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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Eddie Calderon-Melendez, Former Believe High Schools Network CEO, Indicted For Tax Fraud, Evidence Tampering, Grand Larceny

School CEO a ‘tax cheat’

Last Updated:6:40 AM, April 13, 2012
Posted:2:37 AM, April 13, 2012
WOE! Eddie Calderon-Melendez, named in a Post exposé, allegedly failed to pay $70,000 in taxes.
A troubled Brooklyn charter group’s CEO raked in more than $1.4 million in salary without paying a dime in state income tax — and even used public money for a lavish European vacation, the state attorney general charged yesterday.
The investigation of former Believe High Schools Network CEO Eddie Calderon-Melendez — sparked last year after inquiries by The Post — found that he allegedly cheated the state out of more than $70,000 in unpaid taxes between 2005 and 2010.
The charter chief even allegedly tried to cover his tracks by filing false income-tax returns after authorities launched a probe into his network’s financial dealings.
Calderon-Melendez was arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court on 11 felony charges that include tax fraud, evidence tampering and grand larceny — for an $1,800 European jaunt he allegedly expensed with a school credit card.
“He compounded his crime by creating false evidence to throw investigators off his trail,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Calderon-Melendez did not respond to a message left on his cellphone and later told a reporter outside his apartment, “You got the wrong guy.” His lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.
The charter champ’s questionable financial practices were first exposed last May when The Post reported that his network had charged the Williamsburg Charter HS an exorbitant $2.3 million in management fees.
He had founded Williamsburg Charter HS in 2003, opened two more charter high schools in the same neighborhood in 2009 — and then promoted himself to CEO of a network that ordered the three schools to cough up sky-high fees for support.
As head of the network, Calderon-Melendez took in more than $500,000 in 2009 alone — an enormous take-home for a network that was overseeing just three schools. He accepted a pay cut the following year but still took in at least $378,000, according to city Department of Education records.
Under his guidance, the Williamsburg Charter HS entered into an untenable $79 million, 30-year lease — shelling out more than $2 million annually — and paid consultants more than $750,000 in a single year.
Additional reporting by Ikimulisa Livingston

Here is more on this guy from 2004 (are all education officials asleep?):

Dirty job: charter teachers janitors

Last Updated: 7:05 AM, May 9, 2011
Posted: 1:50 AM, May 9, 2011

School Official Charged: Charter Schools Founder Accused of Tax Fraud, Billing Network for Europe Trip

Ohanian Comment: This is the thug who sent me threatening e-mails after I asked this question. He was notorious for mistreating teachers . 

Here's the New York Times opening paragraph:
When state investigators demanded last year to see personal tax returns filed by Eddie Calderon-Melendez, the founder and chief executive of a troubled network of charter high schools in Brooklyn, he produced them. One problem, according to the investigators, was that those state tax returns were falsified and had never been filed.
And here's the kicker: Almost all of the money to operate the three schools came from public financing. 

By Sophia Hollander and Aaron Rutkoff 

The founder and former chief executive of a troubled charter-school network in Brooklyn was indicted Thursday on charges that he repeatedly failed to pay income taxes, embezzled money from his schools and created phony records. 

Eddie Calderon-Melendez, the ex-CEO of the Believe High Schools Network, failed to pay taxes on more than $1.4 million in compensation between 2005 and 2010, prosecutors allege. During that period, Mr. Calderon-Melendez never filed a tax return and failed to pay more than $70,000 in state and city taxes, the indictment claims. 

"While earning a six-figure salary funded largely by taxpayer dollars, the defendant robbed the state of New York of much-needed revenue when he failed to pay his taxes for six years in a row," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "He then compounded his crime by creating false evidence to throw investigators off his trail." 

Mr. Calderon-Melendez, who pleaded not guilty at an afternoon arraignment, couldn't be reached for comment. No one answered the door at his Brooklyn home, and his lawyer, Jeffrey Udell, didn't respond to requests for comment. 

The indictment handed down in Brooklyn Supreme Court charged Mr. Calderon-Melendez with 11 felony counts, including tax fraud, grand larceny and falsifying records. 

Among the accusations, prosecutors allege that in 2009, Mr. Calderon-Melendez charged more than $1,800 in expenses from a personal trip to Europe on a credit card connected to one of the schools. 

