Good Looking Out UFT

I have been pretty open in my criticism of the UFT leadership on this blog and other forums. There is no doubt that I have voiced my opinion that the largest local in the United States has been pulling punches when it comes to defending the rights of educators. I won’t go into them in this post, but many of you have read them hereMikey MulgrewWhere are You

Having said that I have to give credit where credit is due. I FOILed the the emails of the former NYC DOE Executive Director of Employee Relations Andrew Gordon. I wanted all emails between specific dates with the name “Portelos” in it. After over a year and a half, I finally received something…albeit incomplete. (They failed to give me some emails that for that search criteria that I knew about. Seems like a violation.)

So just to give you some background, these emails are about me casting a ballot in an election where I was running for Chapter Leader on June 13, 2012. The DOE, was preventing me from doing so.

I blocked the names of the UFT members involved as I was unsure if they wanted their names printed:




Here are some of the many emails that went back and forth between Andrew Gordon, David Brodsky of Office of Labor Relations and top DOE Attorney,Courtenaye Jackson-Chase.


This is Tweed’s Response:


This is the UFT’s response:


This is Andrew Gordon’s response:


I got the call the night of June 12, 2012, that I not only cannot enter the building, but that I have to show up at 7:30 am. That is after all staff is in the building, so I thought “Oh Yeah We’ll see about that

I wound up pulling out my blue politician suit and showed up 6:30 am outside of the school. There I greeted my colleagues as they entered. Shook hands, hugs and kisses. At 7:30 am the ballot box comes out and I vote for one of my opponents. Why …because I can.

Later that afternoon I get the call to the Rubber Room exile. “You won.”

I went out and bought a cigar. It was crappy and cheap, but oh so sweet.



I just found out who else was involved in the discussion. Former Chancellor Dennis Walcott…remember him Also Deputy Chancellor David Weiner. Seems like they had a good amount to say. However, FOIL officer Joseph Baranello and his team redacted the emails and now I have to appeal, possibly in court, the removal of those redactions.






About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I am proud of your courage. I know that you will be allowed soon to educate our kids.

  2. This is more of a legal question and may be one you have already considered but would a finding of guilt on the 3020a charges (one, some, or all) subsequently estopp your retaliation claim
    Another legal question: Would it be better for you not to address retaliation in your 3020a defense, avoid an arbitrator’s adverse ruling on that claim, and thus preserve that claim (retaliation) for your lawsuit Since retaliation seems to be one of your defenses from what I have read, I suppose that is unavoidable in any case. I have no idea if an arbitrator’s ruling (pro or con) on retaliation would carry subsequent collateral estoppel effect in any case.

    • Well we have to explain to the arbitrator what happened. I mean she has to listen and digest the whole thing. There are appeals possible if it doesn’t go well. I’m happy with the record. That’s all I can say for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.