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Fourteen corporations alleged owned or controlled by three of the defendants were also indicted, the DA said.
Brown announced the indictments at a news conference with Schools Chancellor Harold Levy and Edward Stancik, special commissioner of investigation for the city school system.
"The indictment alleges that over a four-year period the defendants looted District 29 of half the contract money awarded by the Board of Education to District 29 schools," Brown said.
Miller allegedly rigged $3.1 million in computer bids in 19 of the district's schools in exchange for receiving favorable real estate deals on four Rosedale properties, said Brown. The Board of Education computer contracts were worth $6.3 million.
"Stealing precious resources from a system that is already impoverished is inexcusable," said Levy.
District 29 covers schools in Queens Village, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens and parts of Jamaica, St. Albans and Cambria Heights.
Miller, 51, and her husband Harris were indicted along with Thomas Kontogiannis, 51, owner of 11 of the companies indicted; Ray Shain, 44, an attorney and owner of a computer consulting company; Kison Tso, 34, owner of the company that was awarded the school computer contracts; and Eric Ruland, 31, who worked for Shain.
The defendants were scheduled to be arraigned later Wednesday on charges of falsifying business records, offering false instruments for filing, restraint of trade and rewarding official misconduct.
If convicted, Miller faces up to 25 years in prison as do the other defendants with the exception of her husband Harris, who faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.
The defendants are charged with conspiring to submit forged bids for the computer contracts and making it appear as if there had been competitive bidding when, in fact, there was not, Brown said.
Kontogiannis, a close business associate of Tso's, helped Miller acquire the four Rosedale homes with virtually no down payments, according to the indictment said.
Tso and Kontogiannis also allegedly illegally contributed $78,000 to Miller's failed 1998 congressional campaign, the DA said.
The computer contracts involved 19 schools in neighborhoods across southeast Queens between 1996 and 1998, Stancik said. The Board of Education was alerted to the alleged improprieties in 1998 when a legitimate bidder who was frustrated with the process contacted them and then Stancik's office.
Stancik said the computers the schools received were sub par and broke down so often that they could not be used by the students.
"The corrupt super was lining their pockets when students can't even use their computers," said Stancik.
Levy said he would allocate $1 million to the district to buy newer computers for the student. He also said the Board of Education was working on creating measures which would prevent similar scandals.
The district has been searching for a new permanent superintendent since Miller was fired in January 1999 by then Chancellor Rudy Crew for failing to report in a timely manner that a boy had brought a loaded gun to a Rosedale school
Levy told the news conference he had rejected the four replacement candidates submitted by School Board 29, and District Administrator Michael Johnson would remain in charge until a permanent replacement could be found.
©2000 Community Newspaper Group
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