It was another setback for the three struggling Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based schools that form the Believe network, which Mr. Calderon-Melendez founded in 2009. 

In January, education officials announced that they planned to shutter all three schools this summer—which would have been the first time officials closed an entire New York City charter-school network. 

Though charter-school closures are generally traced to poor academic performance, in this case officials cited fiscal and governance problems. Mr. Calderon-Melendez was central to many of their complaints, including Williamsburg Charter High School's decision to rehire Mr. Calderon-Melendez as CEO without considering other applicants and failure to address concerns about his leadership. 

Some board members accused him of using his school credit card to purchase personal items, including alcohol. 

All three schools failed to disclose conflict of interest among its board members and had struggled to recruit board members and students, according to officials. A state audit of the 2009-10 school year found more than $80,000 in overpayments to the network and hundreds of thousands of dollars in mishandled expenses. 

After the revocation threats, one school, Northside Charter High School, successfully appealed to have its charter revocation reversed. The school is now on probation. 

"They're doing everything that the state Education Department has asked them to do to comply with the charter," said Sharon McCarthy, the attorney for the schools in connection with the attorney general's investigation. "They're very devoted to the children and making sure the kids have a place to go to school in the fall." 

The other two schools are still slated to close, but in a letter posted on the website of Williamsburg Charter High School, the board of trustees vowed to challenge the revocation of the charter in court, calling it "heartbreaking news." 

Williamsburg Charter High School severed its ties with Mr. Calderon-Melendez in January, Ms. McCarthy said. 

Mr. Calderon-Melendez founded Williamsburg Charter High School in 2004 and became the school's CEO. Two years ago, the state approved Southside and Northside to join the newly created Believe High Schools Network, which Mr. Calderon-Melendez also headed. He stepped down from that position in January. 

But according to prosecutors, the problems started almost immediately. Mr. Calderon-Melendez failed to file taxes in 2005, they allege, despite earning up to $500,000 a year in salary and consultant fees. After receiving a subpoena, he "produced false New York tax returns" for years 2005 through 2008, the complaint states. 

—Lisa Fleisher contributed to this article. 

Write to Sophia Hollander at and Aaron Rutkoff at 

— Sophia Hollander and Aaron Rutkoff
Wall Street Journal


Did 3020-a Arbitrator Randi Lowitt Violate Section 201-d of Labor Law in Terminating Christino Rubino?

Section 201-d of New York State Labor Law reads as if an employee cannot be 
terminated for engaging in recreational activities as  follows (2(c)):
"an  individual's legal recreational activities outside work hours, 
 off of the  employer's  premises  and  without  use  of 
the  employer's equipment or other property;" 
Kauff McGuire & Margolis LLP also have a description of this Law 
on their website (1992)
  My reading of this Law says that Randi Lowitt, the Arbitrator who 
terminated Christine Rubino for Rubino's comments on her 
'private' Facebook page  while she was at home, may have 
not abided by this law. I will be sure to post her new 
decision in the Rubino case after she issues it (Barbara 
Jaffe,New York State Supreme Court judge who vacated Lowitt's decision 
of termination).
 §  201-d. Discrimination against the engagement in certain activities.
  1. Definitions. As used in this section:
    a. "Political activities" shall mean (i) running  for  public  office,
  (ii)   campaigning   for   a  candidate  for  public  office,  or  (iii)
  participating in fund-raising activities for the benefit of a candidate,
  political party or political advocacy group;
    b. "Recreational  activities"  shall  mean  any  lawful,  leisure-time
  activity,  for  which the employee receives no compensation and which is
  generally engaged  in  for  recreational  purposes,  including  but  not
  limited  to sports, games, hobbies, exercise, reading and the viewing of
  television, movies and similar material;
    c. "Work hours" shall mean, for purposes of this  section,  all  time,
  including  paid and unpaid breaks and meal periods, that the employee is
  suffered, permitted or expected to be engaged in work, and all time  the
  employee  is  actually  engaged  in  work.  This definition shall not be
  referred to in  determining  hours  worked  for  which  an  employee  is
  entitled  to  compensation  under  any law including article nineteen of
  this chapter.
 2. Unless otherwise provided by law, it  shall  be  unlawful  for  any
  employer  or  employment agency to refuse to hire, employ or license, or
  to discharge  from  employment  or  otherwise  discriminate  against  an
  individual in compensation, promotion or terms, conditions or privileges
  of employment because of:
    a.  an individual's political activities outside of working hours, off
  of the employer's premises and without use of the  employer's  equipment
  or other property, if such activities are legal, provided, however, that
  this paragraph shall not apply to persons whose employment is defined in
  paragraph  six of subdivision (a) of section seventy-nine-h of the civil
  rights law, and provided further that this paragraph shall not apply  to
  persons  who  would  otherwise  be prohibited from engaging in political
  activity pursuant to chapter 15 of title 5 and subchapter III of chapter
  73 of title 5 of the USCA;
    b. an individual's legal use  of  consumable  products  prior  to  the
  beginning  or after the conclusion of the employee's work hours, and off
  of the employer's premises and without use of the  employer's  equipment
  or other property;
    c.  an  individual's legal recreational activities outside work hours,
  off of the  employer's  premises  and  without  use  of  the  employer's
  equipment or other property; or
    d.  an  individual's  membership  in a union or any exercise of rights
  granted under Title 29, USCA, Chapter 7 or under article fourteen of the
  civil service law.
    3. The provisions of subdivision two of  this  section  shall  not  be
  deemed to protect activity which:
    a.  creates  a material conflict of interest related to the employer's
  trade secrets, proprietary information or other proprietary or  business
    b.  with respect to employees of a state agency as defined in sections
  seventy-three and seventy-four of the public officers law  respectively,
  is  in  knowing  violation of subdivision two, three, four, five, seven,
  eight or twelve of section seventy-three or of section  seventy-four  of
  the  public  officers law, or of any executive order, policy, directive,
  or other rule which has been issued by the attorney  general  regulating
  outside  employment  or  activities  that could conflict with employees'
  performance of their official duties;
    c. with respect to employees of any employer  as  defined  in  section
  twenty-seven-a  of  this chapter, is in knowing violation of a provision
  of a collective bargaining agreement  concerning  ethics,  conflicts  of

