A close-up look at NYC education policy, politics,and the people who have been, are now, or will be affected by these actions and programs. ATR CONNECT assists individuals who suddenly find themselves in the ATR ("Absent Teacher Reserve") pool and are the "new" rubber roomers, people who have been re-assigned from their life and career. A "Rubber Room" is not a place, but a process.
If you are a teacher and you have been subjected to an "investigation" by the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) or Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI), you may be wondering what the heck happened, when the "investigator" substantiated the charge(s) against you on baseless 'facts'.
After many years of watching these agents of doom and after speaking with many principals whose names must remain anonymous, I have concluded the following:
1. The practice of going to a school and speaking to a principal about an incident before asking witnesses what happened violates the due process of the so-called "perpetrator", because the principal could be biased and could alter the so-called 'facts' in the case to suit the purpose of the employer, the NYC BOE, to terminate the teacher (i.e., the person has a motive to lie, make allegations and conclusions that cannot be supported, etc.).
2. an investigator should not, under rules of ethics, sit in the principal's office and wait while the principal, assistant principal, or some other administrator gathers "witnesses" and brings the students/employees to the principal's office to be interviewed. This practice ensures that the principal can bring in ONLY those alleged witnesses who have seen, supposedly, what happened, and if he/she did NOT see anything, then the statement can be discarded or altered to suit the original goal, which is to 'get' the teacher.
If you have been under investigation, and if you have had your 3020-a, look carefully at the testimony of the investigator in your case. He/she may have followed a practice as outlined above, which could lead to an action by you in violation of your rights.Unfortunately, arbitrators seldom, if ever, contradict the conclusions reached by Regina Loughran, Gerald Conroy, or other administrators at OSI, SCI or OEO, another wholly owned subsidiary of the NYC BOE. They definitely should.
Anyway, why not apply to be an investigator? Then you could help change one of the guideposts of the Gotcha Squad.
Position Summary:The Disciplinary Investigator (CFN) supports the Senior Field Counsel and Instructional Superintendents in investigating and collecting evidence in legal and labor matters related to employee misconduct and incompetence. This includes the preparation of documents and written reports in conjunction with administrative proceedings. Performs related work.
Reports to:Senior Field Counsel, Office of Legal Services
Key Relationships:Works collaboratively with the Senior Counsel to ensure an efficient and systematic approach to service delivery. This entails working as a liaison to city, state and federal legal departments as well as the Office of Legal Services, the Division of School Support Services, Legal Services Staff Attorneys and Investigative Personnel.
Examines and analyzes employee records and documents, case files and legal filings necessary to respond to requests for disciplinary hearings; makes recommendations as to course of action.
Assists attorneys in trial preparation including drafting charges, maintenance and preparation of documents for trial, witness preparation and evidence gathering.
Ensures timely notification of charges to employee to comply with labor agreement deadlines so hearing can proceed according to schedule.
Coordinates disciplinary hearings; organizes trial assignments; evaluates tenure status of pedagogic employees; and responds to inquiries as a point of contact for principals.
Coordinates and organizes trial assignments and arbitrator calendar.
Assembles data, records, evidence and reports.
Manages and maintains case databases and generates case reports.
Responsible for preparing written and statistical reports for the Senior Field Counsel, and maintaining a calendar utilizing a computer to assist in investigations.
Analyzes and evaluates records and documents, case files and legal filings in connection with various administrative proceedings involving the Department ofEducationsuch as Human Rights complaints, administrative grievances, other labor proceedings and other investigations as assigned by the Senior Field Counsel.
Assists in the investigation, preparation and presentation of written reports and materials regarding issues of student disciplinary cases, complaints or inquiries from school staff and parents.
Maintains case records, prepares reports, and analyzes personnel records.
Responsible for managing and maintaining computer database of cases for the unit.
Responds to legal and labor inquiries from administrative officials at various DOE offices and schools.
A four-year high school diploma or its educational equivalent and four years of satisfactory full-time experience in one or more of the fields of accounting, auditing, inspection, investigation personnel administration, and security, or in a major operational area of the employing agency; or
A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college; or
Educationand/or experience equivalent to “1” or “2” above.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Strong writing and organizational skills are preferred for the position.
Efficient legal research skills.
Strong computer skills, including word processing experience utilizing Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and Power Point), Adobe Acrobat, LexisNexis and other software.
(Internal candidates who are selected for this position and who currently hold comparable or less senior positions within the DOE will not make less than their current salary.) Please submit a resume and cover letter with your application. Applications will be accepted through August 4, 2011. NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding.
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
It is the policy of the Department ofEducationof the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 923, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit the OEO website athttp://schools.nyc.gov/OEO
65 Court St. (65 Court St.)