DOE, Last Valentine’s Day you Broke my Heart


Ahh Valentine’s Day. This year I will go out to dinner with my lovely wife. Last year though…hmm…last year was very special.

Last year I spent Valentine’s Day with Principal Linda Hill, Superintendent Erminia Claudio and my district union representative for two hours. By this time last year, I was already harassed, had two disciplinary letters in my file, a third disciplinary notice, and unbeknownst to me, I was under four investigations. All in a matter of two weeks!

This is the invitation I received from the superintendent, who was very well-informed about everything that was going on, but had a hidden agenda.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Claudio Erminia”
Date: Feb 14, 2012 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Meeting Wednesday, February 15th, 1:30pm

Dear Portelos,

I’d like to meet with you, Mr. Rotkowitz and Mrs. Hill today at 4pm at my office. Unfortunately, this is the only available time before to have off next week.

I apologize for the late notification, but I feel it is important that the four of us meet to make every attempt get a handle on what has been going on, in order to move on.

Please email me your response,
E. Claudio

Again, keep in mind that at this point the superintendent was well aware of the investigations going on in the background that I was unaware of.

I naively responded with:

Ms Claudio,
You don’t know how happy I am to get this email. We are all adults with the important responsibility to educate the youth. We need to clear the facts and move on.

Now you might be asking yourself “What was the point of the meeting if they were already out to get you”

The answer is: This is the website I bought, created and owned for three years. The school used it and it was a great communication hub. As the State Quality Review and JIT bashed our school, they had nice things to say about my site. Things went awry when the principal, who I gave admin access to, decided to suspend my access on January 27th (the day after I reported financial misconduct).

During our Valentine’s Day meeting, I explained what I was experiencing and Ms. Hill stated her side.

I offered to relinquish ownership, but I think this email can explain what really transpired.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Francesco Portelos”
Date: Feb 16, 2012 12:46 PM
Subject: Issue
To: “Linda Hill”
Cc: , , , “George Stavropoulos”

Dear Ms. Hill,
We were asked Tuesday February 14th to appear before Superintendent Claudio and UFT District Rep Sean Rotkowitz. It was my understanding that this meeting was held to clear issues taking place at our school. During the meeting I offered to relinquish ownership of the domain. After I offered to relinquish ownership our meeting continued andthere was no movement to remove the baseless letters Icurrently havein my file. There was no offer of apology for the staff email sent that embarrassed me. There was no guarantee the the issues at school will cease. After seeking legal counsel of an intellectual property attorney, I was asked to hold off on the transfer of ownership until the case is looked at.
The fact that I was prevented from using the very site I legally own is actionable. There are 2 things I do not want. One is that the site be taken down. Two that this issues continue and we wind up in court for harassment, slander and libel. All I really want is to continue to work hard and make Dreyfus 49 a better place. Leaving the meeting on Tuesday I did not get the feeling that this is everyone’s agenda.
Last week I asked to review my personal file and I was told there is no time until February 29th 2012. By then I will have met with both my personal lawyer (CC’d) and the intellectual property lawyer. I am also waiting to hear back from NYC DOE DIIT. They informed me ( off the record)that Google Apps for Educationis not a recognized form of proper communication within the DOE. They also informed me that their Internet Acceptable Use Policy has not been updated since 2006. I am waiting for them to get back to me because we have issues pertaining to privacy among others things.
This is not an attempt to hold hostage the ownership of the site. My lawyers and I just need more time. Lastly please communicate to only mefor any future disciplinary hearings, if any, and I will decide who, if anyone, from the UFT will be representing me.

Thank you and I hope we can resolve this for everyone’s sake.

-Francesco Portelos

And here we are…. a year later. She’s under investigation. I’m under investigation. I’m removed from school. She’s being sued in Federal court. She was sued in Small Claims court. We have a PERB hearing. The principal, superintendent and many others are going to be deposed.

This is what happens when you go after the wrong person. The principal made $40,000 in extra overtime and to date, the superintendent’s approval signature does not appear on any of the time cards.



About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. Keep hanging in there. I love your blog.

  2. Pingback: Happy One Year Birthday of | Protect Portelos

  3. Pingback: DOE Administrators Not So Confidential Emails Part 5 Psychic | Educator Fights Back

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