September 4, 2012
Lynn Passarella lost her position as principal of Theatre Arts Performing Company School in March when an investigation concluded that a host of academic and financial improprieties had taken place under her watch.
This summer, the suspended adminstrator lost some of her savings, as well, when the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board fined her $3,500 for two violations of city ethics rules. The board levied the fine in July after Passarella accepted its ruling, according to a disposition released today.
Both offenses violated city rules that prohibit city employees from using their positions to benefit themselves or people close to them. In one, Passarella paid a school worker $60 to prepare an annual holiday party at her home. In another, she encouraged a community group that worked with TAPCO to hire her sister.
The offenses turned up in the report issued in March by Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon, but they were not the impetus for the investigation or its main findings. We reported at the time:
New York City’s top-ranked high school two years ago achieved its lofty score under a veil of academic improprieties that ranged from fudged student records to inflated test scores, according to a lengthy report released today by the Department of Education. …
Substantiating nine of 19 allegations against [Passarella], the investigators also concluded that under Passarella’s watch student transcripts were falsified, school funds misused, and non-credited staff were assigned to teach a loosely defined “Wellness” class that replaced physical education requirements.
Passarella was placed on suspension without pay after Condon’s investigation concluded, according to Marge Feinberg, a Department of Education spokeswoman. The department has initiated termination proceedings and is now waiting for the disciplinary trial, known as a 3020-a hearing, to begin, Feinberg said.