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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Francesco Portelos Makes a Bogus Request For a New Trial on His First Amendment Protected Speech at the IS 49 School Leadership Team

I love reading cases online. I go to PACER, the federal Court system very often, maybe several times a day or week. I'm not a lawyer, but I enjoy reading cases for 3020-a defenses. I looked up many of the cases presented by the Corporation Counsel to Bryan Glass and Judge DeArcy Hall in their Motion To Dismiss.
Judge LaShann M. DeArcy Hall

I do not understand why Francesco Portelos' Attorney, Bryan Glass is asking Judge DeArcy Hall for a new trial based upon the argument that Francesco's speech in the School Leadership Team meeting  (SLT) was protected by the First Amendment. It's not (in my non-lawyer opinion, of course).

Federal Court Judge George Daniels ruled in 2014, accepting the Magistrate Judge's ruling on the speech/SLT/First Amendment issue that Plaintiff Wazi Ullah's speech at the SLT was not protected. (p. 49) I am not a lawyer, but the Ullah case seems to be similar to the Portelos case, and the same request was made.

So, I don't see the value of Bryan Glass asking for a new trial in the case of Francesco Portelos, to get a jury to give Francesco money damages after speaking at the SLT? I don't get it. What's up, Bryan?

Waiting for your comment, as you must know better than me the case law. Please comment!

Chancellor, please fire Francesco Portelos. He is a cyber bully and a menace to schools, in my opinion. See the decision of Felice Busto, Arbitrator, in the 3020-a where Francesco Portelos was found guilty of many harassing, abusive acts:

Francesco Portelos' guilty verdict at 3020-a disciplinary 3020-a hearing

Also in my opinion, he does not belong in public education. His fingerprints are flagged at Human Resources, and he is not cleared to work with children outside of the Department of Education.

Thank you!

Betsy Combier

Here is my updated post on

Francesco Portelos: "A Troublemaking, Combative, and Disgruntled Employee", Loses His Federal Case by Editor Betsy Combier

I stopped by the trial of Francesco Portelos in Federal Court (the Eastern District, 225 Cadman Plaza E, Room 425N; Judge DeArcy Hall) on tuesday after my client's 3020-a ended early, and saw Francesco testify. He cried three times, because now that he is an ATR he cannot do per session, which he used to have 5 times every week and now he has to go straight home, and his family is suffering. Hmmmm. Wait - maybe I heard this testimony wrong, but I dont think so.

Victor Jordan, Lydia Howrilka, Lucio Celli, Francesco Portelos, Jonathan Hinesley, Al Leon

NEWS ALERT: Francesco Portelos Loses His Federal Case, Jury Says His Speech Was Not Protected and Gives No Damages

The City of New York submits a Bill for payment by Francesco Portelos

Francesco Portelos files for a new trial:
Memorandum of Law - New Trial

New York City Department of Education opposes

A quick review of cases filed in Federal Court against the NYC DOE shows that Judge Daniels already ordered, in 2014, and he agreed with Magistrate Michael H. Dolinger, that anything said at a School Leadership Team (SLT) is not protected by the First Amendment (p. 49)

In our opinion at and ADVOCATZ, Francesco Portelos should pay the penalty for filing a frivolous lawsuit and he should be fired from the NYC Department of Education for verbal abuse, harassment.

Betsy Combier
President, ADVOCATZ and The E-Accountability Foundation
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

Francesco Portelos: "A Troublemaking, Combative, and Disgruntled Employee", DOE Dismissed as Defendant
NYC Rubber Room Reporter, Betsy Combier, Editor

Bad lawyering missed the boat on getting whistleblower status and First Amendment protection for Francesco.

