New York City Schools

Ex-NYC Schools Chancellor Fined for Taking Wife to See ‘Hamilton' on DOE Discount

Eventually, the former head of schools, Richard Carranza, was slapped with a $1,100 fine -- a fine which he did agree to and did end up paying.

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What to Know

  • The former NYC Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, was fined a pretty penny after misusing his position as the head of schools to take his wife on an outing to see the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" using a Department of Education discount, it was revealed Thursday.
  • According to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, in April 2019, Carranza, who at that time was the head of the city's schools, used a ticket to take his wife, who was not a DOE employee, to a DOE-exclusive event that was part of a DOE partnership with the producers of "Hamilton." 
  • In the disposition documents, Carranza said that prior to attending the event he asked his staff to inquire whether he could use a ticket for his wife so that she could accompany him and was told that he could as long as he paid that $10. "In so doing, I attempted in good faith to comply with the applicable rules," Carranza said according to the disposition.

The former NYC Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, was fined a pretty penny after misusing his position as the head of schools to take his wife on an outing to see the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton" using a Department of Education discount, it was revealed Thursday.

According to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, in April 2019, Carranza, who at that time was the head of the city's schools, used a ticket to take his wife, who was not a DOE employee, to a DOE-exclusive event that was part of a DOE partnership with the producers of "Hamilton." 

The all-day event at the Richard Rodgers Theatre was emceed by a cast member and included student performances, a question-and-answer session with the cast, and a matinée performance of the award-winning musical. 

According to the board, Carranza used a ticket for his wife that typically would have been distributed to DOE employees and for which he paid $10, the price listed on the tickets for DOE students and chaperones.

In the disposition documents, Carranza said that prior to attending the event he asked his staff to inquire whether he could use a ticket for his wife so that she could accompany him and was told that he could as long as he paid that $10.

"In so doing, I attempted in good faith to comply with the applicable rules," Carranza said according to the disposition. However, he also said that he did not verify with his staff had consulted with the DOE Ethics Officer or the DOE General Counsel regarding the ticket to make sure that indeed there were no ethical violations.

Eventually, Carranza was slapped with a $1,100 fine for the alleged mishap -- a fine which he did agree to and did end up paying.

In a statement to News 4 New York, the DOE said: “We hold all of our City employees to the highest possible ethical standard. The former Chancellor has acknowledged his mistake and the Board determined the penalty.”

After nearly three years at the helm of New York City Schools, Carranza announced in February he was preparing to step down from the top post after weathering a difficult chapter for the district amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Less than three weeks after leaving his post in March -- saying he needed "time to grieve" the coronavirus-related losses of family members and close friends -- Carranza landed a senior gig with a Silicon Valley educational software firm.

Carranza joined IXL Learning as chief of strategy and global development, the company said in a statement. The company, which says its learning software is used by more than 12 million students, said Carranza will "advise IXL Learning on meeting the growing needs of school systems around the world."

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