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Monday, May 7, 2012

Marcel Kshensky, Susan Holtzman, and "Sham Closings"

Everyday the 6th floor at 51-49 Chambers Street is busy with cases being heard, not only 3020-a, but grievances as well. When a grievance is scheduled, the parties are listed at the reception desk on a board.

The process of hearing a grievance has been broken for years, as long as I can remember.

The arbitration hearings that are grievances are actually scripted so that the Respondent/employee thinks that he or she is being heard, when all that is happening is, three people are being paid to deny one person his or her complaint. The three people are, of course, the hearing officer, the opposition to the employee, and the representative of the employee whose grievance is being heard. Everybody performs his or her role.

One hearing officer is Marcel Kshensky. See picture above (the photo on the right is current) He was sued in Federal Court by a former teacher by the name of George Lawson, who, as a friend of a rubber roomer in the Bronx, called me on several occasions to talk about this man, Mr. Kshensky. George alleges that Kshensky discriminates against people. I posted his name and a little about his story in a previous article.

Why am I telling you about this historical view of Mr. Kshensky? Because he is still a hearing officer at 51 Chambers Street, but I fail to understand why. Anyway, on May 4, 2012 I went to 51 Chambers Street for a 3020-a at which I am hired as the paralegal for a private Attorney. As I was signing in at the reception desk, UFT rep Mary Atkinson was laughing, she was sitting at my right in the waiting room. She told me to look at the grievance board, and take a picture.  I looked at the board, and I did take a picture:

 Aside from lines 2 and 3 having the names of Marcel Kshensky and SUSAN HOLTZMAN, here are lines 4 and 5:

11:00a #RM606  CONDCONF  Marcel Kshensky  Karen Solimando 122137  CSA  Excessing-Sham Closings 122137

1:30p #RM606  CONDCONF  Marcel Kshensky  Karen Solimando  122136  UFT Sham Closings 122136                                                                                                                         
That's why Mary was laughing, I assume, the "Sham Closing".

None other than the former Records Access Officer at Tweed (replaced by Joseph Baranello) who gave me Joel Klein's "contract" (not) and was ridiculously rude whenever I asked her any questions, such as, if Joel Klein does not have a contract (which he doesnt - the 'letter' that I was sent is not a contract because there is no expiration date, says my brilliant lawyer friend and grad of Columbia Law School), and Education Law Section 2590-H says that the Chancellor "shall serve at the pleasure of and be employed by the mayor of the city of New York  by contractThe length of such contract shall not exceed by more than two years the term of office of the mayor authorizing such contract. The chancellor shall receive  a salary to be fixed by the mayor within the budgetary allocation therefor. "
Then, how can he be Chancellor? Ms. Holtzman really made fun of that question, but 
never answered it. Cathie Black didnt have a contract and neither does Dennis Walcott.

If the chancellor does not have a contract, then how does the delegation work, say when a teacher is charged with discipline as in 3020-a?? From where does the power/authority for Dennis Walcott to delegate to Superintendents the "authority" to charge anyone? 

I wish someone would answer this question, its been 7 years since I started asking it.

Betsy Combier

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