The Levittown school district has reassigned an assistant principal after learning of a report showing that he admitted pocketing $15,000 solicited from a teacher he supervised in a previous job with the New York City schools, including $5,000 he said would go to charity.
Michael Scaduto, 36, of North Bellmore told the coworker he was a “Big Brother” mentor to an 8-year-old suffering from cancer, whose family needed financial help, according to a letter detailing a probe conducted two years ago by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City schools. He said he needed the rest of the money to cover legal fees he was incurring, according to the letter.
A disposition issued by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board on May 17, 2017, states that Scaduto returned the funds to the teacher after she learned about his true use of the funds and asked for the money back. The board fined Scaduto $7,000, according to the disposition.
Tonie McDonald, superintendent of Levittown Public Schools, where Scaduto has worked since August of 2015, said in a statement that the district “is shocked to learn about the findings regarding Mr. Scaduto. The district had no knowledge of his actions or the accompanying investigation connected to his previous employment.”
McDonald said the district “is investigating these allegations, which we take very seriously.” Scaduto has been “administratively reassigned to home until further notice,” the statement said.
The statement also said, “Prior to hiring this employee, we conducted all necessary background checks in accordance to New York State Law, and applicable district policies and procedures, which revealed a clean history. There have been no reported incidents during his employment with our district.”
Scaduto has served as assistant principal at MacArthur High School in Levittown since August 2015. He is paid $134,310 a year, according to the district.
His lawyer, Lloyd Somer of Manhattan, declined to comment Monday.
Scaduto’s work history was first reported by the New York Post over the weekend.
Scaduto was first employed by the city schools in 2007 and in 2013 was appointed assistant principal at the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture in Ozone Park. He resigned from the city education department effective Aug. 31, 2015, and his last salary was $114,520. He had no past disciplinary history with the department.
“This behavior is unacceptable and Mr. Scaduto was fined,” Michael Aciman, deputy press secretary with the NYC Department of Education, said in a statement. “He is no longer a DOE employee and is not eligible for future employment with the DOE.”
Levittown hired Scaduto the same month that he resigned his job with the city as a replacement for Joseph Sheehan, who became the high school’s principal, according to a 2015 press release. The announcement noted Scaduto’s former position at the Ozone Park school and said he had also been a dean at August Martin High School in Jamaica. He taught physical education at both high schools, according to the announcement.
District officials declined to say whether Scaduto was to be paid or would handle job responsibilities during his home reassignment. The district declined to answer further questions.