Case Tracker – 20 Investigations Closed, Whitewashed or Left Open


In the wake of thePS 106Q Marcella Sills “School of No” fiasco, I decided to make a list of the cases I initiated, or knew about, pertaining to my own community school of Berta Dreyfus IS 49.


Cases and Investigations.

The NYC Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) has a budget of over $5 million, the NYC DOE Office of Special Investigation (OSI) and Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) have a combined budget of over $8 million.

Here is a list of every case I initiated due to my own eyewitness accounts or that of other members in the Berta Dreyfus IS 49 Community in Staten Island, NY. Every single one was either administratively closed, unsubstantiated despite overwhelming evidence or simply left open:

  1. January 26, 2012 (before I had any negative documents in my file) Allegation that Principal Linda Hill was involved in financial misconduct, including double dipping between two programs for at least three years. I submitted 3 years of meeting minutes showing her attendance where she was paid a stipend. After that I submitted time cards showing alleged double dipping activity and calling out sick while still collecting over-time and making over-time while not working the program. More financial allegations were added such as breaking down payments to vendors and selling flash drives for cash. Allegations also include the questionable time cards of Assistant Principal Denise Diacomanolis as well. She was observed to punch in several cards in at the same time and then lock them up.
    [Case #2012-1950 R-OSI 12-533 was referred to OSI by SCI. Investigated by OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott until his resignation in October 2013. Case is closed, but the DOE will not furnish the results. Note over 804 days since this case was initiated and I was never questioned about it. Both NYC and NYS Comptroller offices are aware of this case.] See alsoBREAKING NEWS: Case 12-533 of Financial Misconduct is Finally Closed & Under Review
  2. March 26, 2012 Called Office of Equal Opportunity on Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre after she made inappropriate comments to me and harassed me for months after.
    [Case # OEO 376/12 was investigated by OEO Investigator Victoria Ajibade esq. Witnesses not involved were called in and witnesses that were relevantwere notcalled in or questioned. Case wasclosedandunsubstantiated. Recent sworn testimony, in my 3020-a, describesquestionable acts during the investigation including a key witness obtaining per-session payments right before testifying against assistant principal as well as retaliation evidence. OEO’s Elsa Hampton Esq. opted not to look into the new evidence and kept the case closed.]
  3. April 11, 2012 Contacted NYC Department of Investigation (DOI) on Principal Linda Hill and Assistant Principal Denise Diacomanolis about alleged theft of services and time card fraud.
    [Case # DOI 12-4398 was referred to SCI and supposedly referred to OSI. Case status unknown, but might be incorporated into OSI Case 12-533]
  4. April 18, 2012 Contacted OSI and SCI about false accusations (NYC Charter Section 1116 violation) made against me by former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia and former School Leadership Team Chairperson Susanne Abramowitz.
    [Case # 2291 was referred to OSI by SCI. It was administratively closed by OSI Director Candace McLaren and Deputy Director Christopher Dalton without ever questioning me.]See also:Disciplinary Letters Initiated by RC and SA
  5. April 18, 2012 Contacted SCI and OSI on AP Denise Diacomanolispertaining toallegations of corporal punishment on an 8th grade honors student. Student was taken out of his 8th grade honors class and placed in an ELL 6th grade class for two weeks and told “If you want to act like a baby, then I am going to treat you like a baby!“. For two weeks he missed his classes and was publicly ridiculed by his peers as he sat in the 6th grade ELL class.
    [Case # 2251 was referred to OSI by SCI. Investigator Andy Mina originally had the case, until he left for the Office of Safety and Youth Development. OSI Investigator Dennis Boyles took the case in November 2012 and finally questioned the student, the AP and me a year after I made the allegation. The case, if you can believe it, is still open as of February 25, 2014.]
  6. April 26, 2012 I called NYSED and SCI to report NY State Math test tampering by Principal Linda Hill and Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre. This is the day I was removed and exiled from school. While the NY State test was being administered in my room and adjacent rooms, Principal Hill and AP Joanne Venier Aguirre ordered the changing of the locks in my room.
    [Case # Unknown as SCI Chief Investigator Thomas Fennell indicated to me several times that he would get me the case number and never did. I was never questioned about this case.] See also:NYS Math Test Tampering
  7. June 6, 2012 I contacted the NYC Department of Investigation (DOI) and made acomplaint about the false allegations (NYC Charter section 1116 violation) made against me by former HR DirectorAndrew Gordon. After I was exiled from IS 49 I was placed in the Petrides district office near the school and my house. Andrew Gordon alleges thatI was “acting up and wandering around the facility.” This caused me to be moved 20 miles, 6 districts and and two boroughs away for over a year. In his official capacity he made fraudulent claims and that is a violation of the NYC Charter.
