In wake of three high-profile contracting scandals, Manhattan Borough President (and potential 2013 mayoral hopeful) Scott Stringer is calling on the city Department of Education to institute reforms.
First up, the agency needs to halt all new non-essential contracts until further changes are made, he said at a press conference today. To prevent a repeat of the problems, he’s also calling for greater oversight from the city controller and the Panel for Educational Policy.
“This gravy train has got to stop,” he said. “New Yorkers are fed up with these abuses....Boss Tweed may have built the Tweed Courthouse as a monument to his corrupt ways, but that doesn’t mean the Department of Education should continue the tradition.”
There have been a string of scandals out of the city Department of Education this month:
-The special schools investigator announced Tuesday that consultants, along with former chief financial officer, George Raab, used DOE time to work on a new business venture.
-Earlier this month, DOE official Judith Hederman resigned after admitting to a personal relationship with a contractor now being investigated for corruption.
-Federal officials indicted another DOE consultant for bilking the department out of $3.6 million while buying expensive cars and Long Island properties.
The joke about all this corruption at the DOE (and remember, this is just what has been found SO FAR) is that the latest example comes in the same week that Chancellor Walcott went to Albany to try and get lawmakers to give him the ability to fire "bad teachers."
Hey, you want to fire some "bad" employees, Dennis?
Take a look at all the consultants on your payroll and the Tweedies doing oversight on them.
Judging by the number of scandals involving private consultants hired by the DOE and the Tweedies who are supposed to be overseeing them, looks like you'll find plenty of targets there.
As for Stringer's call for reform at Tweed, that sounds right to me.
But I'd add reform to mayoral control too.
When one little autocrat gets to make all the rules, you get the kind of system we have now - full of corruption, cronyism and insularity.