2009-08-14 / Top Stories

Held Mayoral Control Hostage

By Howard Schwach

Sources say that the woman who represents Board Channel in the State Senate offered to support the mayoral control bill in return for the firing of a principal for whom her daughter works.

Senator Shirley Huntley admittedly has been trying for several years to get rid of the principal of PS 30 - the school in which her daughter, Pamela Corley, is parent coordinator.

While Huntley publicly opposed the plan to return control of the public schools to the mayor, sources in both city and state government told several daily newspapers, including the Daily News and the New York Post, that the senator was willing to vote for the bill if education officials fired Principal Dwayne Crowder.

The bill passed the Senate two weeks ago by a vote of 47-8, with Huntley opposed.

One Democratic senator told Daily News Albany Bureau Chief Leonard Lovett, "She wanted the guy fired. She wanted his head. The school people looked at it and said the principal is great, that his scores are up, and they offered to transfer her daughter to another school."

Huntley's daughter reportedly filed a police report against the principal, claiming he threw a three-ring binder at her, a local newspaper reported in February.

For her part, Huntley says that the charges against her are false.

"They're liars," she said, adding that the mayor's team implied that they would fire Crowder in return for her support.

"They tried to make a deal with me, but I was not going to vote for mayoral control no matter what."

She says, "Bloomberg's negotiators offered to remove Crowder, that I could get anything and hinted that meant Crowder if I voted for the bill, but I refused."

As for Crowder, Huntley told Lovett, "He basically doesn't know what he is doing. Teachers feel very threatened, upset, intimidated."

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