  interest,  potential  conflicts  of interest, or the proper discharge of
  official duties;
    d.  with  respect  to  employees of any employer as defined in section
  twenty-seven-a  of  this  chapter  who  are  not  subject   to   section
  seventy-three  or seventy-four of the public officers law, is in knowing
  violation of article eighteen of the general municipal law or any  local
  law,  administrative  code  provision,  charter  provision  or  rule  or
  directive of the mayor or any agency head of a city having a  population
  of  one  million  or  more,  where  such  law,  code  provision, charter
  provision, rule or directive concerns  ethics,  conflicts  of  interest,
  potential  conflicts  of  interest,  or the proper discharge of official
  duties and otherwise covers such employees; and
    e. with respect to employees other  than  those  of  any  employer  as
  defined in section twenty-seven-a of this chapter, violates a collective
  bargaining   agreement   or   a  certified  or  licensed  professional's
  contractual obligation to devote his or her entire  compensated  working
  hours to a single employer, provided however that the provisions of this
  paragraph  shall  apply  only  to professionals whose compensation is at
  least fifty thousand dollars for the year  nineteen  hundred  ninety-two
  and  in  subsequent  years  is an equivalent amount adjusted by the same
  percentage as the annual increase or  decrease  in  the  consumer  price
    4.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  subdivision  three  of  this
  section, an employer shall not be in violation of this section where the
  employer  takes  action  based  on  the  belief  either  that:  (i)  the
  employer's  actions  were  required by statute, regulation, ordinance or
  other governmental mandate, (ii) the employer's actions were permissible
  pursuant to  an  established  substance  abuse  or  alcohol  program  or
  workplace   policy,   professional  contract  or  collective  bargaining
  agreement, or (iii) the individual's actions were deemed by an  employer
  or  previous  employer  to  be  illegal or to constitute habitually poor
  performance, incompetency or misconduct.
    5. Nothing  in  this  section  shall  apply  to  persons  who,  on  an
  individual  basis, have a professional service contract with an employer
  and the unique nature of the services provided is such that the employer
  shall be permitted, as part of such professional  service  contract,  to
  limit   the  off-duty  activities  which  may  be  engaged  in  by  such
    6. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an organization or  employer
  from offering, imposing or having in effect a health, disability or life
  insurance  policy that makes distinctions between employees for the type
  of  coverage  or  the  price  of  coverage  based  upon  the  employees'
  recreational  activities  or  use  of consumable products, provided that
  differential premium rates charged employees reflect a differential cost
  to the employer and that employers provide employees  with  a  statement
  delineating  the  differential  rates  used  by  the  carriers providing
  insurance for the employer, and provided further that such  distinctions
  in  type  or price of coverage shall not be utilized to expand, limit or
  curtail the rights or liabilities of any party with regard  to  a  civil
  cause of action.
    7.  a.  Where a violation of this section is alleged to have occurred,
  the attorney general may apply in the name of the people of the state of
  New York for  an  order  enjoining  or  restraining  the  commission  or
  continuance  of  the  alleged unlawful acts. In any such proceeding, the
  court may impose a civil penalty in the amount of three hundred  dollars
  for  the  first  violation  and five hundred dollars for each subsequent
 b. In addition to any other penalties or actions otherwise  applicable
  pursuant  to  this chapter, where a violation of this section is alleged
  to have occurred, an aggrieved individual may  commence  an  action  for
  equitable relief and damages.
Section:  Previous  Article 7  200  200-A  201  201-A  201-B  201-C  201-D  201-E  201-F  202  202-A 202-B  202-C  202-D  Next
Last modified: March 30, 2010

