Sunday, November 2, 2014

NY Post on Arisleyda Ureña: Principal ‘raffled’ Department of Education’s $12K

Ureña, who took home $154,638 last year, left the DOE in August “before being brought up on any disciplinary charges,” a department spokesman said... NY Post
Sue Edelman of the Post has a story today - we wrote about this last week- The Farina Follies: OSI Charges Substantiated Against Former Principal Arisleyda Urena, Most Recently Director of School Quality.

Ureña left the DOE in August so maybe Farina did give her a push.
Remember -- that Urena had her lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, threaten the teacher and file charges against a teacher whistle blower whom Urena discontinued and had the teacher arrested.

This is a lesson for certain administrators - the blogging world will come back to bite you - one strategy is to make you name hot on google so when you all look for future advancement - there you are for all the world to see. (We do vet people to make sure whistleblowers are not just nuts - and one way is to talk to other people from the school.)

Note this comment by mouthpiece Thomas Parlatore in the Post piece:
Ureña’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said she blames the charges on “harassment” by a former teacher she fired and noted the investigation did not find she “took any money for herself.”

 Now here is what Thomas Parlatore was saying not long ago - 

There has been a lot of banter concerning the conduct and actions of Arisleyda A. Ureña. Based on her substantiated OSI memos (shown here and here), people are right to question her decisions as a school leader and “role model” for teachers, administrators, and the Dominican-American community. In Sue Edelman’s article, “Principal ‘raffled’ Department of Education’s $12K,” we learn that Ms. Ureña has hired lawyer Timothy Parlatore to be her “mouth piece” for any sticky situations she gets herself in, meaning investigations or lawsuits. Mr. Parlatore has said a number of false statements in the defense of his client and we would like him to get the record straight.  

Mr. Parlatore claims:
What the facts say:
A story published December 25, 2013 on the NYC Rubber Room Reporter and ATR CONNECT online blog (“Rubber Room Blog”), entitled “Principal Arisleyda Ureña Leaves The Academy For Language and Technology After Conducting Unauthorized Raffles” contains several false representations.
Since the students did not purchase tickets, the event hosted by Ms. Ureña and Mr. Viñales cannot be considered a “raffle,” rather, it is a “lottery.” Regardless, of the semantics, the “event” was not approved by the DOE.

You can also view a video of these “lotteries,” which the students call “raffles” here: http://vimeo.com/34768875
The following statement is false: She had improperly purchased these items using her P-card in an inappropriate fashion. See the attached Excel printout (obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information Law request) of the purchases on her Pcard statements.
According to the OSI investigation, Ms. Ureña was unable to account for over $11,700 P-card purchases from Apple; $918 from Modell’s; $379 from Frank’s Sport Shop; and $4428 from CDW Government, LLC.

Noli Hourahan, a director from the Division of Financial Operations, stated that items paid for by a P-Card must have an “educational” purpose. The amount of money for student incentives cannot exceed $100 per year. Any event that would have students win prizes based on chance rather than merit does not fall under a school incentive program. Thus purchases paid for by Ureña’s P-Card for the lotteries would constitute a misuse of a P-Card.
The following statement is false: Ms. Ureña has been removed from her position as Founding
Principal but only time will tell whether she will be transferred to a different position within the Department of Education or undergo Educational Law 3020a charges for ‘conduct unbecoming.
As stated in the NY Post article, according to the DOE, OSI referred the case to the Administrative Trials Unit (ATU). Prior to being charged and possibly undergoing a 3020a hearing, Ms. Ureña resigned from the DOE.
The following statement is false: Founding Principal Arisleyda Ureña has been involved in very questionable ethics, financial, contractual, and educational violations during her seven years as principal at the Academy for Language and Technology (ALT) in the Bronx.
Please see the above mentioned OSI reports and the following article from DTOE. “When asked, Ms. Ureña acknowledged that she had used her P-Card to purchase sports equipment she distributed as PRIZES [our emphasis] . . . She could not explain why she decided to distribute [the iPods and miniature laptops] piecemeal, years after she obtained them, rather than distributing them equally upon receipt.”
Pursuant to your campaign, you have, and continue, to file Freedom of Information Requests (“FOIL Requests”) under the false premise that it is an effort to discover information to support your outlandish allegations that Ms. Ureña ever committed wrongdoing. Your attempts to extrapolate wrongdoing from these FOIL request are frivolous and serve no purpose other than to harass my client and others.

