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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Can You Lie on a Job Application? No...But Read The Fine Print


Jessica Bader
When a stellar employee is charged with actions he/she did not do, and a judge or arbitrator finds the individual guilty as charged without any evidence, should they be punished forever?

Or, should an educator who makes a bad mistake be prohibited from ever working again?

I think not.

Having studied the transcripts and/or worked on more than 300 Ed. Law Section 3020-a arbitration cases, I can say unequivocally that many - even most - people charged with 3020-a charges throughout New York State have been treated unfairly by procedures that deprived them of due process and resulted in a punishment they did not deserve. I'm talking about employees who have received $500.00 fines and those who have been terminated. It doesn't matter, yet it should.

When any of these folk search for another job, they will be told to fill out an application. In this application are questions such as:

1. "Have you ever been charged with misconduct"?

2. "Have you ever been arrested?"

and other similar inquiries into your past employment and personal history.

What if a jealous boyfriend or ex-wife makes up that you abused him/her, which has no truth to it?

You can cry all you want. The form you have to fill out has a box to check "yes" or "no". There is no room to explain. The form wont hear you.

I don't think that is fair.

Therefore, in the case posted here concerning Jessica Bader, I believe she deserves to be seen in a new light, and given a chance to prove herself without being prosecuted all over again in the media.

Whenever one of my clients receives an unfair/excessive punishment, I always am ready and willing to support them in their job search. They almost always get a new job, with new responsibilities that free them from the bad stuff. Everything happens for a reason, and anyone can do better and be better.

Just sayin...

Betsy Combier

Jessica Bader, ex-James H. Vernon School principal, charged with falsifying employment applications

By Michael O'Keeffe and Dandan,

The former principal of James H. Vernon School, whose teaching certificate was suspended for four years for engaging in what officials called an inappropriate relationship with a student, was charged Monday in Nassau County District Court with falsifying employment applications submitted to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District.

Jessica Bader, 52, falsely answered “no” on applications that asked if she had ever resigned from a position as an alternative to charges or termination, according to Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

Bader, of Nesconset, also falsely answered “no” when asked if the applicant’s professional certificate had ever been suspended by a government agency, Donnelly said. Bader, previously known as Jessica Zimbler, pleaded not guilty Monday at an arraignment before Nassau District Court Judge Jaclene Agazarian.

Bader is charged with three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and three counts of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

She was released on her own recognizance and was ordered to return to court on April 11. If convicted, Bader faces up to 1 1/3 to four years in prison.

Bader, an English teacher at East Meadow High School from 1999 to 2005, was asked to resign or face disciplinary action for engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student, Donnelly said. The New York State Department of Education suspended Bader’s teaching certificate for four years in December 2007.

Bader’s attorney, Joseph Carbone, of Farmingdale, said the suspension resulted from a kiss between his client and an 18-year-old, when Bader was in her early 30s.

Nassau prosecutors said she checked “no” when she applied for a position as the director of humanities at Oyster Bay-East Norwich schools in 2022, and later as principal at the third-grade to six-grade Vernon School in 2023.

Carbone said she responded “no” because a former lawyer told her the suspension would be expunged from her professional record.

Carbone said kissing the student was “inappropriate” but argued Bader had served her suspension and has excelled as an educator throughout her career. He said the criminal charges will make it difficult for her to find work as a teacher or administrator and are vastly disproportionate to the accused's alleged infractions.

“She has already been punished pretty severely,” said Carbone.

Bader worked at schools in Brooklyn and Queens after her teaching certificate was reinstated. She served as an assistant principal at a Queens middle school.

A spokeswoman for Oyster Bay-East Norwich schools declined to comment on the charges filed against Bader.

In October, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Superintendent Francesco Ianni made a Part 83 referral to the state Education Department’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability, alleging Bader “has committed acts that raise a reasonable question as to her moral character based on Ms. Bader’s material misrepresentation of employment history,” Ianni wrote in a complaint.

Newsday obtained the complaint through a Freedom of Information Law request.

A state Department of Education official said the department could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into the matter.

Under Part 83 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the state investigates allegations of lack of “good moral character” lodged against certified educators to determine whether the educator has the “good moral character” to retain the certificate.

Ianni did not specify how he found out but wrote it “came to my attention” that Bader had worked at another district, namely East Meadow.

“Upon hearing of the information in September, I met with Ms. Bader and she stated that her license was suspended after resigning from a previous district and admitted that she was not truthful in her past employment history, including but not limited to her license being suspended,” he wrote.

Bader submitted her resignation as principal of the Vernon School on Sept. 27. The next day, Ianni wrote to the community that Bader “will be away from the building for some time."

The school board approved her resignation on Oct. 10. At that time, Ianni did not give further explanation other than to say that it “had nothing to do with any issue with our students or staff” and that the district relied on “the applicant's truthfulness in providing the required information for the posted position.”

Ianni made the Part 83 referral on Oct. 20.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Husband of Queens High School Superintendent Josephine Van Ess Makes a Nice Profit As a Vendor For the NYC Department of Education

The $650 suits sold by The Modern Day Man program, come in bright colors.Instagram @thenewportschool

From Betsy Combier, Editor: 

If corruption and fraud is your interest, the New York City Department of Education is a delight. 

