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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »

The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Chad Vignola: Due Process Hits the Dust

Chad Vignola worked for the Board of Education under Rudy Crew, Harold Levy, and then until March 11, Joel Klein. He tried to coverup the fact that Diana Lam had been successful in getting her husband hired by the NYC DOE without consulting the Conflict of Interest Board. Despite Klein's firing him, our sources tell us that he is staying on at the Office of Legal Services because they "cant find anyone to replace him". Mr. Vignola is well known to have violated many rules, regulations and laws, namely not complying with Freedom of Information requests and not responding to grievances, and then on April 1, 2002 he sent out the email below to all the members of the New York State Assembly Education Committee, saying that everything I wrote in a letter to the New York State Governor and State Regents was false (untrue), that we had indeed received the money from Barnes & Noble (untrue), and that Johnnie Mae's son Timmy received all his services (untrue):

Official Response to Combier's Plea

Subj: Response to complaint letter
Date: 3/31/02 4:36:40 AM Pacific Standard Time

Dear Ms. Combier,
I have referred your email letter for review and reply. Someone from Chad Vignola's office will be in touch with you shortly. Feel free to contact his office directly. I regret your evident displeasure with the school system and will attempt to respond appropriately.

Harold O. Levy
New York City Board of Education
110 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
718 935 2794
718 935 3383 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
To: Sacks Burt ; Levy Harold ; Chancellor ; NYCBOE_MEMBERS ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Sent: Sat Mar 30 23:35:38 2002
Subject: MS 54, the BOE, and public schools in NYC
Subj: Reply to Chancellor Harold Levy's email
Date: 3/31/02 12:49:20 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: So
To:, Solarmedia,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Dear Chancellor Levy:

Thank you very much for your rapid reply to my email! You will also be receiving a copy of the information I emailed you by mail, certified return receipt requested tomorrow at your office, as will everyone else listed above plus other elected officials. I spent all night at the 33rd Street Post Office.

Perhaps you do not remember sending me the same email you sent today, in December, when I sent you the Johnnie-Mae story and the Special Education situation at MS 54? I had just placed the story about Timmy's harrowing experiences in The West Side Spirit, and you emailed me that you would contact Mr. Chad Vignola. I am sending you your email to refresh your memory:

Subj: Re: Fwd: Special Education in District 3: Timmy Allen's story
Date: 12/31/2001 2:58:18 PM Pacific Standard Time
To:,,,,,, CC:

Sent from the Internet (Details)

I have asked Chad Vignola to look into these allegations.
Harold O. Levy
Board of Education
City of New York
110 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Fax 718-935-3383

-----Original Message-----
To: Segarra Ninfa ; Hamer Jr. Irving ; Impellizzeri Irene ; ; Brooks Greg ; Chancellor ; Levy Harold

Sent: Mon Dec 31 17:34:04 2001
Subject: Fwd: Special Education in District 3: Timmy Allen's story

I have been awaiting some kind of contact from Mr. Vignola, and as of today I have not received any email, telephone call, or otherwise.

I appreciate your telling me that you have contacted him, and indeed, as I stated in the document I emailed and mailed out yesterday, I will speak with anyone at any time about resolving the problems in District 3 and in MS 54. However, I do not consider telephoning/emailing me a part of the solution, although I very much appreciate having your ear, as I did when I interviewed you at Stuyvesant High School about the air quality. I wrote the piece and was very supportive of you and the BOE efforts for the Stuy students. Let me not stray from our main concern. Last March I put Anemona on the story of how Mrs. Patricia Romandetto was broke. Her two articles appeared on March 6 & 7 in the New York Times. You are quoted as giving her until June 2002 to "fix" her financial disaster in District 3. We have all heard rumors of all the money she has spent on "fixing" up her office, and we still are not sure, and look again at the article published on PS 87a few weeks ago, that anything has changed.

I know that nothing has improved at Booker T for the non-Delta parents. And, here is the crux of the whole matter: at what point do you, as Chancellor, say to a Principal and a Superintendent, "enough is enough"?

We parents want our kids to be safe, be high achievers, and have excellent teachers. Its that simple. We don't understand how people who seem to not want that stay in positions of power, and I'm referring to Mr. Larry Lynch, Mrs. Romandetto, even Birdie Blake-Reid, or anyone else. There are classrooms out there with no supplies, no books, nothing. This hits us moms very hard, right in the heart. I have all of the information from the parents at Martin Luther King Jr. High School, sent to me from the mother who sat in her son's classroom for 6 months, wrote you that something was going to happen at least last April, and on Wednesday appeared in Federal Court in her $100 million lawsuit against you, Mr. Sacks, and the BOE. She was as horrified as anybody when two students were shot, but she was not surprised. This was my same reply on FOX 5 the other night, when I was asked how I felt about Mr. White being accused of sexual abuse of a student at Booker T. Interestingly, they have me on camera speaking about accountability which, as you know, is the focus of my new Website.

