|Betsy Combier and NYSUT Attorney Chris Callagy|
by Betsy Combier, Editor, Parentadvocates.org and NYC Rubber Room Reporter
I could not believe my eyes when I saw Phil Nobile's lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court. I met Phil in the rubber Room at 25 Chapel Street, after my friends Polo Colon and David Pakter sneaked me in to talk with the teachers about their re-assignment. I started visiting this rubber room in 2004, but met Phil around 2007.
When you meet Philip Nobile you see that he is a fighter
He spoke at the Panel For Educational Policy (2015)
See my posted articles about Philip Nobile
Principals Pressure Teachers To Cheat in New York City
UFT President Randi Weingarten Wants Whistleblower Protection For Teachers
Changing Grades and Cheating in NYC: The Saga of Lies at Cobble Hill School of American Studies and Current Chancellor of the NYC DOE Carmen Farina by Philip Nobile 5/21/2015
Update on Retaliation Against All Whistleblowers is The Name of the Illegal Game In New York City 8/15/2012
Brooklyn Local Superintendent and Principal Allegedly Cheated on Regents Tests, Then Vindicated After a Second Investigation 7/1/2005
Retaliation Against All Whistleblowers is the Name of the Illegal Game in New York City
Phil was found guilty of misconduct after a 3020-a in 2010.
So when I saw that he agreed to give up the fight on October 7, 2016, and sign a stipulation that he would irrevocably retire after his NYSUT Attorney Chris Callagy and NYC Department of Education offered a deal, I did not believe it. What happened, I don't know. I know his Attorney Chris Callagy well, having sat in 3020-a Arbitration hearings with him as an observer since about 2004. Chris has a cult following of UFT members who consider him the best of all the NYSUT Attorneys. He is very smart and charming, but never would I believe that Phil Nobile would cave to Chris' charms and give up the fight to stay working for the DOE, if that is indeed what happened.
My guess is that Phil was convinced he would be terminated by Arbitrator Mary O'Connell and he would rather retire under charges and have his teaching certificate permanently removed, than be fired. His Specifications are harsh, but he should never have agreed to irrevocably retire. He will never be able to sue the Department or fight any untruths in these charges. Also, getting the Department to agree to undo a signed stipulation is like telling someone we are going to do root canals on all your teeth without anesthesia.
I have been successful in getting a teacher's case back onto the calendar after the charged teacher signed a settlement to resign, so it can be done. Just not the way that Phil did it, in my opinion.
I have spoken about this giving up, and have written on my blogs about how a person who gives up and does not fight 3020-a charges will forever be guilty of the charges. And a Stipulation always prohibits the charged party from suing after signing. Therefore, if you sign a stipulation to resign or retire under charges, you will never work for the Department or any of its' vendors again. Your signing the agreement states that you give up your right to fight, and you are guilty.
Here is Phil's Stipulation of Settlement.
Evidently as soon as he thought about what he had done, Phil decided it was not the right move, and he immediately contacted Chris Callagy the Tuesday following (next business day, Monday was a holiday) to rescind his agreement and move forward to a full hearing.
The Department said no way, despite an email from the Director of NYSUT's New York Office Claude Hersh, the AFFIDAVIT of Phil, and of Chris Callagy. No reason was given.
Phil hired lawyer Leonard Shrier to pursue getting the 3020-a hearing back onto the calendar. Shrier filed the Complaint on or about January 27, 2017.
Shrier states in the Complaint that a Verified Notice of Claim was filed on January 20, 2017. This means that Shrier filed the Complaint a week later, violating the rule that anybody who sues after filing a Notice of Claim must wait 30 days:
On the New York State Court website:
After you have notified the City of the claim and obtained a number, you must wait 30 days to allow the City time to review your claim and perhaps settle with you. After the waiting period, you may start an action in Court. However, the action must be started within one year and ninety days of the time of the loss, damage or injury for the above agencies. Even though the Claim Number comes from the Comptroller, the Defendant who is being sued is: City of New York, Attn: Corporation Counsel, 100 Church St., 5 Fl., New York, NY 10007
I'm not a lawyer, but I read the law. What happened, Mr. Shrier? The Corporation Counsel did not bring that up in her Motion To Dismiss, papers - see here and here as well - so maybe the judge will ignore the violation of the 30-day rule. Shrier also inexplicably gave Superintendent Karen Watts another name in the caption - Karen "Scott". He apologized to the Court, said he would amend the Complaint with the right name. Hope so!
The issue here is, when do you give up a fight to save your job?
I think a deal can be signed if:
1. You are guilty as charged.
2. You are ready to retire, you will get full pension benefits, and you do not mind your NY State Certification being taken away from you, permanently.
3. you are moving out of State and have another position.
If #1-3 do not apply to you, then I would not think if resigning or retiring and letting the DOE change my career without my consent.
Phil? What happened?
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials