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cover 1999-2002 - SCI

cover 1999-2002 - SCI

Robert

Robert Nadal………………………………………………………………. 60 Johnny Vargas…………………………….……………………………….. 61 STUDENT SUSPENSION HEARINGS…………………………………62 Victims on Trial: The Treatment of Sex Abuse Victims and Victims of Other Serious Crimes in Board of Education Student Suspension Hearings………………………………………………………. 62 HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES…………………………. 64 Franklin Simon: Hired by the BOE Without a Background Check Despite Having Lost His License to Practice Medicine for Sexual Misconduct…… 65 Veronica Hernandez: Teacher Remained on BOE Payroll Despite Her Criminal History………….………….…..……..…………….…………… 66 Thomas L. Williams: Convicted Felon Falsified Documents to Obtain Position as a Substitute Teacher……………………...…………………… 68 ENROLLMENT AND ATTENDANCE……………………..…………..70 Grand Illusion: An Investigation Into Enrollment and Attendance Practices at Brandeis High School……………………..…………..….…... 71 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST……………………………………………...73 Walter Steinhandler……………………...……………………………….... 73 Serge Rene……………………………………………………………….... 73 ADMINISTRATIVE OUTCOMES ……………………….……………. 75 Disciplinary Recommendations……………………………………………. 75 Outcomes…………………………………………………………………... 76 Outcomes of Cases From Prior Reporting Period Resolved in This Period.. 77

INTRODUCTION The Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation (“SCI”) was created in 1990 in response to growing public concern that crime and wrongdoing occurring within the New York City school system required vigilant investigation. Our office initiates investigations into corruption or other criminal activity, conflicts of interest, unethical conduct, and other forms of misconduct based on complaints received from a variety of sources or upon the initiative of the Special Commissioner. SCI employs a two-part strategy that seeks both discipline and/or prosecution of known offenders as well as systemic change intended to prevent dishonesty and mismanagement within the school system. This report summarizes SCI’s activities from September 1999 through June 30, 2002. During this period our office made or assisted in the arrest of 44 individuals, generated 17 public reports and issued 289 referral letters recommending disciplinary action against New York City Board of Education (“BOE”) employees. To better convey the scope of this office’s activities, we have included, where possible, the results of our investigations and the BOE’s responses to our recommendations. Special Commissioner Edward F. Stancik, whose name appears on the front cover, passed away on March 12, 2002. He devoted the last eleven years of his life to making the New York City public schools better and safer for children. Although this report covers the period from September 1999 through June 2002, it was finalized in December 2003. 1

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