5 years ago

cover 1999-2002 - SCI

cover 1999-2002 - SCI

Recommendations and

Recommendations and Results Our report reviewed the flawed BOE attendance procedures that facilitated the fraud at Brandeis, and made recommendations to prevent other unscrupulous administrators from manipulating the records of unsuspecting students. In addition, we recommended that the employment of Marlene Lazar and Guidance Counselor Judith Pearlman be terminated and that this matter be considered should they ever reapply for a position with the BOE, including consulting work. We also recommended that Assistant Principal Jonathan Schein, who was no longer employed by the BOE at the time our report was released, not be rehired by the BOE in the event that he should ever seek employment or consulting work. Finally, we recommended that Senior Grade Advisor Peter Trigledas, who was retired from the BOE at the time our report was released but was working as a consultant, be terminated from that position and continue to be denied employment in the future. Lazar retired in April 2002 pursuant to a formal settlement agreement with the BOE. In March 2001, the case against Pearlman was dismissed. According to the OLS attorney handling the matter, the statute of limitations expired. Both Peter Trigledas and Jonathan Schein were placed on the BOE’s ineligible list. 72

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST______________________ Through the New York City Department of Investigation, SCI acts as the investigative arm of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board (“COIB”) when BOE employees are alleged to have violated the conflicts of interest rules in Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter. These matters are, by law confidential unless made public for some intervening reason, such as a stipulation of settlement. In two such instances, Walter Steinhandler and Serge Rene, the resolutions were released publicly, allowing us to comment on these investigations in this report. Our investigations into the conduct of Rene and Steinhandler go to the heart of the conflicts of interest rules. For years, physical education teacher Walter Steinhandler ran bus tours for the BOE through his private company in direct violation of the rule prohibiting a City employee from owning or working for any firm which engages in business dealings with the BOE. Likewise, Rene violated a key Chapter 68 provision barring a City employee from soliciting a subordinate for campaign contributions. Walter Steinhandler An investigation substantiated that for a period of seven years, Walter Steinhandler, a physical education teacher at Edward R. Murrow High School, and his business partner, were organizing bus trips through their company Scholastic Tours, Inc. for students at Murrow and other New York City public schools. In our report, we recommended that appropriate disciplinary action be taken against Steinhandler. Pursuant to a three-way Stipulation of Settlement involving Steinhandler, the BOE, and the COIB, effective June 2001, Steinhandler admitted his wrongdoing and agreed to pay a $1,500 fine. Serge Rene We substantiated that Serge Rene pressured BOE employees under his supervision to contribute to the re-election campaign of a Community School Board 19 73

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