I also ask the reader to look at this on the website of Kauff McGuire & Margolis LLP:

New Law Protects New York Employees From Discrimination Based on Legal Off-Duty Conduct

October 1, 1992
Under a new statute, New York employers may not take adverse employment actions against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of their legal, off-duty conduct. The new law, section 201-d of the Labor Law, which takes effect on January 1, 1993, grew out of efforts by the tobacco lobby to prevent employers from discriminating against employees who smoke. The final version of the law, however, goes beyond merely protecting smokers. The statute broadly defines a variety of legal activities that, if engaged in on an employee's own time and without the use of company property or equipment, may not form the basis for adverse employment decisions.
The law creates four areas of "protected" employee activities: (1) political activities, such as campaigning or fund-raising; (2) legal recreational activities, broadly defined to include virtually all non-compensated leisure time activity; (3) the legal use of consumable products, off company property and outside of working time; and (4) membership in a union or the exercise of rights related to union activity. It is unlawful for an employer to "refuse to hire, employ or license, or to discharge from employment or otherwise discriminate against" an employee because of the employee's protected activities. An aggrieved employee may file suit for equitable relief and damages, or the Attorney General may sue for injunctive relief and for a civil fine. The statute does not provide for recovery of attorney's fees by a prevailing plaintiff.
As with many broadly worded anti-discrimination statutes, this new law is subject to several exceptions. Employers should be wary, however, when seeking to take advantage of the exceptions to the law because the courts have not yet had the opportunity to interpret the sometimes ambiguous terms. The major exceptions to the law's scope are: (i) professional journalists, and civil servants who are prohibited by law from engaging in political activity, are excluded from the protection for political activity; (ii) off-duty conduct is not protected where engaging in the activity "creates a material conflict of interest related to the employer's trade secrets, proprietary information or other proprietary or business interest" or, as to any public employee, would violate local ethics or conflict of interest regulations; (iii) an employer does not violate the statute if actions are taken in accordance with obligations imposed under a collective bargaining agreement or a personal services contract with a professional employee; and (iv) an employer does not violate the statute if actions are taken against an employee "based on the belief" that the action is "required by statute, regulation, ordinance, or other governmental mandate" or is warranted based on behavior "deemed by an employer to constitute habitually poor performance, incompetency or misconduct."
Of particular concern to employers is the application of the new law to employee anti-smoking rules, drug and alcohol abuse programs, anti-dating and anti-moonlighting rules, and employee benefit plans. First, despite the origins of the statute as a protection for employees who smoke, it is critical to note that the statute only protects activity that occurs off company property and outside of working time. Therefore, a company policy prohibiting smoking either during working hours or on the company's premises is permitted under the new statute. Similarly, compliance with local ordinances concerning smoking in public places may be observed without running afoul of the new law.
The statute also specifically authorizes actions taken by employers under an established substance abuse program or workplace policy, including such provisions in a collective bargaining agreement. Thus, a workplace rule prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages before reporting to work may be exempt from the new law's protection. Of course, any employee's conduct while on working time (such as being under the influence of alcohol) is clearly outside the protection of this new law. Of greater concern are employer-sponsored drug testing programs. Although the use of illegal drugs is not protected by the new law, the use of legal drugs (such as prescription medication) is protected. Consequently, any drug testing program that does not effectively differentiate between an employee's legal and illegal drug use may be in violation of the law.
The new law has no application to an anti-moonlighting rule, because only non-compensated leisure time activities are protected. An employer's policy prohibiting dating between co-workers, however, may be prohibited by the statute, depending on whether the courts interpret dating to be a "recreational" activity (although, even then, an employer could argue that a particular dating relationship creates such a serious conflict of interest that it would fall within one of the exceptions to the law's prohibitions discussed above).
Finally, with respect to employee benefit plans, the law specifically permits an employer to maintain a health or benefit plan "that makes distinctions between employees for the type of coverage or the price of coverage based upon the employees' recreational activities or the use of consumable products." Thus, medical insurance may be charged to a smoker at a higher rate than to a non-smoker, without violating the new law.
For most employers, the impact of this new law on the day-to-day operation of the company will be limited. Unless an employer has an established policy prohibiting dating between co-workers or of not hiring smokers (whether or not they smoke on the job), democrats, or employees who have high-risk hobbies, the new law may be of little practical consequence. Nevertheless, the new law represents a significant limitation on the traditional New York rule of employment-at-will, and employers should be sensitive to the possible ramifications of the new law for employment actions based on employee conduct that occurs off the job.