JURY Instructions

Francesco Portelos' Exhibits

Trial Verdict


UPDATE: Judge Hall took the New York City Department of Education out of the Portelos Complaint on Friday, so the DOE is out of any consideration by the jury:

DOE dropped as a defendant in 'rubber room' teacher case

I stopped by the trial of Francesco Portelos in Federal Court (the Eastern District, 225 Cadman Plaza E, Room 425N; Judge DeArcy Hall) on tuesday after my client's 3020-a ended early, and saw Francesco testify. He cried three times, because now that he is an ATR he cannot do per session, which he used to have 5 times every week and now he has to go straight home, and his family is suffering. Hmmmm..

Wait - maybe I heard this testimony wrong, but I dont think so.

Francesco was asked what charges were sustained by Arbitrator Felice Busto after his 3020-a. He could not remember hardly any of them. I dont understand why Bryan would ask that question, but I'm not a lawyer, so my post on my website, the charges which were sustained are all there:

EDITORIAL: Cyberstalker Francesco Portelos and His Blame Game Must Be Stopped

Francesco is no whistleblower:

If you go to the UFT website, you will see that there is a page called "Whistleblower Protection".

"Whistleblower Protection"

The city whistleblower law prohibits any “adverse personnel action” (dismissal, suspension, discipline, “U” rating, denial of assignment without justification) against you in retaliation for you making a report about the conduct of a DOE officer or employee that you believe presents “substantial and specific risk of harm to the health, safety or educational welfare of a child” in a DOE school to any of the following: the public advocate, Department of Investigations (DOI), the city comptroller, the head of OSI, a city council member, the mayor, the chancellor, or a deputy chancellor. The law does not cover you from any retaliation that results from a report you make to anyone other than those listed above, including your principal, assistant principal or chairman.
If you believe you have been retaliated against for “blowing the whistle,” you should report it to the DOI and your UFT borough office. DOI has authorized the head of SCI to investigate all allegations of retaliation. If SCI finds that there has been retaliation, it will inform the chancellor and make recommendations for remedying the situation. If the chancellor does not act on the recommendations, the case will be forwarded to the mayor. The case will also become part of the DOE’s annual report to the city council.
There are also other laws that protect certain whistleblowers in specific situations. Any conduct you believe should be reported should also be reported to your district representative so that the union can help you."

As I was told by a knowledgeable source in 2000, "There is always retaliation"
Therefore, if you see something and want to say something, come up with a plan, first.

Here are some suggestions:

If you see an employee abusing a child in any physical way - hitting, pushing, kicking, touching in a sexual manner, or any other obviously potentially criminal act - report the employee to the police, after writing an exact statement of what you saw, with time/date/place/people involved. Better yet, try to get a video or at least an audio recording of what happened. Take this to the police and file a police report. Call the parent. Send an email to the DOI and the UFT. Then let the principal know (unless the abuse is being done by the principal or AP).

Watching the trial on tuesday, what was most shocking to me was the terrible performance of Francesco's Attorney Bryan Glass. He could not ask a question in the right way, and the Judge often had to do sidebars with the attorneys. It looks to me like Bryan was not listening to her. I have heard thatat least three teachers have filed complaints against Mr. Glass as well as his Associate Jordan Harlow with the Departmental Disciplinary Committee.

As many readers of this blog know, I have been attacked, defamed and harassed by Francesco and his cult followers Lucio Celli, Christina Vickers, Jonathan Hinseley, Lydia Howrilka, Danielle Kushner, Victor Jordan, Bob Provenza - so what, you say? Many readers might say, "...that's your problem, too bad. Glad its not me."

Another Francesco follower - whom I have never met, Christina Vickers: "you are, in fact, an evil f..king c.nt. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with that statement"

and Lucio Celli told the EEOC to put me, his former attorney Steve Morelli, and PERB ALJ Blassman as Defendants in his EEOC Complaint:
Lucio email May 10 2016

What I'm saying is, it's me now, even though all I did was ask Francesco to take down a video where I was called a "homophobe", but it could be you next time. In my opinion, revenge and retaliation is what Francesco, Lucio, and the others in their crew are all about, folks. Francesco wants you to do what he wants, or else.

