Alvarado Is Charged by N.Y.C. Board
The New York City Board of Education filed formal charges last week against suspended Schools Chancellor Anthony J. Alvarado.
Several of the 13 counts outlined in detail in a 15-page document were included in a recent inquiry of Mr. Alvarado's conduct by the New York City Department of Investigation. In a report released on March 22, the agency charged that he "demonsrated a serious lack of judgment and created a strong appearance of impropriety" as a district school superintendent from 1973 until he was appointed chancellor last April.
The board also made new allegations against Mr. Alvarado last week. It said that he:
Authorized overtime pay to an assistant, Luz Perez, while superintendent of District 4 in East Harlem, but then instructed her to not do the work and give him the money so he could have his office repainted.
As chancellor, had a telephone installed in his home and billed the board of education for his calls.
In 1976, approved payments to an employee, Lynn Woodford McGowen, knowing that she did not do the work attributed to her on school-system timesheets.
Used "one or more" summer employees of the school system to paint his Brooklyn home last summer.
Double-billed the board of education by reporting he had performed "per-session" work on two days that he also reported working as superintendent.
Doron Gopstein, the city's chief assistant corporation counsel, said the new charges were drawn from "a variety of sources" that include new findings by the city's investigative agency.
The board recently appointed Richard C. Failla, New York City's chief administra-tive law judge, as a hearing officer to review the charges and recommend to the board what further actions, including dismissal, might be taken against Mr. Alvarado.
Mr. Failla will conduct a quasi-judicial hearing on the allegations against Mr. Alvarado, who will be allowed to call and cross-examine witnesses. Mr. Gopstein said a time and a place for the public hearing may be set this week when Mr. Failla meets with the parties involved in the case.
Thomas P. Puccio, Mr. Alvarado's lawyer, said last week in a statement, "By filing its 'specification of charges,' the Board of Education has taken the next procedural step required for a lawful and prompt resolution of this case. We believe that this process, which we have endorsed from the outset, will result in a judicial ruling favorable to Chancellor Alvarado.
"Moreover, we are confident that, at a full and fair public hearing, his position--that he never violated the public trust--will be vindicated."
In its March 22 report, the Department of Investigations charged that Mr. Alvarado, who has continued to draw his $95,000 annual salary since he was suspended by the board late last month, frequently solicited money from subordinates "in a manner that was inherently coercive and frequently deceptive."
It also alleged that he failed to report $128,000 as income on his tax returns and that he submitted false and misleading documents, including falsified leases, to banks in applying for mortgages. (See Education Week, April 4, 1984.)
According to the report, Mr. Alvarado's financial dealings came to light on Feb. 27, after documents found by police in the apartment of an employee of Mr. Alvarado's, John Chin, revealed that the chancellor had borrowed up to $26,000 from him. Mr. Chin's apartment had been searched following his arrest on several charges, including firing a gun into a neighbor's apartment.