An explosive whistleblower complaint sent to three city councilmen claims the agency charged with investigating wrongdoing in city schools has blocked probes of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and their allies, The Post has learned.
The Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) for city schools is sitting on nine cases of waste, fraud and corruption involving the upper echelons of City Hall and the Department of Education, according to a type-written, four-page letter that catalogues the wrongdoing in detail.
One of cases cited involves first lady Chirlane McCray’s embattled $850 million mental health program, Thrive, which has a large school component.
The insider document blames Special Commissioner Anastasia Coleman, who was appointed in
February 2018, after prevailing in a power struggle with former Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters, an aggressive prober of the mayor’s administration and city agencies.
“Under Coleman, SCI is continuing to hold or redirect investigations into City Hall, Chancellor Richard Carranza and de Blasio allies with business or that are connected to the DOE to protect de Blasio’s image while he runs for president,” says the anonymous Aug. 20 letter signed by “SCI Investigative Staff.”
De Blasio dropped out of the presidential campaign on Sept. 20.
Other mothballed cases included a probe of possible mayoral interference in an investigation of Orthodox Jewish yeshivas that get city funds but skimp on required secular education; contract spending on de Blasio’s aborted “Renewal” program for failing schools; and allegations about Carranza and his top aides.
“SCI investigators assigned to investigations involving executives at the DOE and City Hall, including the Mayor, have been directed to instead focus on matters not related to the mayoral administration, his allies, etc,” the letter says.
SCI agents, it adds, “have been denied support in conducting these investigations and their independence in pursuing leads . . . that point towards City Hall and top-level executives at the DOE.”
In response, SCI said that Coleman “is aware of the anonymous complaint as well as its recipients,” adding that the letter was forwarded “to the appropriate agency for review” — referring to the city Department of Investigation.