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Sunday, March 31, 2019

The More Reports Made of NYC DOE Wrongdoing, The Less the Special Commissioner Investigated What Happened

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference at PS 130 on March 11, 2019.
(Jeff Bachner/for New York Daily News)
Now that is an interesting new fact about SCI: more reports mean less investigations.
SCI has long been ridiculed as an investigative agency, so maybe this is a good thing but wait....who is taking on the work?
Oh yes, I forgot. No one.
Just another fun fact about the most corrupt education department in the USA, or maybe the world.

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials

 More reports of wrongdoing in NYC schools, but fewer probes opened in 2018

The city’s embattled special commissioner of investigation, which probes waste and wrongdoing in city schools, said Friday it opened far fewer cases in 2018 despite receiving far more reports of malfeasance.
The office received 6,813 complaints of wrongdoing by school staffers in 2018, up from 6,277 in 2017 and 5,287 in 2014, the year Mayor de Blasio took office, according to the report.
But despite the rise in complaints — about such things as teachers having inappropriate relationships with students — the agency opened just 502 cases in 2018, down from 739 cases in 2017.
A spokeswoman for the special commissioner’s office said fewer cases were opened because more were referred to other agencies, including the Department of Education itself.
The spokeswoman said the change in policy was intended to boost efficiency and improve the city’s ability to probe alleged wrongdoing in prekindergarten classes.
The statistics were included in an annual report released by the special commissioner’s office, which is tasked with oversight of the DOE — an agency with a $32 billion annual budget that serves more than 1 million students. The report was just five pages long.
City council members are not pleased with the reduction in special commissioner’s caseload — or the lack of detail in its annual report.
“There are over 32 billion reasons why SCI’s annual report should be more than five pages," said Councilman mark Treyger, who chairs the Education Committee.
"And in addition to the fact that they have opened and completed fewer cases than in years past, I still see no evidence in this five-page report of any systemic, proactive investigations to root out waste, fraud and corruption in the largest department in the City of New York,” Treyger said.
Treyger and Councilman Ritchie Torres, chair of the investigations committee, said they’d hold hearings on the office’s work.
“An office that historically has been shrouded in secrecy is about to face real oversight from the City Council,” Torres said. The Special Commissioner’s office was caught up in a swirl of controversy last year.
Ex-Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters carried out an unauthorized takeover of the agency, and fired Special Investigator Anastasia Coleman.
Peters himself ended up fired by the end of the year — and Coleman, who filed a whistleblower complaint, got her job back.
Torres said the declining output of the office and the lack of systemic investigations shows there was some logic Peters’ effort to bring the office further under DOI’s umbrella, Torres said.
“He was found to be wrong on the law, but he was right on the policy — SCI operating on its own has led to real questions about its performance,“ Torres said. “I suspect SCI would function more effectively were it to be more integrated into DOI at large.”