Francesco Portelos and His "Victim Complex"

See Lucio Celli's emails copied in a post on this blog, where he is after Judge Blassman (PERB ALJ), former General Counsel Courtenaye Jackson-Chase, NYSUT Attorney Kathy Battle, UFT Rep. Mary Atkinson, and of course, me:
Lucio Celli emails
More Lucio Celli emails
Email to the EEOC from Lucio's NYC DOE email account
Lucio Celli's Amended Complaint filed behind the back of his attorney

As I posted in my article about former DOE Attorney Ian Nikol, Courtenaye Jackson-Chase helped me get the settlement for Yolanda Walker, my fearless teacher friend, and for her help I am forever grateful. Yolanda died October 11, 2015. Courtenaye also helped me get former Voyages Principal Joan Klingsberg's job back after Joan was terminated. Why she did not tell the truth to Lucio, I dont know. But her lie gave Lucio and Francesco the right to start their cyberbullying and harassment of Courtenaye, as you can see from the emails sent out posted above. These emails are only a small portion of the emails which were sent by these two and their crew.

For the record, I am not working with either Jonathan Tand or Steve Morelli on Lucio's case, and never have done so.

Francesco Portelos attacked through anonymous emails every principal in town on his defamatory website His mission is to threaten any principal who gets an anonymous negative comment:

"“Issues at Your School” – An email no NYC principal wants to receive
AUGUST 4, 2015
Turning the tables. That’s what progressive caucus UFT Solidarity began to do when members contact us that they are under warrantless attack. For almost a decade NYC DOE administrators had unfettered power to destroy careers. Problem with a teacher who grieves contractual violations or want to get rid of a pesky chapter leader? No problem. All a principal had to do was start building a paper trail of trumped up charges and fraudulent observations. Sometimes a simple phone call to the DOE’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) would do the trick. The teacher would be removed for months or years without knowing why they were removed. That’s if they were tenured. If not, the would be discontinued and out in a few days. The union? The UFT has been absent in thwarting attacks against members and sometimes is actually involved in helping the members get railroaded See (UPDATED) Bizarre Behavior Coming from Queens UFT Office.So what is a member under attack to do? Well, luckily we live in the age of technology and have come up with some tools to fight back. This is how it works, and it does work. (Not all the time but it’s getting better.)
At UFT Solidarity, we have collaborated on an email we send to administrators who are bullying and harassing our members. The email is written in a way where we let the administrator know that the members in their school and not sitting ducks and will have support. We let the administrator know that we are educating their staff on how to fight back and encourage them to support and not continue their attacks. What we hope, or assume, happens is that that the administrator sends it to their superintendent and DOE lawyers. In turn we hope that the superintendent and lawyers respond to the administrator with something like this:
“Oh no. We have seen these before and it can get ugly. Expect there to be Freedom of Information Law requests on your records such as time cards, financial records and emails. They even obtain video surveillance footage. Your staff is probably already secretly recording you. Expect stories of you to be added to social media with comments being added by staff, students and parents. You will be added to their Administrator’s in Need of Improvement (ANOI) list online if you have not been Expect them to launch investigations on anything you have done that violates a chancellor’s regulation, policy or law. Investigators will be coming. Finally, expect a group of their members and your staff and students, albeit small, to be outside your school with flyers and signs. If you have not bought a Costco size bottle of Tylenol, then we suggest you do that.”
At least that is what we hope the lawyers tell the administrator and they second guess their future actions.
The Email:
Principal X,

Unfortunately your school has come to the attention of our teacher advocacy group. Apparently there are allegations of harassment and unwarranted attacks on educators at your school. As you could imagine, an atmosphere of workplace bullying and harassment is not conducive to a nurturing learning environment for our students.
Just as a courtesy, we are letting you know that we are educating your staff members with information on how to defend their careers so they may continue to instruct and nurture students to their fullest potential. Those tools can be in the form of legally audio recording, using the Freedom of Information Law to obtain information necessary to prove their allegations against you, organizing rallies and creating various social media articles.
Perhaps your best recourse would be to speak with the superintendent, your senior field counsel and Borough Support Center representative, to figure out ways to support educators rather than treading on their careers.
Thank you.
UFT Solidarity
“Building a stronger union.”
If you don’t believe me, then you can perform an internet search on many of the administrators we have listed on our ANOI list. You can ask Principal Micheaux and AP Martinez of the Bronx. Ask Principal Adonna McFarland or Principal Namita Dwarka. Our list is over 100. Namita Dwarka and her school has been on the cover of the NY Post the last three days. The brave people responsible are UFT Solidarity members and supporters who have been following our playbook.
Also see our campaign page as our team and platform are growing. For this reason I have not been able to blog much here. My time has been spent building and organizing with great educator activists and enjoying time with my family. My sleeves are rolled up and we are ready to increase our work this September. Our ATR Alliance group is also growing and becoming more knowledgeable. A similar letter is being drafted for ATR Field Supervisors.
As we delve deeper into the UFT 2016 campaign season, expect more push back in more schools. We will bring positive change one way or another. Improving the classroom settings will improve the classroom learning.
UFT Solidarity - "Building a Stronger Union."
Join us on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter:

Here is the link

What is alarming about this? Francesco does not care if the derogatory anonymous comments are true or not true.

This group of public school teachers believe that anything they say about a person is ok, and they will lie about anyone. This is unbecoming a teacher and they must be held accountable. In my opinion, all of the people associated with Francesco should be charged with 3020-a if they are tenured, or discontinued if not tenured, like Lydia Ann Howrilka.

After I put up my blog post
"Francesco Portelos and NY State Tenure Law" I received a call from a friend of both Francesco and I, who told me that Francesco asked her to ask me to take my post down, because he never said anything that was on my blog.

Not true!!!! He has directly, recklessly, maliciously and without any right, lied and defamed me. He has sent my picture out and told people I am a thief, a homophobe, and a liar.

Then, on August 9, 2016, a day after his jury was picked, Francesco sent a friend of mine and blogger the following:

From: Francesco Portelos
To: Fidget Teach
Sent: Tue, Aug 9, 2016 7:40 am
Subject: Laurie

Hi Laurie,
I hope all is well. I'm asking nicely that you remove this defamatory and unnecessary blog post from your site please. Thank you.
Francesco A. Portelos
UFT Solidarity Caucus
"The foundation of every state is the education of its youth." -
Greek Philosopher Diogenes

She refused. She wrote her opinion of Francesco, as she can, and should.

Here are my other posts about Francesco Portelos, and comments:

The Francesco Mob: Who Are They?

The UFT Solidarity Brand is Not What UFT Members Need

Francesco Portelos said...
Hopefully everyone can see through your lie filled rants. I know most do. Did you tell everyone how Randi Weingarten gave you her cell number before you launched your smear campaign?
November 18, 2015 at 7:26 AM
Anonymous said...
I am a former parent at IS 49. When my child was at the school my wife and I heard all the gory details about the Principal and we want to say that we were more concerned about the teacher turned terrorist Francesco Portelos than we were about the finances of Hill. Parents were frightened to speak about Portelos and we all despised him. He used his computer to break into any confidential record of anyone. Including the children with IEP. Ms. Hill was on to him way before he went after her. And the way that Portelos went after the chapter leader Mr. Candia was scary - I mean, getting Candia's girlfriend in trouble soley to retaliate against him? Portelos jeopardized the safety of everyone in the school. The names and faces of each and every teacher who follows this guy should be memorized so that they all are removed from the classrooms. Please.
November 19, 2015 at 6:34 AM

