The sister of teachers-union president Michael Mulgrew is under investigation for failing to disclose she managed a company that raked in $39.6 million in public-school contracts while she was on an 11-year child-care leave from her city teaching job, The Post has learned.
Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany, 40, was an English teacher at Lafayette HS in Brooklyn for less than five years with a $56,707 salary. She left in 2001 on maternity and child-care leave, but was allowed to remain on the Department of Education employment rolls.
She finally resigned in 2012, but the DOE rehired her this year as a $75,828-a-year “program officer.”
During her leave, Mulgrew-Daretany worked as chief operating officer for Brienza’s Academic Advantage, a Brooklyn-based company that sells teacher-training seminars and student tutoring. She is listed as COO in a Brienza’s organizational chart filed with the DOE. She left “last year,” a company official said.
DOE payments to Brienza’s rose from $5,109 in 2002 to $10.9 million in 2012, when the city received No Child Left Behind funds for after-school tutoring, officials said.
City employees are barred from holding second jobs with companies that do business with the city unless they get approval from their agency head and a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board.
“She was required to request a conflict-of-interest clearance, but she did not seek one,’’ said DOE spokeswoman Connie Pankratz. She said Mulgrew-Daretany’s work for the vendor “was not disclosed to us.”
Pankratz said the DOE discovered the “potential conflict of interest” only after The Post asked about Mulgrew-Daretany’s work history last week. It has referred the matter to Schools Investigator Richard Condon and the conflict board, she said.
Mulgrew-Daretany, who lives in Staten Island like her union-leader brother, hung up when reached by The Post on Friday.
The possible violation came to light the same week Mike Mulgrew won a second full term as president of the United Federation of Teachers, a post he has held since 2009. Union members re-elected him with 84 percent of the vote.
The DOE grants employees child-care leaves up to the August after a kid’s fourth birthday. Mulgrew-Daretany extended her leave because she gave birth again.
She did not collect a salary or benefits during the leave. “It’s an entitlement,” Pankratz said. “You’re guaranteed that your job will still be there when you return.”
Mulgrew-Daretany’s new DOE job, which she started in January, is funded by a grant to study how schools help students prepare for college and careers, officials said.
How she got a higher-paying management position after an 11-year absence was not explained. The DOE could not say Friday whether she listed Brienza’s on her résumé.
Betsy Combier, a paralegal and blogger, said she wasn’t surprised at Mulgrew-Daretany’s cushy deal. “At the DOE, it’s not what you know, but who you know,” she said.
Leaving aside Mulgrew-Daretany’s failure to disclose her work with Brienza's for a minute, I am very interested in just how Mulgrew-Daretany got a $75,828 a year management gig with the DOE after not having worked in the system for 11 years.
Did Mulgrew pull strings to get her the job?
Or did Mulgrew not have to pull strings because the implicit understanding between Mulgrew and the DOE ("You help us, we help you...") was already there?
In either case, something smells here.
I also find it hard to believe Mulgrew-Daretany didn't list her COO job at Brienza's on the application for the DOE management position.
Although again, either way, something smells.
Either the DOE hired her without knowing she had management experience because she didn't list her Brienza's COO experience on her application/resume or the DOE did know about the Brienza's job and didn't care about the potential conflict of interest.
In any case, the takeaway from this is that Mulgrew's sister got a sweet management gig from the DOE, no questions asked.
Nice work if you can get it.
You have to wonder, how did somebody with the last name "Mulgrew" get that nice work?