Facebook Statement Again Reported In The NYPOST

"Facebook is giving more Big Apple teachers a black eye" says the NYPOST today (see the article re-posted below). But we need to look at all the circumstances surrounding a "facebook teacher" and not judge simply because the NYPOST is telling us to.
The article in today's NYPOST shows once again the agenda of the media to go after teacher stories which support the DOE or help Mayor Bloomberg and Dennis Walcott get their policies in order, or at least agreed to by legislators. The NYC DOE still has no internet policy. They are trying to create one by using the Daily News and the NYPOST. Why not? It works.
Donna Blaine

The NYC rubber rooms were created and run by the NYC DOE, pursuant to Mayor Bloomberg's order to remove tenured employees from the public school system but make it look like they were honoring the required mandate of due process. The media also placed the blame for these warehouses on the UFT, when indeed, it was the DOE's baby, from charges to termination/settlement/retirement/resignation. The UFT just did nothing to stop it, and there was a gradual erosion of contractual rights over time, especially in 2005 when the grieving of letters to file was prohibited. This became a huge problem when "they" - the Mayor, the Chancellor, the Gotcha Squad, the New York Law Department - realized that the people stored in the warehouses were talking to each other and to the media. In fact, in 2007, many teachers believed that if they were in the newspaper, they would get a resolution to their case. I spoke to most of the rubber roomers, and I would say that certainly less than a third should have been re- assigned. Luckily, I could go to the very people who were involved in this effort to re-assign people, as in 2007 I was hired by the UFT to go into the rooms. The problem that arose was that the UFT in fact never wanted me to find out who was being treated unfairly, and when I started asking the right questions and I started this blog to highlight the unfairness of the rubberization process, I was attacked by the UFT. This is the story to be told in my book and on this blog at a later date.
In 2007-2008 everyone started talking to reporters, not realizing that their story and career would be falsified to fit the needs of Bloomberg/Klein, namely to shut down the rubber rooms.  The advice by UFT reps to not speak to anyone did not ring true to the people who sat in the temporary re-assignment rooms after these re-assigned professionals started trading stories of how the UFT district reps did not help them. I asked why this was happening and was told to shut up. I didnt.
The next step, where the Tweedies are now, is the fine tuning of a policy to get rid of anyone with tenure, and all probationary teachers about to get tenure, without spending time on due process. As I have previously posted, Dennis Walcott is on Youtube saying that "Just Cause" is a waste of time. To me, this is one of his most chilling statements ever. Tenure rights are protected by law in New York State, last I checked. Walcott says, who needs [the Constitution]? (Also on my website here and here)
Dennis Walcott

The Facebook issue is so clearly trash journalism.I posted the Facebook page and comments of the NYC DOE's Records Access officer, Joseph Baranello, on my blog. I then spoke with a reporter who presented this to her editor, and she heard from the DOE that if the newspaper did the story of Baranello, then the DOE would look bad. So, the Baranello story never ran in any newspaper. Of course it didnt. The media contact for the NYC DOE told the media, dont do this story, and the editors listen to that.
Here is my story and links once again:

NYC Department of Education Attorney Joseph Baranello Uses Facebook To Comment About The "Douchebags" On The L Train

  Joseph Baranello

It seems to me from Mr. Baranello's comments, he thought that people who dress up as Santa Clauses look like "douchebags"; and he thinks the Jewish Sukkah is silly, disgraceful, or whatever: 
Joe Baranello "Get your sukkahs on, suckas".
September 19, 2010 at 4:42pm
It seems to me that he should be reprimanded for the comments about Sukkah and that people dressed up as Santa Clauses are "douchbags". Im Jewish but I was raised as a Presbyterian and lived in Egypt, Israel and Jordan. I value all cultures, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic level, whatever. I dont feel good about what he wrote on his page about Sukkahs, and I wonder if his Supervisor thought this as well. I dont think anything was said to Baranello, as there is definitely a double standard in the NYC DOE. (sometimes I try to be humorous).
The Facebook stories are serious, however, and I take each one that I hear, seriously. It is true that people who use Facebook should be careful about what they put out into cyberspace. It is also true that if you take a vacation and lie about it after you have put your picture on Facebook enjoying some sun outside of New York City when you were supposed to be in school, then you have to expect consequences. What is not believable is that all the teachers in the article re-posted are the perverts and criminals who have to be terminated for making a Facebook comment, as our Mayor, Chancellor, the Gotcha Squad and the New York Law Department/Corporation Counsel are saying.  
In the article is a teacher by the name of Pat Dawson. I attended the first two days of her open and public 3020-a hearing at 51 Chambers Street, and so did approximately 12 other people. There was standing room only. Ms. Dawson is obviously a person who has many of friends and supporters, as Norm Scott pointed out on his blog:
 "A popular and effective teacher
And thus it is with the Facebook teacher, who even Stanzione admitted was not only a good teacher but one that students gravitated to, as did other teachers. In fact she was Coordinator of Student Activities (COSA) and was chosen to represent the school at recruiting fairs with the approval of Stanzione --- an unpaid volunteer position.  She was so popular with students, I imagine she had grown so comfortable with them that she said a few things on Facebook that look bad when in isolation, but as pointed out by union lawyer Callegy, nothing that isn't said all the time in teacher rooms, which Stanzione readily acknowledged."
 Will it make a difference? At this point, the only information we have on possible outcome is the information already testified to and the information about the Arbitrator, Joshua Javits. My opinion about Mr. Javits as an arbitrator who is supposed to be a neutral in the process: he is not neutral. Having observed him as an arbitrator more than once, I see someone who has no idea what is important or not, he thinks everything should be in evidence, even if the letter/rating/memo is not signed, and the Respondent teacher testifies that he/she never saw it. In it goes. Then, Javits' pattern and practice is to terminate or take whatever position the DOE wants him to take.
What concerns me in the Dawson case is that until a few days before the NYC DOE started the hearing on April 4 2012 it seems that the Gotcha Squad Attorney, Andrea Chilaka, didnt have a case. What we heard on April 5, when the Principal, Michael Stanzione, came in, was that two days before, Stanzione was told by "legal" to call in a student who was named on Dawson's Facebook page but had never seen it or heard about it, and he was asked to testify to how he "felt" more than 14 months after the Facebook comment was made, and almost as many months after the Facebook page was permanently removed from the internet by Ms. Dawson. This former student testified that he was shocked, and he didnt understand why his former teacher would do this. Callagy asked him, "You know that you cannot ask ms. Dawson, right?"
I personally find Ms. Chilaka annoying because she laughs all the time, after every objection, statement, question, whatever. Maybe she is nervous because she knows she will be on the internet. She already is.
What the DOE is doing is they are creating an effect of Dawson's Facebook comments more than 15 months after they were made, so they can "help" Josh Javits make a determination that Dawson should be punished, probably with termination, because she has had such a detrimental effect on her former students. But how can Dawson address the fact that before the case began, there was no effect of her actions because no one believed what she was saying on Facebook.
Me and NYSUT Attorney Chris Callagy

