Thursday, December 01, 2016
Beware Of The OSI And SCI Investigators. They Are Out To Terminate You.
Since Michael Bloomberg became Mayor of New York City and selected non-educator Joel Klein as Chancellor, teachers have been targeted by corrupt investigations by The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the Special Commissioner of Investigations (SCI). These investigative agencies have changed little under Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Chancellor Carmen Farina. You can read their stories Here.
The two investigative agencies are called when potentially serious allegations are brought against an educator. If the allegations involve criminal, sexual, or financial issues then SCI are called in. However, if the accusations are for corporal punishment or verbal abuse based upon discrimination, then OSI will investigate.
Unfortunately, both OSI and SCI are biased against school staff and by the time either investigative agency interviews the staff member, the investigators have already determined the member's guilt or innocence. Therefore, if you already know that the Principal wants you removed from the school, because you are a senior teacher, a whistleblower, or a person that knows the contract, the investigators will always substantiate the most trivial of actions and recommend disciplinary action, up to and leading to termination, despite the fact that the investigators have not even bothered to talk to you. Therefore, its best to keep quiet and wait for a more fair venue, like the 3020-a hearing to defend yourself. Too many educators believe that if they just explain what really happened to the investigators they would see that the allegations are false or frivolous. What really happens is that by talking to these corrupt investigators you are giving them just enough rope to hang yourself. This is especially true of SCI, who can arrest you on the spot if they believe that you told them enough to warrant your arrest. Just ask the educators who find themselves in a police holding cell for up to 72 hours before being released by a judge.
My recommendation is to NEVER TALK TO SCI WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF A LAWYER GIVEN TO YOU BY THE UFT. Just take the SCI investigator's card and tell them that your lawyer will contact them Talking to SCI is never a good idea and the SCI will use the information you supply against you, not for you. As for OSI? wait for the union to arrange a union advocate to represent you at the hearing and answer simply yes or no. Unless the union advocate tells you to explain, don't. Again any information you supply to OSI will be used against you in any disciplinary hearing. Best to answer simply and with as few words as possible. Remember both agencies assume the educator is guilty before ever meeting with the accused.
South Bronx Schools has a post about a former OSI investigator who advertises her services for educators who face OSI investigators and claims she can help the educator gain an advantage. I am highly skeptical of this claim since OSI has already decided the narrative of the educator's guilt or innocence before the meeting with the educator ever takes place. However, if you have loads of money to waste, believe in the tooth fairy, and think the OSI investigator is fair and balanced, good luck to you and by the way, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.