2012-10-12 / Top Stories

Staff Brings Charges Against FR Principal

Special Investigator Opens Probe
By Howard Schwach

PS 253 Principal Robin Johnson (right cutting ribbon for school) in a 2004 file photo with then Superintendent Kathie Cashen. PS 253 Principal Robin Johnson (right cutting ribbon for school) in a 2004 file photo with then Superintendent Kathie Cashen. The special commissioner of investigations for the New York City school district has confirmed that staffers in a Far Rockaway school have brought serious financial and other charges against their school’s principal and that the commissioner has opened an investigation into those charges.

Staffers charge that Robin Johnson, the principal of PS 253 on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, has used school money inappropriately, favored some staff members with overtime money, expensive electrical equipment and no-show jobs and has used public money to take at least one school aide on staff development meetings to such destinations as Hawaii and Las Vegas. They also charge that Johnson regularly gives access to the school to that aide’s brother, a convicted felon, in contravention of Department of Education regulations. The charges include that she took money from an account set up to bring more technology to students and used it to buy the aide an iPad, cell phone and computer; That she allows that school aide to carry his own time card with no accountability, in contravention of DOE regulations;

That Johnson, who is scheduled to work from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., regularly comes in between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and is punched in by another staff member;

That she regularly provides persession (extra work for extra pay) money to herself and to her favored staff members;

That she has moved much-needed furniture out of the building to an undisclosed location;

That she took her favored aide, whom she illegally designated as the aides’ supervisor, on many out-ofstate workshops and meetings.

PS253receivedaConitslast reportcardandaD(Developing,the next to lowest rating) on its quality review, making it one of the lowestranked schools on the peninsula.

Fewer than 40 percent of the school’s 461 students are reading on acceptable levels, records show.

The Department of Education declined to comment, referring The Wave to the Special Commissioner.

A spokesperson for the Special Commissioner said that the investigation is ongoing and that it could take several months to complete.

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how can she do this to

how can she do this to our children

This is so sad.

This is so sad.

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