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Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Chief Publishes Teddy Smith's Win in The NYS Supreme Court, Without an Apology

Problem NYC Board of Education employee Special Commissioner Richard Condon is now on shaky ground, after sending out a press release with Attorney David Kearney's PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL alleged 'information' given to him in conversation with his client Teddy Smith, that Smith threatened to kill his 3020-a arbitrator Jack Tillem. Mr. Smith has told me he never made such an allegation and that Mr. Kearney made this lie up in order to get the case closed and get money he believed he was owed. My two cents is that Teddy Smith is a whistleblower of mismanagement and illegal stuffing of 100 children into PE classes by NYC BOE Principal Lindley Uehling (now Upper School Admissions Director at Hunter High School) while she, Uehling, was at The Museum School on 17th Street in Manhattan. Whistleblowing wrong-doing by a NYC BOE employee by anyone - teacher, parent or child - is punished by the NYC BOE and the whistleblower is always retaliated against. The NYC BOE never, never, admits doing anything wrong.

See our story about Teddy Smith at:

Theodore "Teddy" Smith Wins His NY State Supreme Court Appeal To Overturn Arbitrator Howard Edelman's 3020a Decision and Award

I'm sure that all of us have heard about the Attorney-Client privilege? In fact, the ABA Model Rules 1.6 say:

Model Rules of Professional Conduct
Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.6 Confidentiality Of Information


(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b) A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:

(1) to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(2) to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another and in furtherance of which the client has used or is using the lawyer's services;

(3) to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;

(4) to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;

(5) to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client; or

(6) to comply with other law or a court order.

So, Mr. Kearney must have decided that Mr. Smith's alleged "threat" was so believable as to lead to the breaking of the confidentiality agreement between him and Mr. Smith! He was, therefore, protecting the life of Mr. Tillem.

Let's see whether Mr. Kearney can provide documented proof of Teddy Smith's threats at his - Mr. Kearney's - Attorney Disclipline Committee hearing. If he cannot, I might suggest that the Committee consider disbarrment. Oh, but if that happened, what would happen to The Rubber Room Movie? David called me up and talked with me about doing The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the NYC rubber rooms, and he told me that he was working on this movie. In what capacity, David?

I'm asking this question because Teddy Smith will be going into another 3020-a arbitration on the charges of threatening Jack Tillem. Will Kearney hire a lawyer, or will the NYC BOE represent him? If the NYC BOE represents him, then he is an employee of the NYC BOE. Interesting concept...

Below is an article published in The Chief about Teddy Smith's win in the Supreme Court, as we told you in our previous articles (see above). Teddy asked for both the Daily News and The Chief to retract their previous statements about his wanting to kill Mr. Tillem, but, as Ann told me at the Daily News, "We print anything that Richard Condon says, as he is a public person". No word from The Chief on this retraction. As an investigative reporter/journalist for 33 years I think that it would have been journalistically (is this a word?) logical to ask Teddy Smith if indeed he ever said anything about killing Jack Tillem before taking the word of David Kearney as the absolute truth. However, if Kearney has suddenly been hired by the NYC BOE and will now be represented by them, or paid to testify against Teddy, then we have another fascinating development in this case. I understand that Teddy plans to have an open and public 3020-a hearing, so watch for a time and date. At an open and public hearing, anyone may attend and observe. ONLY observe, not talk.

See you there!

Betsy Combier

Judge Halts Suspension Of Teacher Accused Of Threatening Arbiter
By DAVID SIMS, The Chief

A veteran Teacher who was suspended for allegedly threatening to kill an arbitrator hearing a disciplinary case against him has had his suspension overturned by a judge because a second arbitrator who imposed it did so without hearing any testimony in the case.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger issued a decision stating that the disciplinary process against Theodore Smith contained "very unusual and disturbing circumstances" and that a new hearing must take place.

Lawyer Alleged Dual Threat

Mr. Smith was originally accused of 27 instances of misconduct, including excessive absences and lateness at his job at the New York City Museum School. At the first internal Department of Education trial, arbitrator Jack Tillem had an off-the-record conversation with Mr. Smith's lawyer, David Kearney, saying that he had already made up his mind on a 3-to-6 month suspension for Mr. Smith, who was incensed when he overheard the proposal. A month later, Mr. Kearney alleged that Mr. Smith had told him "I am going to kick your f------ head in and kill that f------ arbitrator Jack Tillem, you hear me?"

Richard J. Condon, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District, recommended last October that Mr. Smith be fired after a hearing conducted by Mr. Condon's office. DOE Arbitrator Howard Edelman subsequently decided to suspend Mr. Smith for one year.

The death threat was the chief cause of Mr. Condon's recommendation that Mr. Smith be fired, as well as his referral of the case to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office for prosecution. However, Mr. Smith has insisted that Mr. Kearney invented the death threat and was in collusion with Mr. Tillem.

Justice Schlesinger ruled that a new hearing had to be convened because Mr. Edelman imposed the suspension based solely on written testimony from the Tillem hearings, and did not call any witnesses. "The second Arbitrator ... decided the controversy based solely on the transcript of the proceedings before the first Arbitrator, thereby violating his due process to a right and fair impartial hearing," her decision stated.

A new hearing before a different arbitrator is scheduled to take place.

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