I am always so amazed that Chancellor Banks and Mayor Adams believe that "mayoral control" means "take all the money, or as much as you want or think you can take without anyone coming after you". For the 2024 school year, that amount is about $37.5 billion. Of course, this includes making sure your friends and family get rich too.

 Just sayin...

Betsy Combier

NYC school chief’s husband is DOE vendor selling mentorship program with flashy $650 suits for kids

by Susan Edelman, NY POST, April 20, 2024

The husband of a Queens school chief is being paid tens of thousands in taxpayer dollars to provide a mentoring program for boys that includes the purchase of flashy $650 suits, The Post has learned.

The arrangement, which has the blessing of Chancellor David Banks, financially benefits Queens South High School superintendent Josephine Van Ess, and reeks of cronyism, critics say.

Ed Van Ess is married to Queens South High School Superintendent Josephine Van Ess.Facebook Ed VanEss

Edward Van Ess, the superintendent’s husband, is co-founder and co-owner of “The Modern Day Man,” a for-profit company, with business partner and fashion designer Ilbert Sanchez.

The company, which also does business as “Excellence in Every Thread,” has been hired so far by at least 10 mostly elementary and middle schools — six in the high-poverty Brooklyn district where Josephine Van Ess used to work as deputy superintendent.

It has collected $221,750 in Department of Education funds — all but $5,000 paid out in the past five months, records show. 

Van Ess and Sanchez charge schools $16,000 to lead six weekly sessions for boys meant to build self-esteem, and guide them toward personal and career success.

Optional “add-ons” include field trips costing $2,500 and $1,500 each for sessions on topics such as substance abuse and financial literacy.

The program also provides “custom” suits tailored by Sanchez’s primary business, “Garcon Couture.” 

The fitted suits — priced at $650 each — come in bright colors like purple and magenta.

“It’s unacceptable,” a Brooklyn principal said. “We have children in shelters and temporary housing who need basic necessities and everyday clothing  — not pricey pimp suits.”

The DOE refused to explain whether the schools or the students’ families pay for the suits.

Neither are “required to purchase suits to participate,” said spokeswoman Chyann Tull.

“Suit purchases are an optional service that the vendors provide.”

After The Post inquired about the program on Friday, the price list was deleted from the company website.

The City Charter requires that any full-time city employee with an ownership interest in a company doing business with the city either relinquish it or disclose it to the Conflicts of Interest Board.

Banks sent a letter to the COIB on July 10, asking the board to grant Josephine Van Ess, who makes $205,000 a year, a waiver to retain her “imputed ownership interest” in her husband’s company.  He owns 50%.

Businessman Edward Van Ess and his wife Josephine Van Ess, superintendent of Queens South high schools. [Facebook Ed Van Ess]

The Van Ess business “does not conflict with the purposes and interests of the City,” Banks told the COIB.

The chancellor also noted the company is a registered “Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise.” Mayor Adams and Banks have made the hiring of Black- and women-owned vendors a priority.

The COIB granted a waiver on July 31, but set several conditions that bar Josephine Van Ess from any involvement in her husband’s company or in any DOE discussion or decision concerning the company.

The company agreed not to “solicit or do business” with schools in Districts 27, 28, and 29, which she now oversees in southern Queens, but it “seeks to pursue and perform work for all other DOE schools,” the COIB waiver states.

Josephine Van Ess supervised six of the 10 schools that have hired her husband’s company in Brownsville’s District 23 when she worked as a deputy superintendent for nearly three years before Banks promoted her in June 2022.

She has many contacts there.

The current superintendent, Khalek Kirkland, extolled the Modern Day Man program on X this month.

Van Ess was hired by then-District 23 Superintendent Miatheresa Pate, now a chief of school support, who has come under scrutiny for running a side business selling leadership conferences, online courses and books.

Danika Rux, Bank’s deputy chancellor for leadership, also served as a District 23 deputy superintendent.

Rux was promoted in a secret deal to give her husband a DOE managerial job in exchange for dropping his work for the DOE as a vendor.

“It’s a family enterprise — the family and friends of Banks and Adams,” the Brooklyn principal charged.

Chancellor David Banks, center, endorses vendors Edward Van Ess, at left, and Ilbert Sanchezinstagram @themoderndaymannyc

Two principals in District 23 — Marica Myrie at Mott Hall IV middle school, and Arabelle Pembroke, at Riverdale Avenue Middle School — gave video “testimonials” praising “The Modern Day Man” on its website.

After The Post’s inquiries, this price list was deleted from the Modern Day Man website.

City rules forbid employees to let vendors use their NYC titles in promotional material without written permission by their agencies.

Penalties include fines of up to $25,000 per violation.

The DOE would not say whether it granted the two principals permission.

The principals did not answer questions.

The DOE had no comment on criticism of the COIB waiver, but defended The Modern Day Man.

“The vendor’s programming is built on the foundation of providing mentorship and a safe space for the young people involved, not in providing custom suits,” Tull said.

Edward and Josephine Van Ess did not return messages.