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School Administrator Resigns After Inquiry Into Wife's Job

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 07:28 PM

A New York school administrator was forced to resign on Tuesday after a city investigation found that he had arranged for his wife to be hired for an Education Department job paying $52,000 a year.

The administrator, Angel Namnum, arranged for his wife, Rosa Castillo, to be hired in May by the department’s Extended Use Office in the Bronx as a community coordinator, according to a report released by the special commissioner of investigation, Richard J. Condon. Ms. Castillo had worked for the department as a paraprofessional from 1990 to 1996.

Mr. Namnum has worked for the department since 1987, when he started as a substitute math teacher, and most recently earned $190,806 annually as executive director of the finance division.

The report also noted that Mr. Namnum had previously helped his brother get a job as a principal. In that case, Mr. Namnum paid a $1,250 fine in 2008 as part of a settlement with the department and the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board.

According to the report, Mr. Namnum directed a senior grants officer, Maite Villanueva, who had once worked for him in the Bronx office, to call his wife and request that she send her résumé by e-mail even though there was no posted vacancy in the office at that time.

Ms. Villanueva told the investigator that Ms. Castillo was not qualified for the job she was hired for, noting that she “had no computer skills” and that she “barely spoke English, although command of the English language was required for her position because she dealt with school personnel and issued permits.”

Mr. Namnum has said that his wife applied for the job online and denied any involvement in her hiring, according to the report. He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.

The investigation started in December after the Office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation received an anonymous complaint, the report said.

The schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, issued a statement saying: “After reviewing the special commissioner’s report, it is obvious to me that Mr. Namnum abused his responsibility and privileges to secure a job for his wife, who was clearly unqualified. No one at any level of government should be allowed to put his own self-interest ahead of his obligation to the city.”

Mr. Walcott added that the department had scheduled a disciplinary conference with Ms. Castillo this week.

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