When NYSUT Attorney Chris Callagy asked Stanzione when he met with the student and why he met with him so many months after the Facebook comments were made, he testified that "legal" told him to. This is exactly the same testimony that was given in Christine Rubino's case. The Principal was given Christine's Facebook comments in June 2010, but only removed her in November because "legal" told her to remove her. Lisa Esposito, Christine's Principal, also testified that she thought Christine was a terrific teacher, and she did not want termination as a penalty, but "legal" told her she had to go for termination, she had no choice.
In Christine's case there were no students who were affected by Christine's comments, and Randi Lowitt, the arbitrator, went with termination because "legal" attended on a daily basis - Theresa Europe.
Christine then won her appeal in the New York State Supreme Court and her case is now remanded back to Randi for a lessor penalty than termination because, wrote Judge Barbara Jaffe, Christine had a stellar 15-year teaching career that Lowitt did not consider.
As we read the pages of the major media, let's keep in mind the agenda that they, the media want you to read into what the reporters write, and not judge someone whose story appears there.

Prober uses Facebook to nail perv, goldbrick NY teachers

Last Updated: 6:30 AM, April 15, 2012
Posted: 12:58 AM, April 15, 2012

Facebook is giving more Big Apple teachers a black eye.
The article in today's NYPOST shows once again the agenda of the media to go after stories which support the DOE or help Mayor Bloomberg and Dennis Walcott get their policies in order, or at least agreed to by legislators.
As the city Department of Education prepares to release it’s first-ever social-media policy, Schools Investigator Richard Condon has tallied a rapid growth in complaints about improper Facebook usage by city school employees — 120 in the past 18 months.
Some teachers got in trouble for posting dumb jokes tinged with sex or violence.
Others were busted after their own or students’ Facebook comments tipped officials to wrongdoing.
Chancellor Dennis Walcott has hinted the policy will bar teachers from becoming Facebook friends with students on their personal pages.
Meanwhile, Facebook is an occupational hazard. Patricia Dawson, an English teacher at the HS of Economics and Finance in Manhattan, is fighting DOE termination on misconduct charges for jesting 15 months ago on her Facebook page, “I’ll bring a gun to school” to get into security-controlled elevators. Several students joined in the banter — one offering to bring a gun to help her.
“No one took it seriously,” an insider said.
Colleagues say Dawson should not lose her career over a wisecrack, but her words, which the DOE deems harmful, are carved in cyberspace.
That’s what makes Facebook an investigator’s friend, Condon noted. “There’s no dispute about what was actually said.”
The social-network site also can give damning evidence, such as a photo of a teacher who called in sick “drinking a pina colada in San Juan,” or others who sent sexually suggestive messages to students.
“Those are the ones that concern us the most,” Condon says.
Among his latest findings:
* Jessica Osborne, 31, quit The School for Classics in Brooklyn after a student told a pal on Facebook she made out with the teacher in her car. The student also texted she “had sex with the teacher in every room except the bathroom” at Osborne’s house.
* Understanding Sowerby, 40, a ex-teacher at the MS for the Arts in Crown Heights, sent a Facebook friend request to a girl he supervised in detention, then chatted about her breasts.
“BTW U need more den a sports bra 2 hold dem ‘twins’ down!” he posted, a probe found. He was put in a substitute pool.
* Derek Sacerdote, an Earth science teacher at Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, posted this: “Considered bashing a student’s head in this morning . . . for the first time in my entire career.”
Sacerdote, 37, told probers a student had “made a demeaning remark about my mother.” He later vented on Facebook, saying “it was his way of blowing off steam.” He was not removed.
* Michael Wolach, 30, still a teacher at the Jill Chaifetz Transfer School in The Bronx, wrote on a student’s wall that he had just watched a Penguin game. When the boy asked what sport it was, Wolach posted:
“It’s hockey moron. The only sport you know is ball licking. You’re a professional.”
* Donna Blaine, a teacher at IS 125 in Woodside, regaled Facebook friends about her trip to Puerto Rico last Thanksgiving. She had called in sick before and after the holiday, despite a warning not to play hooky.
The city is still fighting to fire Brooklyn teacher Christine Rubino, who ranted on Facebook about her rowdy students at PS 203 a day after a Harlem girl drowned on a class trip to the beach: “After today, I’m thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders. I HATE THEIR GUTS! They are all the devils spawn!”
A hearing officer agreed to boot her, but a Manhattan judge ruled termination too severe. The city is appealing.

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