A former network leader for the Department of Education pressured a principal he supervised to hire his wife and retain her position despite budget cuts, GothamSchools reports.
John O’Mahoney, former leader of the Children First Network #208 and current Sheepshead Bay High School principal, admitted that in February of 2011 while preparing said principal for a New York State Education Department Title 1 Audit, he initiated conversation over his wife's qualifications for teaching at the school. O'Mahoney admitted that his intent was to have his wife hired for this position and she was.
A few months later, when the school was hit by budget cuts, O'Mahoney made sure his wife wouldn't be laid off. From the Conflicts of Interest Board report:
"...after being informed by the Principal that his wife’s position at the school would be excessed due to budgetary constraints, and with the intent of causing the Principal to retain his wife in her position at the school, the Network Leader directed a subordinate staff member to inform the Principal that his wife’s positioncould not be excessed."
O'Mahoney admitted to both charges and has been fined $4,000 by the city's Conflict of Interest board, according to the New York Post.
According to the board's enforcement policy, all conflict of interest charges are made public in order to educate and dissuade public servants from violating ethical mandates.
O'Mahoney is currently the interim principal at Sheepshead Bay High School but his position is under review as a spokesperson told GothamSchools the department is ”taking this seriously and reviewing the findings.”