purchases.
Urena also made purchases from CDW government LLC using the P-Card for amounts totaling $4,428
Both Jimenez and Urena failed to follow Standard Operating Process (SOP)
In the Audit Report of Manhattan Center for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 auditors noted that
“That there was no evidence of goods/services (I.E Packing slips, receiving stamp, bill of lading signed received. etc.) the finding details were there was no evidence of goods/services received as following :
For two out of five senior dues related expenditures sampled totaling $11,362.56
On the other hand Urena couldn’t produces any documentation. During her interview with OSI, “Ms. Urena responded that any documentation that existed remained at X365 (which is the DOE code for the Academy of Language and Technology High School) and she could not say exactly where the receipts might be located. When ask how many IPod and laptops remained at X365 Ms. Urena stated she did not know.”
Between 2009 and 2013 Jimenez and Urena used $31,437.76 in taxpayer money for illegal P-card purchases.
Both Jimenez and Urena had extremely high staff turnover rates and both specifically targeted teachers, guidance counselors, paras and school aides.
The question still stands why was Urena’s charges substantiated, while Jimenez was not charged. I’m starting to wonder if the DOE has its own little “Good ole Boys Club” considering that David Jimenez allegedly sexually harassed two female employees and was never removed, meanwhile Queens principal Anne Schmuitz Seifullah was reassigned after allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior during school hours.
It seems the Good Ole Boys Club does it again bailing out another male principal
How many other principals are involved in this type of Activity?