But the lead DOE attorney said the 13-year-old who Blake allegedly assaulted has been consistent with his story and that Blake made numerous "false statements" in the 18-month investigation before the hearing. The proceeding, conducted by an independent arbitrator, is to determine whether Blake will be fired or reinstated to his position at the Queens Village school.Blake is accused by the DOE of misappropriating $30,000 from school fund-raisers, student lunch payments and graduation expenses from October 2005 to June 2006. He is also facing claims of corporal punishment for allegedly punching and choking a student who made a remark about his son, who attended the Queens Village school at the time of the incident in June 2006.Victor Muellen, the DOE attorney, conceded that the student, now 15, "is no angel" and that he had been "suspended numerous times."But he defended the teen's credibility."This student was remarkably consistent with what he said. He never exaggerated. He never piled on," Muellen said. He said Blake "hindered the investigation by giving false statements to the (DOE's) special commissioner of investigations."Among those "false statements" from Blake, Muellen said, were that the former IS 109 head said he was not aware of the DOE's standard operating procedures for principals, that he was not trained by the DOE on how to run his school's finances and that he was not aware that a school treasurer needed to have a background in accounting.About 30 supporters of Blake, who has been backed by elected officials in southeast Queens, attended the opening arguments of the disciplinary hearing Tuesday in Manhattan.
©2008 Community News Group
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