Are you kidding us? Once again, please see the Edelman article referenced above and the substantiated OSI memo.

“Due to the fact that Ms. Ureña failed to maintain itemized receipts and records as mandated by DFO SOP, this investigator was unable to account for over $11,000 in purchases. Regardless of funds used, Ms. Ureña acknowledged using school funds to purchase items that were intended to be used for educational purposes. It is clear that she did not use these items for any educational purpose . . . they items were given as gifts, creating a condition in which other students at X365 were denied access to the same technological resources.”
We have also been informed of your aggressive attempts to contact the media … in an effort to further disseminate such false and disparaging statements. On February 16, 2014, the NY Post article entitled Bronx Principal Probed Over iPad Raffles was published that contained falsehoods made by yourself about Ms. Ureña.
See above please. Not to mention, 5 students were interviewed and gave testimony of some of the items purchased, who won prizes, and when they took place.
Ms. Ureña is a respected professional and has spent years serving the community where she has successfully built a positive reputation. She is well liked by many and maintains a positive influence in the teacher’s community. Your actions have not only offended Ms. Ureña, but offend an entire community of teachers who are fully aware that your defamatory allegations are baseless, devoid of truth.
Let’s look at some data! In 2013,
·      24% of all teachers disagreed with the following statement on the Learning Environment Survey: “I have sufficient materials, equipment, and assistive technology in good condition to teach my class(es).
·      36% of all teachers disagreed with the following statement on the Learning Environment Survey: “The principal at my school encourages open communication on important school issues.”
·      40% of all teachers responded with “to a lesser extent” or “to no extent” to this statement: “To What Extent do you feel supported by the principal at your school.”
·      32% of all teachers disagreed with the following statement on the Learning Environment Survey: “I trust the principal at her word.”
·      24% of all teachers do not feel that teachers trust each other.
·      44% of all teachers do not feel respected by the principal.
·      46% of all teachers disagree with the statement, “School leaders recognize teachers for their accomplishments.”

Ureña blames the charges on “harassment” by a former teacher she fired and noted the investigation did not find she “took any money for herself.”
This “former teacher” had their record cleared of a termination, discontinuance, and U-rating at a settlement hearing with the NYC Department of Education in September 2014. This individual also had the “problem codes” which Ureña personally placed there as a result of several false investigations over the years expunged as well. Oh, and by the way, the ADA declined to prosecute the teacher for “harassment;” the ADA claimed that no evidence existed that harassment occurred.

Do you two need a copy of the settlement to make sure neither of you break any of the stipulations?

We think it’s nice that Ms. Ureña never “took any money for herself,” but can this be proven considering her track record?




A Bronx high-school principal failed to account for $12,786 in purchases with her Department of Education credit card — including 70 iPods and laptops she claims she raffled away to students as holiday prizes, officials said.
Arisleyda Ureña, former principal head of the Academy for Language and Technology, misappropriated school funds by purchasing items “that had no educational purpose,” a DOE investigation found.
Ureña, who took home $154,638 last year, left the DOE in August “before being brought up on any disciplinary charges,” a department spokesman said.
The Post reported last February that Ureña held raucous raffles in the school auditorium on the day before Christmas break. Kids cheered as Ureña pulled tickets out of a jug, and handed out iPads, iPods, mini-laptops, sporting goods and other prizes to winners.
An investigation found she failed to keep receipts for $11,700 in purchases from an Apple store, $918 from Modell’s, $125 from Modell’s and $43 from Best Buy.
She “engaged in employee misconduct by giving DOE property to students as gifts,” the probe found.
Ureña’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said she blames the charges on “harassment” by a former teacher she fired and noted the investigation did not find she “took any money for herself.”

Ureña’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, said she blames the charges on “harassment” by a former teacher she fired and noted the investigation did not find she “took any money for herself.”

1 comment:

  1. Justice was served. I hope the individuals hurt by Ms. Ureña's actions will find peace and vindication.

    ReplyDelete

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