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cover 1999-2002 - SCI

cover 1999-2002 - SCI

Resto had appeared for

Resto had appeared for an MRI and CAT scan on February 7, 2000. The second application, dated February 9, 2001, contained a document purportedly signed by “Dr. Dorothy Greenburg” of Beth Israel, which indicated that Resto had appeared on February 6, 2001, for an MRI, CAT scan, and other tests. As noted above, Beth Israel had no record of ever treating Resto as a patient. In addition, it had never employed Dr. Hollingshead or Dr. Greenburg. This office also confirmed that neither individual was registered with the New York State Medical Register as being a licensed physician. While our investigation was pending, Resto resigned from his employment at PS 13 and transferred to a position at PS 377 in District 32. Investigators also discovered two additional forged medical notes submitted by the teacher to PS 377. Resto failed to come to work on nine days between January and February 2002. The teacher submitted notes for two of those absences, dated February 5 and 26, 2002, purportedly emanating from “Dr. Augusto Zevallos.” However, the doctor informed investigators that he did not issue the notes and he had no record of Resto’s presence at his office on those two dates. An inspection of the two documents revealed them to be altered copies of a legitimate note issued by the doctor on February 14, 2002. As a result of his fraudulent conduct, Resto received $1,165.95 in unearned income. Through his attorney, Resto declined the opportunity to be interviewed by this office. Recommendations and Results We recommended that Resto’s employment be terminated, that he be required to pay back any unearned income, and that this matter be considered if he ever reapplied for employment with the BOE. We also referred our findings to the Kings County District Attorney. Resto resigned from his position with the BOE and has been barred from future employment, but he was not required to repay his unearned income. The King’s County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Resto. 32

EDUCATOR CHEATING Several major investigations conducted by this office focused on two specific areas of fraud in the public school system: the practice of promoting failing students to the next grade level, and cheating by school personnel to manipulate student performance on standardized tests. In Cheating The Children: Educator Misconduct On Standardized Tests, we exposed misconduct by over 50 school employees ranging from manipulating answer sheets to prompting students to change their responses. The report, which received considerable public attention, led to additional testing misconduct complaints and spawned two other major investigations by this office. The first of these focused on testing irregularities at CES 88X and established that educators there prompted students to change incorrect answers even while the school was under investigation for the earlier cheating scandal. The second of our cases exposed widespread cheating on several City and State exams at eight different schools throughout the City. The practice of falsely promoting failing students, or “social promotion,” is in direct violation of BOE policy. Based on information from an assistant principal employed in District 5, our office conducted an investigation into the promotion of 53 failing 7 th grade students by that district’s Director of Middle Schools, Frederick King. We established that, to accomplish his goal, King manipulated the school’s computer database and altered students’ grades. 33

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