Former Schools Official Is Fined for Ethics Violation
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 04:36 PM
A former chief financial officer for the New York City Department of Education has agreed to pay a $6,500 fine to the city’s Conflict of Interest Board for using his public e-mail account to promote a personal business and plot his exit into a private-sector job.
In documents released on Tuesday, the board laid out in a dry, succinct style what took place, and included a first-person account by the officer, George Raab III. He described using his city e-mail account to trade messages about a real estate investment he kept on the side and to offer business advice to a firm for which he went on to work.
Still, Mr. Raab asserted his mistakes were innocent, saying, “I was not aware that using my D.O.E. email account for these private, noncity purposes violated” ethics rules by which every city worker must abide.
His transgressions were made public in May, when Richard J. Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for the city’s schools, released a report detailing them.
A former executive at Bear Stearns until its implosion in the subprime mortgage crisis, Mr. Raab was hired in October 2008, at a salary of $196,000, to help steer the Education Department through the tough fiscal times ahead. He lasted 11 months on the job.
The fines Mr. Raab will pay are civil penalties. In an interview in May after the release of his report, Mr. Condon said Mr. Raab’s behavior did not amount to a crime.