Anonymous said...
Portelos is a very dangerous .
November 19, 2015 at 6:47 AM

Anonymous said...
Why would anyone want Portelos in their school, or any of his gang? Watch out for them.
November 19, 2015 at 6:50 AM

Anonymous said...
There is no limit to Francesco's wrecklessness.
He inflates numbers about supporters.
He tenaciously pesters people for political support.
He divulges email confidences if things go the slightest bit sour.
He shares screen captures of text message dialogues.
This guy should not be active with other teachers as his actions put their confidentiality at risk.
The notion of this guy having any position in the UFT is very unsettling. Therefore, people should put Francesco Portelos' UFT Solidarity out of their minds.

Below is the report on Francesco's cross-examination yesterday, August 17, 2016.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, The NYC Public Voice

By Mira Wassef |

on August 17, 2016 at 8:28 PM, updated August 17, 2016 at 8:48 PM

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Staten Island teacher exiled to a "rubber room" was portrayed as a troublemaking, combative and disgruntled employee who defied orders from his superior, the defense argued during trial proceedings Wednesday in Brooklyn Federal Court.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Jessica Giambrone aggressively questioned Francesco Portelos' character, credibility and behavior during his tumultuous tenure at the Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton.
Portelos, a Rosebank resident, is suing the Department of Education and then-Principal Linda Hill for allegedly violating his civil rights, claiming they made up disciplinary charges as retaliation for him exposing Hill's overtime abuses.
First, the defense claims, Portelos secretly recorded conversations and an altercation with two members of the school staff. In January 2012, Giambrone said, Portelos got into a heated verbal disagreement with another teacher and the two exchanged profanities. But, without the teacher knowing, Portelos had recorded the roughly 17-minute altercation.
He also recorded the subsequent meeting with Hill and the other two staffers. Hill, now retired, cited him for using the word "F---" during the disagreement.
Portelos' response, Giambrone claimed, was, "I wouldn't use f--- as a noun."
He testified that he was the only one disciplined for the altercation.
He then posted about 60 seconds of the fight on the Internet, the defense lawyersaid.
In April 2012, Giambrone argued the plaintiff recorded a female assistant principal allegedly inappropriately touching a child in the school.
"I took the video because there was a history of her improperly touching a child," Portelos testified.
He then published certain portions of that video on YouTube and the Staten Island Advance website during the investigation into those allegations, she claimed.
"I digitally altered the girl in the video so you couldn't tell who she was and altered her voice," Portelos admitted on the stand. "I didn't know how to submit video (to DOE) because I was in hot water, so someone submitted it for me. I resubmitted it again, but still the assistant principal wasn't reassigned."
The defense also contends that Portelos repeatedly ignored Hill's order to refrain from emailing the school staff without prior permission. He would send emailssaying, "my name has been dragged in the mud" and whoever made complaints about him should retract them and he may "show mercy."
But, Portelos contends he was permitted to email union members at I.S. 49.
After the plaintiff ignored Hill's request, she disabled his access to the school's website,, the defense said. The former tech teacher, Giambrone said, then disabled Hill's administrative access to the site.
Portelos had the rights to the site and Hill had asked him to turn it over to her, but he refused.
After consulting with a lawyer, Portelos said he was concerned about liability and privacy issues.
Hill then ordered him to shut it down, and he did.
In 2012, Portelos was removed from I.S. 49 and reassigned, but still remained involved in school affairs.
Giambrone revealed that Portelos bought the domain rights to another school website that had previously expired, and forwarded the traffic from that site to a new website he created, which was named after the street where Dreyfus is located.
Portelos was sent to a Far Rockaway campus, where he worked in a storage room -- the rubber room -- in the basement that had two windows. There, he started a blog where he documented his experience doing absolutely nothing for one year while collecting his teaching salary.
Portelos faced 38 termination charges from the DOE, but an arbitrator dismissed most of them, fined him $10,000 and ordered he return to the classroom.

The trial resumes Thursday.