A state arbitrator called a teacher from James Madison HS a “liar” before he recommended she be dismissed for having sexual relations with a co-worker in her classroom.
Arthur Reigel said French teacher Cindy Mauro made up a story about giving an insulin injection to a diabetic colleague to cover-up the fact that she was having a passionate tryst with fellow teacher Alini Brito during a school-sponsored event.
“[Mauro] is a liar,” Reigel wrote in his decision to let go the embattled teacher, who the city’s Department of Education terminated on Wednesday.
In his findings, Reigel said the French teacher’s testimony lacked any credibility, appeared “rehearsed” and “made no sense.”
Both Mauro and Brito, who taught Spanish at the school, were suspended in November, 2009, when a janitor at the Bedford Avenue school caught them writhing around the floor of a school classroom half naked.
Yet Brito, who is a diabetic, claimed that the moment wasn’t an act of passion, but compassion: Her blood sugar fell during a school-sponsored singing event in the auditorium and Mauro offered to take her to a classroom for some candy and an insulin injection.
Brito said she removed her shirt so she could use it as a pillow. Mauro was about to administer the injection when a building superintendent walked in on them.
But that’s not what the janitor saw — he claimed that when he walked by both teachers were naked and Mauro was between Brito’s legs.
School officials were discreet about the salacious discovery until rumors of what might have happened began to spread among the student body.
Soon, a Facebook page dedicated to the scandal entitled “the infamous Ms. Brito rumor” brought the incident to the attention of higher-ups.
Following hearings held last month, arbitrator Mary Crangle, who was overseeing Brito’s case, found the building superintendent and other school administrators more credible than the embattled Spanish teacher.
But Reigel’s determination in was a bit more assertive — especially over Mauro’s diabetic defense.
Reigel found it unfathomable that Mauro would agree to give Brito an insulin injection when she admitted to knowing nothing about the disease or its treatment.
“It is inconceivable that an educated person with so little knowledge about, but an awareness of what can happen during a diabetic episode, would take it upon herself to treat a diabetic in physical distress,” he wrote. “If Brito had low blood sugar, insulin would have harmed her. Yet, her excuse was that Brito needed insulin because her sugar level was low.”
Mauro’s attorney told reporters that the French teacher is suing to get her job back.
So is Brito, who claimed that a school surveillance video — which has since been destroyed — would have shown that the janitor and other witnesses never left the auditorium.
“This whole thing is overblown,” Brito’s attorney Michael Valentine told the Daily News. “A fish turned into a whale because of the nature of these allegations. There were no shenanigans.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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