They say “When life throws you lemons, just make lemonade.” Going along with that saying I have had plenty of lemons thrown at me. Come get your lemonade.
Having said, that I wanted to share how sloppy the allegation reporting on me has become. In April 2013, an OSI investigator came to see me at my old Queens Rubber Room. When he introduced himself I realized it was the head investigator for the financial case against my principal that I reported so long ago. I thought “Finally! Someone is going to interview me about the evidence I have collected for over a year.” Unfortunately not. OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott was there to inform me that I was the subject of a new investigation and not to collect information on Case 12-533. (By the way, Mr. Scott just left the DOE and the case against my principal is still open over 640 days.)
Details about the new case is here:
In case you do not have time to read that link here is a quick summary:
I was told that on March 11, 2013 Principal Linda Hill made her 300th allegation on me. Principal Hill contacted SCI on March 11 about a blog post I made on January 8, 2013. Yes over three months later. Probably because I had raised even more safety concerns with the Children First Network (CFN 211) about safety and sent this email out earlier that same day.
From: Francesco Portelos <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 8:20 AM
Subject: RE: Incident report copy
To: Mckeon Jean <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: email@example.com, Jordan Frank <FJordan3@schools.nyc.gov>, Mitchell Anthony <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The CFN is “paid”, from our budget, to “support” the school. The key word is “support”.
You can answer for Anthony. Actually he already did answer verbally. Perhaps Mr. Jordan can chime in.
“Is it against any law or regulation to copy a filled out incident report? “
*sent from my Galaxy S3. Please pardon any typos
On Mar 11, 2013 8:10 AM, “Mckeon Jean” <JMckeon3@schools.nyc.gov> wrote:
You do not have to answer this. Sorry it took so long to reply.
So anyway I got to thinking (You know because I was not creating lessons or teaching and instead I was…thinking.) This is what I came up with and I thought it was pretty brilliant and in good faith to report.
If Principal Hill thought that I blogged and told students how to sneak weapons into school and it was a reportable offense, then why did she wait three months to report it? Hmmm?
So I decided to contact the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) and report Principal Hill for not reporting me sooner since she was aware for three months. Boom! Booya! What? Yeah!
As usual SCI actually referred it to OSI and in September 2013 OSI called me in.
The investigator on this case was former Starrett City Peace Officer Wei Liu. I went in and sat with two Staten Island UFT reps, Mr. Liu and his supervisor Deputy Director Christopher Dalton. We actually joked that I had my “usual seat” in the conference room.
So now I am told to speak about what I submitted to SCI. I simply said that if Principal Hill is mandated to report potential security issues, then she is in violation for waiting three months.
Mr. Dalton asked what I thought was a very valid question. “Well how do you know Principal Hill knew for three months?”
Ah ha!! That’s when I pulled out an email that a former SLT parent sent me, Principal Hill and others about that same topic and the blog post. Bam! I learned and I was ready.
To which Mr. Dalton posed another question (which is probably why he is Deputy Director). “Well, how do you know Principal Hill read that email?”
Uhhh.. Hmmm… Yeah I guess he was right. I was stumped for a moment. I have emails I haven’t opened or read.
I said I would look for proof and get back to them.
…and I did. It turns out that not only was this communicated in an email among the SLT members, but also in an SLT meeting as well. I did a keyword search and found that in the presence of Principal Hill, this topic came up on February 5, 2013.
I took that file and sent it over to NYC DOE’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and copied a few others.
From: Francesco Portelos <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Subject: Proof of Principal’s Knowledge for OSI Investigation 13-05696X and 13-02128X
Cc: Dalton Christopher <firstname.lastname@example.org>, McLaren Candace <email@example.com>, Courtenaye Jackson-Chase <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “DMWalcott@schools.nyc.gov” <email@example.com>, “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
- I posted this on my blog on January 8, 2013 http://protectportelos.org/
- At a February 5, 2013 SLT meeting the topic of that blog post and security issue came up.
- In March 2013, Principal Hill contacts SCI about my January 8, 2013 post.
- April 8, 2013 I’m told I’m the subject of this investigation and get called in to OSI who now has the case.
- On May 1, 2013 I meet with OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott and he informs me about Principal Hill’s allegation. I answer questions about this case (13-02128x)
- At one point I think about the events that transpired and believe that Principal Hill reported an allegation of possible misconduct way after she had knowledge of it. I then submit the complaint to SCI who refers it to OSI case 13-05696X.
- I am questioned as a witness today, September 26, 2013, by Investigator Wei Liu. I was asked to provide any proof that Principal Hill had knowledge of this blog post long before the SCI intake in March of 2013.
- Attached is proof that she had knowledge as far back as February 5, 2013 and failed to report. See SLT Minutes.
and now we wait…and wait …and wait. Rumor has it OSI Investigator Dennis Boyles has the case now. That would be a problem for several reasons I will report on soon. I had already requested that Mr. Boyles not be involved in investigations in our school due to potential conflict. It was ignored.
I called OSI and was informed that the case against me and my blog post was unsubstantiated. However, I still have not received anything in writing nor a status on the case on Principal Hill.
Other Open Cases I have reported and are still open:
and several others.
Lemonade!!! Get your fresh lemonade! Touche’!