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cover 1999-2002 - SCI

cover 1999-2002 - SCI

In addition, we exposed

In addition, we exposed the failure of officials at several schools to report incidents of sexual abuse. One case in particular, involving the failure of officials at CS 66X to report the sexual assault of a young girl, attracted considerable media attention. The CS 66 investigation came on the heels of another highly publicized investigation into teacher Milton McFarlane, who was accused of sodomizing a young boy. The case awakened public outrage when it came to light that a complaint against the teacher received by this office in 1998 had been referred to the Chancellor’s Office of Special Investigations, which in turn neglected to conduct a thorough investigation. In June 2001, Special Commissioner Stancik appeared before the City Council to urge passage of a school crime reporting bill. The matter was subsequently referred to the City Charter Revision Commission, which placed it on the November 2001 ballot. Voters subsequently approved an amendment to the New York City Charter requiring public school employees to report crimes against students to the police and to SCI. To date, however, the rules needed to establish the reporting procedures have not been promulgated. Thus, the City Charter revision, as a practical matter, has yet to take effect. 42

Dangerous Consequences: Officials at Brooklyn Technical High School Fail to Report Armed Robberies to the Police Our 32-page report analyzed two armed robberies committed on March 21, 2000, by separate groups of students at Brooklyn Technical High School (“Brooklyn Tech”), one of the City’s most prestigious high schools. Our investigation began when an Assistant District Attorney from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, who was prosecuting a robbery at that school, called this office expressing concern that Brooklyn Tech officials might not be reporting all robberies occurring there to the police. We found that Brooklyn Tech deans Enrique Rodriguez and Bert Yaged withheld information from the police relating to two separate robberies at the school. Instead, the Deans Enrique Rodriguez and Bert Yaged showed attitudes toward the police ranging from indifference to outright hostility. Their actions—which included withholding information from the police—severely compromised the criminal investigation. deans conducted their own internal investigations, purportedly motivated by the need to bring student disciplinary proceedings. They handled the investigations badly, showing attitudes toward the police ranging from indifference to outright hostility. They withheld the identities of critical eyewitnesses from the police, but revealed them to the identified robbers as part of the disciplinary proceedings. Twice, the deans alerted one suspect that the police were coming to arrest him, causing him to flee the school and avoid apprehension. As a result of the deans’ actions, many of the robbers were never caught, and continued to attend classes at Brooklyn Tech. Only two robbers were arrested, as a result of police fortuitously learning of one of the robberies. Our investigation further revealed problems in the way disciplinary hearings are conducted, particularly with regards to the treatment of victims and witnesses. 43

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