Dodging Bullets – Allegations Against Mr. Portelos

Could you guess how many different allegations were made about me after I raised financial fraud concerns at my school?  39 AND COUNTING…

On April 26, 2012 I was removed from my position as an educator. This was after I tried resisting four months of attacks that began when I raised issues at NYC Public School Berta A. Dreyfus I.S. 49 in Staten Island. I spent over two years out of the classroom, paid to do nothing.  Why I was informed that I was under investigation. NYC DOE Executive Director of Human Resources, Andrew Gordon, stated he and then Chief Deputy Counsel Courtenaye-Jackson Chase were the ones who decided to remove me based on some “very serious allegations“. I thought to myself “I know I didn’t do anything wrong, so there must be some seriously false allegations made“. I was sent to a basement 20 miles away to do nothing for months and was told nothing. The taxpayer continued to pay my salary and that of the substitute.

I was not going to sit and rot at a desk (Rubber Room) when I should be teaching. I told my union provided attorney that I want to speak to investigators about whatever they have. He was reluctant and advised me against it. “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” he warned. “I don’t care. I want everything on the table. No guessing games.” He was able to set up a meeting with investigators from the Special Commissioner ofInvestigation’soffice. Two gentleman met with me on June 14, 2012. We sat for over 2 hours at my attorneys office as they read out to me the long list of allegations. They read the first 3 that included some bogus real estate claims and a fake a text program I never heard of. I thought “No problem. That’s it” Then they proceeded to state there is an additional 15 or so more allegations. I then thought to myself “Oh boy. I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but can I dodge all these bullets

Neo Bullet Dodge

It turns out I can. As they read through the dates and names of those making the allegations, my nervousness went away. By the time they finished, I thought “That’s it These are the serious allegations This is why the students were educationally neglected

Since that June 14, 2012 day, the allegations continued to mound and mound. It got to the point that investigators would visit me in exile and joke about it. “Surprise!…You’re the subject of a new investigation.” one stated and threw his hands up. “Well Mr. Portelos, this should be of no surprise, but you are the subject of another investigation.” another from OSI would say. It got to the point that I started wearing these frivolous allegations like a badge of honor. How scared were they of what I was uncovering that they were throwing anything and everything

Here are all the allegations against me that started with SCI Case 12-537. Keep in mind that these all started AFTER I had case 12-533 opened (notice the numbers). Case 12-533 was reported January 26, 2012 and isstill open (over 800 days). It alleged that Principal Hill was sitting and getting paid at the School Leadership Team, while also getting paid for OSYD’s Achieve Now Academy at the same time…double dipping [UPDATE July 2014- OSI substantiated theallegations I made against Principal Linda Hill on January 26, 2012.

See this file that shows alleged financial misconduct

As of today, I have had over 38 allegations/investigations lodged against me.

Allegations 1, 2 and 3 were all submitted on January 30, 2012 – Just 3business days after my first allegations of Principal Hill’s financial misconduct were reported (Jan 26) and UFT Chapter Leader, Richard Candia, walked out of a UFT meeting as I spoke and demanded I resign as UFT Delegate (Jan 27).

1. January 30, 2012– Principal Hill called and stated that Mr. Portelos hacked thewebsite he legally owns,, and took her administrative privileges away.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

2. January 30, 2012-Principal Hill received an anonymous call that Mr. Portelos used an iTunes program called Fake a Message to email a student and make it appear that it was sent by the Principal. -UNSUBSTANTIATED

3. January 30, 2012Rich Candia (UFT Chapter Leader) claims that Mr Portelos conducts real estate business during class time. Also, an “anonymous caller” left a message at SCI on Sunday January 29, 2012 and stated the same as above.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

4. February 22, 2012– Principal Hill alleges that Mr. Portelos requested that a paraprofessional work with him and other teachers on a Learning Technology Grant (LTG) after school to help his students. Principal Hill declined and Mr. Portelos apparently had him work anyway and submit time sheets.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

5. March 2012 -Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre discovered a website called and it had student names mentioned. Parents did not complain.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

6. March 2012-Principal Hill alleged that the website,, had pictures of students. Parents did not complain.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

7. March 2012-Principal Hill and Richard Candia made allegations that Mr. Portelos sent emails to the staff about his investigation.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

8. March 2012-Principal Hill made allegation that there was an agreement to shut down and he did not.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

9. March 28, 2012 -Rich Candia claimed that Mr. Portelos hacked into the website he owns,, and copied personal email between him and Principal Hill and distributed it to the staff. –SUBSTANTIATED BUT I OWN THE SITE AND THE DATA

10. March 28, 2012 -Rich Candia alleges that Mr. Portelos walks back and forth in front of his classroom everyday and intimidates him. He was going to file a police report. -UNSUBSTANTIATED

11. March 29, 2012 -Principal Hill alleges that she directed Mr. Portelos to shut down the website he owns and he did not.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

12. April 5, 2012 -Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre alleged that Mr. Portelos asked the Parent Coordinator for pictures of a social gathering to possibly use to Photoshop Aguirre.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

13. April 5,2012 – Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre alleged that three emergency buttons in rooms around the school were blinking and that Mr. Portelos must be responsible.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

14. April 2012 -Rich Candia emailed investigators stating again that Mr. Portelos hacked into the website he owned and distributed personal emails. SAME AS # 9.

15. April 2012 -Rich Candia emailed investigators that Mr. Portelos sent a secret code to Rich Candia’s phone and retrieved his text history and distributed it to the staff.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

16. April 2012 -Rich Candia emailed investigators that Mr. Portelos bashed IS 49 on Facebook.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

17. April 2012 -Rich Candia alleges that Mr. Portelos “mailed” 2 harassing letters to Mr. Candia’s home.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

18. April 2012 -Rich Candia alleged that Mr. Portelos posted pictures of students without parental consent. No parents have complained.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

19. April 2012 -Rich Candia alleged that Mr. Portelos sent an email to the staff urging them not to share union matters.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

After Mr. Portelos was removed from school:

20. May 2012 -Principal Hill alleges that Mr. Portelos emailed parents telling them that he posted lessons on his private website

21. May 2012 -An unidentified teacher stated that they saw a message pop up on one of his classroom computers stating “Mr. Portelos’ class is fun“.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

22. June 2012- Mr. Portelos also worked on his own clothing site called

23. September 2012- Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos remotely connected to his STEM lab and forced users to connect to his site

24. September 2012– Teacher Jennifer Wolfson, Principal Hill and Richard Candia alleged that Mr. Portelos shared her teacher certification information with a parent in the community and it included her address and social security number.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

25. October 2012– Principal Hill Alleged that Mr. Portelos hacked and manipulated the school’s voice mail system and routed listeners to his website

26. November 29, 2012– Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos redirected the site he owns,, to another site he owns,

27. November 30 2012– Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos put hidden cameras and microphones in the staff lounge.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

28. December 14, 2012– Superintendent Erminia Claudio alleged Mr. Portelos forwarded a video of an AP allegedly frisking a female student to community parents. A parent was going to put it on YouTube.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

29. March 2013– Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos informed students how to smuggle weapons into school on his blog.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

30. March 2013- DOE Attorney Robin Singer made an erroneous complaint to SCI that Mr. Portelos has been disruptive by making baseless complaints against administrators at IS 49. -UNSUBSTANTIATED

31. April2013– Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos sent an anti-semetic, sexist and racist email to parents because he used the word “kosher” and his signature file quoted Martin Luther King Jr.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

32. April 2013– Principal Hill alleged that Mr. Portelos uploaded a video of a student on youtube without permission.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

33. May 2013– Principal Hill, Teacher Susanne Abramowitz and Teacher Richard Candia alleged that Mr. Portelos ordered several magazines to the school in the complainant’s name and then sent them the bill for it.-UNSUBSTANTIATED

34. November 2013– A teacher notified me that a student was in the schoolyard playing on his phone waiting for security scanning to be over. I notified school safety and they in turn informed the principal. Principal Hill called an investigation stating that the teacher took too long to let me know and I took too long to let safety know. Meanwhile she has no idea when I got the call and how long it took me to call school safety. Which happens to have been immediately. UNSUBSTANTIATED

35. November 2013– Former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia contacted SCI to allege that I had purchased and it contained derogatory information about him.UNSUBSTANTIATED

36. November 2013-Former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia contacted SCI to allege that I hacked into his DOE email and accessed one of many emails he had sent to SCI. –UNSUBSTANTIATED

37. February 2014-NYC DOE Chief Technology Officer Desmond White contacted SCI to allege that I hacked the NYC DOE payroll. SCI referred the case to OSI who interrogated me in May 2014. –UNSUBSTANTIATED

38. March 2014– NYC DOE Chief Technology Officer Desmond White contacted NYPD 84th Precinct Detective William Connor to complain that Mr. Portelos wrote a blog post that he hacked the NYC DOE Payroll system. Portelos was arrested and held for 33 hrs before the Brooklyn District Attorney dismissed the charges. –DISMISSED

39. November 2017- SCI investigators Lisa Moore and Robert Caiati informed Mr. Portelos that he is again the subject of another investigation. Details unknown.

2018 -2019 40, 41, 42 and 43 all stem from the ego of PS 13 Principal Paul Martuccio who couldn’t have a parent like me get involved and question his violations of regulations and misuse of finances and resources and my childrens’ school.

And there you have it. 43. All of which I believe, and can back up, are….unsubstantiated. SCI published a report about some of these that was extremely vague. So vague that even an AAA arbitrator could not make sense of it.

Here is a graphical representation of the allegations as compared to time I was in school and when I reported my first allegation.

Graph - Allegations against Mr. Portelos vs Time

Here is a small excerpt from the Federal Deposition of Principal Hill. My attorney Bryan Glass asked a question and the answer was


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  3. What These are the most ridiculous charges..I ever heard. I cannot believe it. What pure desperation….the Board has resorted to! I just can’t believe it! They are so absurd, that if I didn’t know you, I would think this was an April Fools Joke. They do not state any wrongdoing whatsoever. It all comes down to retaliation and stepping on someone’s toes! Plain and simple. It’s just a shame that the students have to suffer because of this! Really A waste of time, money, energy, and effort. Keep up the good fight, and you are doing the right thing. Document everything..because they subscribe to the belief…if you didn’t record it/write it-it didn’t happen! So RIDICULOUS!

  4. Our tax dollars working for the children, REALLY!
    Keep up the good work, just today I was told don’t ever quit, stand up for what you believe in, then I viewed ” The Runner” Barcelona olympics

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  8. It seems like you have pretty good technical skills from looking at this website. You should give them the finger and go into the private sector to make some real money, You have to be crazy to waste your time working for NYC or the government in any position. Best of luck to you.

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  11. This is crazy stuff. Good luck with everything, you seem like a very intelligent guy. I noticed in one of your videos you were analyzing the contract that expired in 2009. What are your thoughts on us ever getting a new contract! Keep up the fight, you’re standing up for what’s right.

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  23. I have the utmost respect for you for truly having the students best interest at heart. A wise man once told me that educators exist to serve students, we are civil servants.

    It sounds like your administration, especially your principal were either incredibly incompetent or guilty of misappropriation of school funds. After reading how you were targeted and harassed I can say for sure that they are a toxic combination of both sprinkled with vindictiveness, jealousy, and abuse of power.

    In a perfect world students exist to learn, teachers exist to serve students and administrators exist to assist teachers in pedagogy and all forms of moral, financial and educational support.

    In your situation it’s apparent you were in a school where you truly existed to serve students and did so to the best of your ability. Unfortunately for you and for the thousands of students, parents, and your colleagues your administration exists to serve THEMSELVES by any means necessary. Even more unfortunately your school is not the only one out there where the administration displays these exact same qualities.

    I can tell you are truly altruistic and care about your students, colleagues, family and your fellow human beings. Your principal seems to be extremely immature, incompetent and vindictive. All you did was was try to address some budgetary concerns in a professional manner and you were treated terribly and illegally. It sounds like a classic case of workplace bullying and harassment.

    A good principal would have already addressed the budget effectively where you wouldn’t have had to even raise the simplest of financial questions. Your insecure principal misconstrued your enthusiasm about the school budget as a professional attack on her and instead of mediating the situation professionally she essentially set out to destroy your career in the worst of ways.

    I admire your strength and fortitude to withstand their onslaught of lies and corruption. I know your organization is called teachers fight back but I think you are doing more than fighting you have basically launched a grass roots campaign to expose the corruption that has plagued the NYCDOE for the last 10-15 years and I for one would be more than happy to assist and collaborate with you to do whatever it takes to fundamentally change the status-quo of administrators constantly abusing their power to oust highly dedicated and effective teachers. You are living the change I want to see and have inspired me to do the same.

    I was in a very similar situation as you and I empathize with your struggle. You have undertaken an invaluable noble cause and I’m sure with the right planning and organization we can detoxify the NYCDOE and possibly other bureaucracies of education that are suffering similar problems.

    Godspeed to you.

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