On January 26, 2012 I, Francesco Portelos, teacher at Berta Dreyfus Intermediate 49 of 101 Warren St. SI, NY had ZERO unsatisfactory ratings, ZERO disciplinary letters and ZERO investigations on me. On that day I informed the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) that I had reason to believe that Principal Hill, of my local school community, may be engaging in financial misconduct. It was believed that she was double dipping and getting paid for two different programs at the same exact time. If true, it would be of public concern and affect every American taxpayer.
On January 30, 2012, just 4 days later, I had at least THREE investigations started on me and TWO Disciplinary Notices written. Another ONE Disciplinary Notice came soon after as well as another FIFTEEN additional investigations and ONE unsatisfactory observation a month later. On April 26, 2012 I was removed from school. Principal Hill, as well as others who are alleged of wrong doing, continue to remain in the school building with direct access to students and taxpayer funds.
Here is what I uncovered for the fellow hardworking, taxpaying American.
Here are P-card statements from 2007 to 2012 to show Principal Hill’s use of the procurement card. I haven’t gone through all of this but there are some questionable transactions.
From 2009 to 2010 Linda Hill apparently sat in and was paid for both School Leadership Team as well as the Achieve Now Academy (DANA) at the same time. Findings from an internal audit conducted by the NYC Office of Auditor General in January 2011 also found about $40,000 in financial discrepancies.
See gallery below:
After viewing my findings I ask myself:
Who was supposed to be doing the oversight? Why could Principal Hill not walk 10 feet to the digital time clock and was handwriting in her own times EIGHTY times instead? Why did she approve them herself? Who was supposed to approve them? The superintendent?The Children First Network 211? Where were these cards kept? Where are the missing 2010-2012 timecards? Who was the man who came into the main office and took the 2010-2012 time cards shortly after I requested them via FOIL a month before I was removed? What other financial misconduct was conducted in the last SEVEN years? Were they trying to stop me from finding this out and it backfired? Who are ALL the players involved? How high up does this go? HOW MUCH MONEY ALLOCATED FOR STUDENTS NEVER MADE IT TO THEM?
What about the remaining time cards from 2010-2012? Well their release kept getting delayed. They may have contained more instances of financial misconduct BUT THEY COULD NOT BE FURNISHED! The time cards that could have shown more proof of misconduct at my struggling school are not available according to the FOIL Unit. See below the email I received on July 25, 2012.
Sounds like Watergate, no? I titled this post Warrengate because my school’s address is 101 Warren St., Staten Island, NY. So they were able to locate time cards from 3 years ago, but not recent ones? Shortly before I was removed, a staff member told me that “some guy came in to collect time cards” in early April 2012.
It’s interesting to point out that while I was holed up in a basement copy room of 8201 Rockaway Blvd, Ozone Park, Queens I witnessed a man shred countless time cards right in front of me. This is the home of my school’s Network CFN 211 office. I believe that is where time cards are sent for approval, but I could be wrong. What are the chances that the same cards I was waiting for were shredded right in front of me?
See a photo of shredded time cards I took here:
Here is a video of the bags of shredded documents including time cards. Was it planned to do it right in front of me or just another of many blunders they made in handling my case?
In New York State, first degree tampering with public records with the intent to defraud is a class D felony, punishable by a state prison term up to 7 years.
Under Penal Law, a person is guilty of tampering with public records in the first degree when, knowing that he or she does not have the authority of anyone entitled to grant it, and with intent to defraud, he or she knowingly removes, mutilates, destroys, conceals, makes a false entry in or falsely alters any record or other written instrument filed with, deposited in, or otherwise constituting a record of a public office or public servant.
Who approves Per Session? From this link I found
Principal’s Online Per Session Activity Approval Requests – Now Available for School Based Programs Only
I also collected allegations the staff was too afraid to submit for fear of retaliation. I submitted those allegations to NYC DOE and in turn accompanied them with specific times, date and locations so they can check surveillance cameras. In addition I took it a step further and sent them video of an assistant principal apparently frisking a young girl in the hallway. Snapshots below. That assistant principal is still in the school and was never removed. I wonder if she was a teacher, how fast she would be sent to the rubber room.
Snapshot from video submitted 4 months ago:
The actual video shows the girl hunching over screaming as the assistant principal looks like she is trying to retrieve something from under the girl’s shirt. I don’t think that is in the job description of an AP of Academics. Maybe this is OK, but my Rubber Roommate is in there for just allegedly saying something and not touching.
Other Allegations submitted 4 months ago about the same assistant principal:
On 9/9/11 AP _______ was seen grabbing student _______ by front desk at dismissal and pushing him back and forth shaking and holding him by his wrists yelling
AP ________ was seen grabbing student _____ in the main staircase on 1st floor by the neck and shaking her. Beginning of 5th period (approx 11:20-11:30) on 12/30/11
AP _______ was observed pulling the hoody strings around the neck of District 75 student____ outside room 228 around 7pm on February 28, 2012
There are no suggestion because no matter what we do nothing is ever done about it… ”
More financial issues:
While a teacher of “The school of Technology” had to put this tablecloth up to project a lesson, Principal Hill ordered at least 3 Macbook Pros for herself and two teachers totaling about $8,000. Yes, $8,000 for just 3 laptops.
More to come…unfortunately.
Want to help? Copy and paste the following email list and tell them your thoughts:
DMWalcott@schools.nyc.gov,MBloomberg@cityhall.nyc.gov,CJackson-Chase@schools.nyc.gov,Governor.Cuomo@exec.ny.gov,THernandez5@schools.nyc.gov,SpeakerQuinn@council.nyc.gov,MBest1@cityhall.nyc.gov,DBrodsky@schools.nyc.gov,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, NYSAssembly60@gmail.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: A community outreach meeting will be taking place on October 8th at 8PM at the Vanderbilt Moravian Church YMCA. All community members who want to know facts and are concerned should attend. Site www.occupywarrenstreet.org will be up and running soon. The community is the only group that can help the community.