The suit alleges that the UFT caved to Bloomberg and the Department of Education in contract negotiations because they had the goods on Mulgrew, a rising star in the UFT leadership, for having sex with a guidance counselor on a drafting table when he was a teacher at Grady.
The Post reports that the lawyer who brought the suit, Joy Hochstadt,
told The Post she is seeking evidence of the alleged tryst. “Everyone has only hearsay knowledge, but almost everyone in the school talked about it,” the suit says.
Not exactly a smoking gun that Mulgrew engaged in a sex act on school property, is it?
I'll leave it to the judge to decide if the allegations in the lawsuit merit a hearing in court or whether they ought to be thrown out for being unsubstantiated.
There is one part of this story I want to say something about, however.
The meat of the suit claims the UFT collaborated with Bloomberg and the DOE because they had damaging information about Mulgrew and this guidance counselor (who later was given a cushy UFT position and a special "award" by Mulgrew.)
On the face of it, the allegation that the UFT collaborated with Bloomberg and the DOE on reform because the city had damaging information about Mulgrew is ludicrous.
Mulgrew wasn't so far up the leadership ladder that Weingarten couldn't have thrown him under the bus if she had wanted to back in 2004-2005 when the drafting table tryst between Mulgrew and the guidance counselor was alleged to have occurred.
More importantly, the UFT leadership was selling out the UFT membership long before 2004-2005, so even if the city had damaging information on Mulgrew, the collaborative policy of the UFT leadership was in place long before that.
As Michael Fiorillo wrote over at Chaz's blog:
UFT leadership sell outs and concessions predate this alleged affair and the 2005 contract by years.
Unless Bloomberg can employ a time machine, how does this story explain the UFTs acceptance of mayoral control, which has been the primary vehicle for undermining the union and the public schools? How does it explain Weingarten's caving in before virtually everything the privatizers seek, whether it's school closings, charter schools, smooching with Bill Gates, merit pay, or the overall acceptance of the premises of corporate ed reform?
It's not exactly the defense Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership might want, but the merits of the suit are undercut not only by the unsubstantiated nature of the allegations, based upon only rumor as they are, but also by the piss poor track record of the UFT in protecting teachers and labor rights over the last decade plus, long before the tryst allegedly took place.