In sum, Mr. Levy, I am totally, 100% interested in what you plan to do with the information I have sent to you, as my only interest is to help the children. Is your reply to the information that Mr. Vignola has the answers? The reason that I have now widened the scope of my informed public, both by my mailing as well as by my new Website which will be up probably in two weeks is because I am very, very concerned about the well-being of all 1100+ kids at Booker T. I would be very interested in your letting me know what you plan to do as Chancellor.

Once again, thank you!

Betsy Combier

Subj: RE: Reply to Chancellor Harold Levy's email
Date: 4/1/02 10:15:59 AM Pacific Standard Time
To:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Sent from the Internet (Details)

1. It is my understanding that you were removed by your fellow parents as PTA President at MS 54 last Fall for improprieties.

2. It is further my understanding that you questioned use of certain monies from an MS 54 fundraiser. That matter was fully investigated by Office of Special Investigations staff under my purview and your complaint was found without merit.

3. The issue of Mr. Allen was handled to the parent's satisfaction back in December/January when the issue first arose; there was nothing further for my Office to follow up.

In short, I am unaware of anything further that needs to be investigated. You refer generally to "information sent" to the Chancellor. If you could be more precise and provide me in writing with a new and specific allegation that needs to be addressed, I will make sure it is reviewed promptly.

Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 16:57:36 EST
Subject: Reply to Mr. Chad Vignola

Dear Mr. Vignola:
Thank you for your reply to my email.
Your response confirms the fact that your office has not looked at the issues I have presented or the documents, which I have sent. While I think that the New York State Assembly, New York City Council, the news media, the TV reporters, my friends in politics in this City and all my friends on PAs and in New York City who are indeed movers and shakers, may be a bit more bothered than I by your implication that I am not a person of integrity and honesty, I am very surprised by your implication being made so frivolously, considering your position at the Board of Education. I will be brief:

1. Please let me know the "improprieties" to which you refer.

2. Mr. Richard Switach sent to Mr. Mills invoices from 3 companies who, he said, shipped supplies to Booker T. Washington MS 54 and were paid out of the Barnes & Noble money raised by the PTA. I chose to call each company and ask for original invoices, and indeed one had been altered to make it look like it was used a year earlier than it was. Mr. Switach did not, I guess, get in touch with the companies as I did. I may add that all the items which were listed as bought with the Barnes & Noble $13,783.77 have not been seen by parents or staff at Booker T. I, just as many other parents, would love to have the science supplies listed, as we all see nothing in the NOVA science lab.

3. I spoke with Ms. Johnnie Mae Allen a few minutes ago, and she has never received her son Timmy Allen's IEP, she has continued to have her son written up for wrongdoing which he has not done, and she is truly furious, and upset. Who, may I ask, told you otherwise?

I am preparing a package of all the information I have already sent to Mrs. Moskowitz, Mr. Burt Sacks, the news media, and the District Attorney. I am willing to meet with you and discuss any of the above at any time, and my only request at this time is that, somewhere in our discussions, we focus on the children attending MS 54. I look forward to a meeting scheduled after April 7, the date I return from Chicago.

Thank you!
Betsy Combier

Then, when the E-Accountability Foundation grieved the appointments - not elections - of PA Executive Board members at La Guardia High School, saying that there were no notices sent out, Joel Klein "signed" his name to an email sent by Chad Vignola stating that Exhibit A, the election notice, had indeed been sent to all parents in the school, and therefore the grievance was dismissed in its' entirety. But Mr. Vignola and Mr. Klein never emailed/mailed/sent Exhibit A, despite stating in their response to the election grievance, and thus made it appear that there never was one. Ms. Sheryl Renscher, the Region 10 Parent Coordinator, supported this assumption, that since Chad Vignola and Chancellor Klein never sent Exhibit A (the election notice), that this shows there never was any.

However, as the Office of Legal Services always have the last word, nothing can be done to undo anything "they" say is true, right, the "facts", or whatever. Let us all not forget that Mr. Vignola, the Chief Counsel for the Chancellor, was fired for allowing Diana Lam to break the law.

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation