If you are reading this and don't live in the Miami area then you probably don't know that Miami-Dade County Public Schools has been in turmoil recently.
Dr. Rudy Crew, superintendent of Dade schools, was sent packing last week, after the school board decided they could no longer support him and voted him out.
One of Crew's deputies, then-Associate Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, was subsequently pitched by some school board members for the top job.
Carvalho is a popular guy. His supporters said he'd be great for the job.
But then the Miami Herald got hold of a string of emails purported to be communications between Carvalho and a former Herald reporter - Tania deLuzuriaga, a reporter who used to write about Dade schools - and Carvalho's cake walk into the boss's office suddenly got a little rocky.
The emails, which you can peruse for yourself here, suggest an intimate relationship between the pair. The emails also suggest an inappropriate professional relationship between Carvalho and deLuzuriaga. The string contains a couple of messages in which the reporter shared with Carvalho confidential correspondence another schools reporter sent to her. It also contains messages where the reporter essentially suggests to Carvalho that they scratch each other's backs in the name of professional advancement for both. Carvalho allegedly sent other emails to a school board member, coaching that member on how to grill then Superintendent Rudy Crew.
But regardless what you think of the affair allegations, or the back-scratching allegations, or the allegations of Carvalho trying to undermine his now-former boss, here's the problem: At the beginning of last week, Carvalho was righteously indignant and told the Miami Herald and anyone else who would listen, including the school board, that the emails had been doctored to falsely suggest an inappropriate relationship between him and the reporter.
By the end of the week, he had changed his tune and essentially admitted the emails were likely real. Instead of denying them, he actually told a TV reporter on Saturday that he didn't recall receiving some of them. And even though no affair occurred, the emails were of a personal nature and that he didn't feel right discussing them in detail.
But this isn't about an affair. On Friday, Carvalho was voted into the superintendent's job by a majority of the school board.
Now, what does the school board need to do? Fire him. Toss him out on his arse.
Forget the alleged affair. Forget the alleged sour professional relationship. 'Cause in the strictest sense, in his business Carvalho isn't bound by news biz ethical rules that demand reporters keep relationships at arm's length from the people they cover. BTW, the reporter is now under fire at her current newspaper and could be fired over this.
The problem is Carvalho lied to the school board, and that's a terrible example to the kids in his school district. And if you believe that hooey about him possibly not remembering the email exchanges I have a bridge to sell you in the Florida Everglades. It leads to nowhere, by the way.
I don't know about you, but I tend to forget email spam. Even those messages offering to enhance my sex life or give me half of an African prince's fortune...for a small fee. What I guarantee you I wouldn't forget are romantic emails sent to me from someone I see hanging around my office and office building several days per week. No way I'd forget those.
Carvalho may be the greatest administrator and strategist to ever walk the Earth. But if he's lying to the school board before his first day on the job it's a bad precedent. If a kid lies to his teacher and is found out he's sent to sit in the corner, or sent to the Principal's office, or sent home with a note to his parents. And it's that way 'cause we don't want kids thinking it's OK to lie their way out of things.
How's it gonna look to them that this guy gets a promotion out of his fibbing?