|Victor Jordan, Lydia Howrilka, Lucio Celli, Francesco Portelos|
Johnathan Hinesley, Al Leon, unknown person
It seems to me that there is no level of revenge that Francesco will not go to in order to hurt you, damage your career, and hurt your family and your well-being. If you oppose this king of bullying, as you will see below, you are threatened and harassed yourself, until you agree. If you do not submit to his abuse and harassment (he was fined $10,000 by Arbitrator Felice Busto for bullying and not admitting to his wrong-doing at IS 49) he will go after you, as he is doing to me.
In the video edited by Francesco and assisted by Lydia Howrilka (whose reasons for defaming me are unknown at this time), at approximately 31.09 I am described as a "homophobe" by Jim Callaghan. Francesco sent this video to a group of people after the 9/20/15 meeting where 50 people heard it first hand, without the editing. One UFT Solidarity member who was not there (I was not there either, and could not defend myself), Lucio Celli, sent it to me because he was my friend, and as a gay person he knew that I most certainly am not a homophobe, and he wanted to protect me from the slander. He was very upset. He was attacked by Francesco for doing that, he told me.
Another example is the following posts on an ATR Support page started by the Editor of Fidgety. Fidgety asked Francesco if he had received a teacher's approval before he sent a letter to the principal telling the principal to stop the harassment of this teacher. Francesco would not answer, so I posted my concern about this.
As many of the readers of this blog know, I blew the whistle on a couple of principals as PTA President and member of the Executive Board, respectively (Larry Lynch, Principal of MS 54; Carmen Farina, Principal of PS 6; Stanley Teitel, Principal of Stuyvesant). I was investigating and getting the facts on these three, and others, way before the Francesco Portelos brand of terrorism was born. I refuse to terrorize anyone and I refuse to be terrorized.
On September 20, 2015 at the fall UFT Solidarity meeting Francesco invited a former UFT reporter for the NY Teacher named Jim Callaghan, to talk about the ugly side of UNITY and the UFT to 50 UFT Solidarity potential members.
Jim has despised me since I walked into the UFT as the Head of the SWAT team to help teachers in the rubber rooms. Jim was a very unpopular member of the SWAT team, which was created by Randi and was made up of Jim, me and Ron Isaacs. Neither man wanted to go to the reassignment centers. So, I went every day and sat with teachers trying to find a way to help them.
I had memorized the contract, knew all the arbitration decisions and cases from 3020-a, and that is why Randi Weingarten wanted me to work at the UFT, not because I filed a freedom of information request for Queens UFT Representative Rona Freiser's personnel file as Jim claims. At the time I was not even aware - nor did I care - that Rona was a lesbian when Norm Scott suggested I file a FOIL request to get Rona's file. For those who do not know me, I am deeply committed to human rights for everyone. Besides, I have Rona's file, and there is nothing there of any interest.
See what the rubber roomers thought about Jim:
As reassigned teachers, we were the NYC DOE/UFT’s dirty little secret. In the press, we were characterized as those ‘bad’ teachers who sat and did nothing all day on the taxpayer’s dollar. The reality was that many of the teachers sent to the rubber rooms had no idea why they were suddenly not teaching and often waited months for formal charges that did not arrive for months or even years. The union’s lack of response to the press in our defense spoke volumes. Being ignored by our union was the ultimate betrayal. It seemed that they were more concerned about hiding the problem and keeping a low profile rather than supporting us or solving it.
|Reassignment Center @ Prospect Heights|
While I am no fan of Unity, it is obvious that Mr. Callaghan is a scorned man with a personal vendetta against those whom he feels wronged him. As someone who knew Betsy and the genuine nature of her work, I am naturally puzzled as to why the arrogant Mr. Callaghan would feel the need to launch a seemingly random attack on her. In contrast to the lack of support that Mr. Callaghan failed to provide to the reassigned teachers, Ms. Combier’s dedication to her job as a SWAT team member went way beyond the call of duty. While Mr. Callaghan made a mockery of the teachers, Ms. Combier was a source of comfort and ongoing support. She listened to their stories and often wiped their tears, of which there were many. Ms. Combier lent an ear to those who had no one to share their fears and concerns with. Most importantly, when she said she was going to do something, she did it. Whether it was making a follow up call, answering questions or researching information, Ms. Combier always came through. Long after Mr. Callaghan stopped showing up, Ms. Combier remains a pillar of strength for teachers like myself. Ms. Combier used her vast experience of observing 3020a hearings to help teachers who were desperately in need of advice. She was truly an excellent source of information as well as a comfort to us.
When this appeared on the wonderful blog FidgetyTeach, Francesco reacted. He asked the author of FidgetyTeach why she would write what she wrote, and when he was asked why he wanted to attack me, Francesco said, because Betsy used to work for the UFT!!! (So did Jim).
Then, a few days after the September 20 2015 meeting when the video was created and edited by Francesco, friendships and alliances fell apart between me and my friends and Francesco and people who follow him. Francesco manipulated parts of Jim Callaghan's speech in which it appeared that Randi Weingarten had called me a homophobe, to make it appear that Jim called me a homophobe instead. Randi and I spoke about this, and she assured me she never called me a homophobe, ever.
Here is the email I received from Jim about this:
"There wasn't the slightest hint in my speech that I considered you a homophobe.
Francesco wanted me slandered in front of his group, however, so he edited the video to make Jim look like he, Jim had said it. And when I asked Francesco to admit his error publicly, he told me absolutely not. Francesco vowed never to fix this, he said to me that I misconstrued what the meeting was about, and it wasnt about me. It was obvious to me that Francesco's motive was to slander me and destroy my character and reputation. All because I will not follow his rule to bully/slander and libel the "bad guys" ('proven' by him, of course)
Throughout his campaign, Francesco has shown a desire to destroy rather than build a coalition that would help anyone. The edited video proves that.