    [Case # 2012-4638 R-OGC SCI # 3708was referredtoSCI who referred it to OSI. It was administratively closed and I was never questioned. Andrew Gordon left the DOE and is now the VP of NYU HR now.] See also:Angela, Who Is Greg Bowen And Why Is He So Concerned With Printer Ink Levels
  8. June 16, 2012 Sent information to Principal Hill and Superintendent Erminia Claudio about the alleged inappropriate conduct with students allegedly committed by AP Denise Diacomanolis. This information was previously sent to SCI.[Case # 2012-4957N and2012-3720I were investigated by SCI Investigator Barry Lattig and others. One allegation was about a video that captured AP Diacomanolis allegedly frisking a female student. The investigator did not question the other adults present, but questioned Principal Hill (who was not there), the AP who does not remember the incident and the student who is now in High School. The case was unsubstantiated as they deemed the AP was “fixing the girl’s zipper.”] See also:A Tale of Two Videos
  9. June 18, 2012 Contacted Conflict of Interest Board (Samantha Biletsky) on an allegation of kickback acceptance by Principal Hill for deals with after-school SES tutoring company at school.
    [Case #2012-3698 or 2012-4031 was investigated by SCI Investigator Michael Kenny. After questioning and review of bank records, the case was unsubstantiated. Recent sworn testimony in my 3020-a indicates additional proof was given.]
  10. June 18, 2012 Contacted Conflict of Interest Board (Samantha Biletsky) on an allegation that Assistant Principal Denise Diacomanolis worked for a teacher on the weekend that she supervised during the week. Evidence was submitted that showed the AP’s resume mentioning the tutoring program and a website showing the teacher as the manager of the facility.[Case #2012-3698 or 2012-4031 was investigated by SCI Investigator Michael Kenny. After questioning witnesses the case was unsubstantiated] See also:Faulty Investigations
  11. August 28, 2012 After being informed that time cards I had FOILed, that were collected from school, could not be located, SCI referred a case of possible time card destruction to OSI
    [Case #2012-4640 R- OGC was administratively closed and I was never questioned.]
  12. October 2012 – After receiving seven or so harassing emails from a fake Yahoo account Kimberly Watkins < i=”” traced=”” back=”” the=”” ip=”” to=”” nyc=”” schools=”” and=”” a=”” time=”” warner=”” account.=”” notified=”” <span=”” class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”notified “>UFT and SCI. I gave enough information for one to be able to trace at least to a school and a home address. SCI has the capability to subpoena the Yahoo account and obtain more IP addresses. SCI published a report where they connected the IP address to a male NYC DOE Teacher. The unidentified male teacher stated he doesn’t know me, but saw me in the news. SCI Investigator Matthew Martucci never bothered to ask me if I knew that teacher. Also that male teacher knew a former NYC Teacher named Kimberly Watkins.
    [Case # 12-5547 was unsubstantiated and SCI will not furnish the name of the male teacher.] See also:More Hate Mail from within @NYCSchools
  13. December 2012 -Allegation of potential asbestos disturbance by a private contractor Principal Hill hired to demo a wall to install flat-screen was submitted. Sent to UFT Health and Safety, OSHA, NYC SCA, Division of School Facilities, CEC 31 and Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm.
    [Case # Unknown -Not sure if it made it to any investigative office, but I was never questioned about it. DSF informed me I was correct in my post.] See also:@NYCSchools Deputy Chancellor Grimm Hides Asbestos Disturbance
  14. January 2013 – I was contacted by a staff member who stated he witnessed Assistant Principal Joanne Aguirre allegedly pulling a student by the arm against his will. This was allegedly down the hall in front of the main office. The student was then allegedly pulled into the main office where he grabbed onto the counter with his free hand. The staff member then proceeded to say he witnessed the AP prying the hand off the counter. An email was sent to OSI and Deputy Director Christopher Dalton asked who the staff member was. Within hours the staff member was called in for a disciplinary hearing and he received his first disciplinary letter for an alleged incident that took place in December 2012.
    [Case # unknown. Video of incident was FOILed and preserved, but not furnished by NYC DOE FOIL Office] See also:The Mike Bravo Experiment Thwarting Retaliation
