Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Monday, August 22, 2022

Ex-Principal Convicted of Fraud Gets a Sweetheart Deal From The NYC Department of Education


The Department of Education transferred former high school principal Oneatha Swinton to a high paying administrative position following her insurance scam arrest.                                                                    J.C. Rice

Following up on my prior thoughts, where I said "This is a huge step for an agency that never admits they did anything wrong," in the NY POST Article on the 82 teachers and CSA members who were placed back on salary after being ordered by a Judge in the NY Supreme Court, another sign of this is the policy of ignoring fraud and crimes of Principals and other higher-ups at the DOE by giving the miscreants another position at a higher salary.

See the stories about Santiago Taveras, for instance.

The Career of Santiago ("Santi") Taveras Comes Hopefully To A Crashing Stop

He now has an administrative position at the DOE.

Actually, let me be honest here. We subpoenaed him to testify at a 3020-a arbitration several years ago, and I can say that he was a terrific witness for my client. I found him to be charismatic and very knowledgeable.

I cannot say the same for horrific "Gangsta Principal" Anissa Reilly-Chalmers:

OSI substantiated in their report (OSI Case #12-5472, dated November 25, 2013) that  Anissa Chalmers, now Anissa Reilly, threatened staff :

"....confirmed that, because 'a large percentage of the staff did not support her,' during a faculty conference, Principal Chalmers told her staff, en masse, that "if she went down, everyone [would] go down with [her] substantiated." Investigator Manuel Lassalatta was on the case, and the report was signed and approved by OSI Director Candace McLaren and Mr. Lassalatta;

other substantiated charges were: Chalmers violated Chancellor's Regulation A-660 by authorizing the expenditure of Title 1 Parent Involvement funds without obtaining proper PA membership approval; she violated Chancellor's Regulation A-610 by allowing parents and a parent of a former student to sell snacks without her written authorization; she violated Chancellor's Regulation A-812 by allowing parents and a parent of a former student to sell approved and unapproved food items inside the cafeteria on a daily basis; and she committed employee misconduct by allowing people who are neither staff members nor relatives of current X132 students, and who never passed OPI background checks, to sell snacks to students inside X132 on a regular basis."

 Superintendent Dolores Esposito determined that Principal Chalmers-Reilly's punishment would be a letter to file.

Ms. Reilly decided she wanted to be an actress, and made a disgusting video called "Gang Girl" that was sold for $5 by the elementary school kids in her school across the street from the school. I bought a copy to give the arbitrator at the 3020-a hearing for a teacher accused of threatening Reilly. The 3020-a case was won not because of the Gang Girl video, however, but on the basis of the secret audio recording of Principal Chalmers threatening the accused teacher and screaming at this teacher that she would be punished. 

I believe that this shows, beyond a shadow of doubt, the unfair disparate treatment that teachers must deal with as opposed to principals and/or Superintendents inside the NYC Department of Education. Teachers, parents, staff cannot make the DOE "look bad" at any time, for any reason. 

The reason? The NYC DOE never admits they did anything wrong.
See here:

NYC principals booted from schools still rake in big pay and benefits


Maspeth HS Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir is Removed For Grade-Fixing and Other Charges of Academic Misconduct

Former Staten Island principal Oneatha Swinton started a fashion brand as a side job.
@obydezign / Instagram

Bronx school principal’s movie role as gun-slinging gangsta alarms parents (

  • Last Updated: 5:26 AM, March 17, 2013
  • Posted: 11:45 PM, March 16, 2013

Principal of violent Bronx elementary school moonlighted as murderous gangster in foul-mouthed B-grade movie

New York school principal’s movie role as gangsta angers parents

Ex-principal gets $187K DOE gig despite ‘pattern of dishonesty’

A city principal convicted of car insurance fraud kept her employment with the Department of Education – and even got a fat raise – despite what school investigators called her “pattern of dishonesty.”

The DOE gave Oneatha Swinton, the former acting principal of Port Richmond High school in Staten Island, a sweetheart deal to stay on despite the criminal rap along with findings that she improperly funneled $100,000 in school funds to a vendor, and “failed to safeguard” 600 DOE computers, printers and laptops which vanished under her watch.

Instead of terminating Swinton, 43, as recommended by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, the DOE gave her an unspecified place in its Office of Safety and Youth Development with a $187,000 salary plus health and pension benefits — $25,000 more than she made when arrested in 2018 for insurance fraud. Officials refused to give a title or description of her new gig.

Swinton even found the time to launch her own splashy fashion brand, ObyDezign, but took down the website after being contacted by The Post.

Her good fortune comes as Chancellor David Banks has vowed to sweep away needless bureaucrats and plow more money into cash-starved schools.

Parent leaders are dumbfounded.

“Why would you continue to A) trust her and B) put her in charge of any sort of student development? Who does she know?” asked Ellen McHugh, co-president of the Citywide Council on Special Education.

The Post revealed Swinton’s insurance scam in November 2017. Seven months later the DOE removed her to a disciplinary “rubber room.” Originally charged with six felony counts, she pleaded guilty in December 2018 to registering two Lexus SUVs in Pennsylvania to avoid New York’s high insurance rates. She was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $6,200 in restitution plus an $800 fine.

Swinton joined Port Richmond as its interim principal in June 2017, after serving as principal at John Jay School for Law in Brooklyn since 2010.

The SCI found that Swinton, at John Jay, paid a total $100,000 in split payments — which was against purchasing rules — to Tanya John, a DOE vendor and ex-principal in the Bronx, according to an SCI report released to The Post under the Freedom of Information Law. The money was reportedly spent on “Saturday retreats” and overnight college trips, investigators say.

It was John’s East Stroudsburg, PA, home that Swinton fraudulently listed on her driver’s license and registration, the Pennsylvania Attorney General charged.

The SCI also found Swinton failed to inventory more than 600 DOE computers, laptops and printers during her tenure at John Jay HS. All the devices went missing.

“Swinton’s actions show a principal’s disregard for DOE rules and procedures and demonstrate a pattern of dishonesty,” Special Commissioner Anastasia Coleman wrote in her January 2020 report to then-Chancellor Carranza, recommending her dismissal.

Officials would not explain why Swinton — who led an anti-police march through the halls of John Jay and angered some Port Richmond parents by kicking cops out of the Staten Island school – was placed in an office that serves as a liaison with the NYPD.

A source said Swinton attended a Zoom training session last November, speaking little but making a big impression with her “crazy hat.”

Swinton posts photos of herself in large, brightly colored hats on her Instagram page.

“I am an ever evolving creative being open to learning and growing from everything around me,” she declared in a July 8 post.

“All this, and they reward her? Unbelievable,” said Annette Renaud, a former PTA president at John Jay HS. “It’s corrupt.”

“’It’s people in power saying ‘rules for thee but not for me,’” said Joann Nellis, Port Richmond’s former PTA president.

Swinton did not respond to requests for comment.

The principals’ union, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, fights to save the jobs of members accused of misconduct. CSA spokesman Craig DiFolco said in a statement, “Oneatha Swinton is a proven school leader and has been effectively performing as a supervisor for the Office of Safety and Youth Development since the DOE appointed her to that role.” He would not elaborate.

Chancellor Banks had no comment. The Swinton deal follows another controversial agreement to keep former Maspeth High School principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir, also making $187,000, on the payroll for seven years at an unspecified desk after his removal for academic fraud.