  15. April 2013- IS 49 Staff member asked to meet me privately about a safety concern she had. She informed me that a student had a picture of a gun and bullets on a bed as a background photo on his phone. They boy told her it was his and it was real. She brought this to the attention of the school’s administration. Allegedly Principal Hill and Assistant Principal Diacomanolis downplayed the incident. The next day, during security scanning, the child allegedly told the staff member that it was again his gun.The staff member was worried in the wake of the Sandy Hook , CT shooting and informed me. I contacted both local, district and network safety personnel as well as copying SCI. The network contacted Principal Hill who immediately called in the mother. This incident should have been called the week before when it occurred. SCI contacted the NYPD Terrorism Task Force who contacted me. I informed them I was not there and to contact the staff member. They did and after interviewing it appears the gun was a BB gun type. A problem lies in that after all this was said and done, OSI Investigator calls me to tell me he is investigating the case, a month later. He asks who the staff member was and hangs up. He then goes to the school and questions this staff member and publicly tells her to “watch who her friends are.” The case was closed by NYPD, so why was Dennis Boyles questioning anyone Perhaps snooping for his friend, the principal, to see who leaked the information.
    [Case # unknown unsubstantiated]
  16. June 2013 – An email was discovered where Principal Hill contacted an administrator at a college to ask for potential candidates to interview. In the email she stated that she was “especially looking for male and minority” candidates. A NYC Office of Equal Opportunity complaint was initiated and investigation ensued. OEO Investigator Theresa Wade contacted witnesses and performed an investigation that ended January 2014.
    [Case C-0626/13 was unsubstantiated.] See also:DOE Admins Not So Confidential Emails Part 3 Equal Opportunity
  17. June 21 2013 – After listening to testimony and acquiring evidence at an arbitration regarding my wrongful reassignment to Queens, I contacted SCI to report the false statements made by former District Superintendent Erminia Claudio and CFN 604 Deputy Network Leader Greg Bowen. In their capacity as public employees they knowingly committed fraud and violated NYC Charter section 1116.
    [Case #2013-3720 R-OSI was referred to OSI by SCI. OSI administratively closed the case and I was never questioned.]See also:Angela, Who Is Greg Bowen And Why Is He So Concerned With Printer Ink Levels
  18. May 2013 – In March 2013, Principal Linda Hill put in her 30th allegation against me. In March 2013 she alleged that in January 2013 (two months prior) I wrote on my blog how to “smuggle weapons” in the school. I was questioned by OSI Investigator Lawrence Scott. That case,13-02128x, against me was unsubstantiated. Returning the serve I reported Principal Hill for waiting two months two report an alleged security breach for that case.
    [Case #13-05696X was investigated by OSI Investigator Wei Liu. I was questioned by him and OSI Deputy Director Christopher Dalton in September 2013. I provided proof that she knew for months before she reported this alleged security breach post. As she is a mandated reporter, she should have reported it when she was made aware. This case was unsubstantiated] See also:Lemonade for Sale! Returning the Serve
  19. November 2013- I reviewed SCI investigation notes where I was the subject of alleged real estate business during class time. In the report it indicated that former UFT Chapter Leader Richard Candia had witnessed me running a real estate business while my class was in session. He reported this on January 29th and 30th of 2012 after he and I bumped heads on union issues. When askedwhendid he witness this alleged behavior, Richard Candia indicated he saw it “two months before.” Richard Candia is a mandated reporter and seeing something that is unlawful or a violation and reporting it two months later is in itself a violation. I submitted this information to SCI who referred it to OSI Investigator Dennis Boyles.[Case # Unknown, but informed that the case was administratively closed. Then told it was forwarded to the Office of General Counsel.]
  20. February 2014 – I left my location of exile in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn during lunch one day. I was going to bring pizza to my grandma during lunch. As I walked down 5th Ave and 83rd Street, I see an assistant principal from IS 49 in Staten Island coming out of a UPS store. I kept walking passed her and thought to myself “Why would an assistant principal from Staten Island be running errands in Brooklyn at 12:10PM” Perhaps it is legitimate. I do not know, but that is not up to me to investigate. Do I report it Do I not report it We are mandated reporters, so I emailed SCI on February 28, 2014 to notify them. I emailed once more and on April 7, 2014 I was contacted by OSI.[Case # 14-02587]


In addition, some of the above incidents have been reported to the NYS Attorney General, the US DOE, the NYC Comptroller, the NYS Comptroller, local politicians, Staten Island Community Board 1, Community Education Council 31 and others.



About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. Damn there is so much corruption and nepotism going on… I would like to know who really is Principal Hill for her to be protected so It would be unfair and biased for the DOE to investigate some principals like Mr Lowell of PS 181 and Sills, and not Ms. Hill. Some system of accountability has to be established. The continuity of theft and bullying behavior has to stop. And harsh punishment needs to b enacted leaving scum bags like thee above destitute. Question how does one find out what happens to a principal after they have been investigated It was in the Daily News that Mr. Lowell was being investigated for theft, but what happened to him I’m curious to know if such principals are placed at other schools

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