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NOTICE OF PETITION

STATE OF NEW YORK


STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
_____________________________________

In the Matter of (Kenneth M. Bruce),


from the action of the Board of Education
of the City School District of Albany
regarding the complaint related
exclusion of Mr. Bruce from a Board meeting.
_____________________________________

Exhibit 1 - - Original inquiries by Mr. Bruce regarding Black Box Theatre

Exhibit 2 - - Meeting prior to the May 3rd Facilities Committee Meeting

Exhibit 3 - - Mr. Hogan and Mr. Bruce Correspondence after May 3 rd

Conversations
Exhibit 4 - - No Exhibit 4
Exhibit 5 - - No Exhibit 5
Exhibit 6 - - Mr. Bruces Response to May 20th Board Decision not to Investigate
Exhibit 7 - - Ms. Adlers Response to Mr. Bruces Response to May 20 th Board

Decision and the Ensuing Discussion


Exhibit 8 - - Ms. Adlers Attorney-Client Privilege string
Exhibit 9 - - No Exhibit 9
Exhibit 10 - - Dr. Colucciellos Report on Black Box Theatre dated May 13, 2016
Exhibit 11 - - Bill Hogans response to questions related to Dr. Colucciellos

Report on Black Box Theatre dated May 13, 2016

Exhibit 12 - - No Exhibit 12

Exhibit 13 - - Mr. Bruces letter to NYS Department of Education Commissioner,

dated June 6, 2016 and Related Correspondence


Exhibit 14 - - Letter from the Majority of the Board to Mr. Bruce
Exhibit 15 - - Mr. Bruces response to the letter from Ms. Adler and the Majority

of the Board of Education dated June 10, 2016.


Exhibit 16 - - NYSED Inspection Summary on July 14, 2016

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Exhibit 17 - - Mr. Bruces Request to the Office of the NYS Comptroller dated July

7, 2016
Exhibit 18 - - Request from the Majority of the Board for Mr. Bruces
Exhibit 19 - - Audit/Investigation Authorized by the Majority of the Board
Exhibit 20 - - NYS Education Department review the Black Box Theatre dated

August 8, 2016, with CS Arch


Exhibit 21 - - Mr. Churchills article in Times Union dated July 13, 2016
Exhibit 22 - - NYS Education Department review the Black Box Theatre dated

July 14, 2016, with CS Arch


Exhibit 23 - - NYS Comptrollers response July 14, 2016
Exhibit 24 - - Communication related to the Facilities Committee Meeting on

August 2, 2016 and Asbestos Test Request


Exhibit 25 - - NYSED regarding formal Commissioners appeal
Exhibit 26 - - More Communication related to the Facilities Committee approval

of the Black Box Classroom, Change Orders and Public Report on the Black Box

Classroom
Exhibit 27 - - Asbestos Test in the Black Box Classroom is Negative on October

18, 2016
Exhibit 28 - - Mr. Honeywells letter, dated October 13, 2016 to dissuade Mr.

Bruce from further action


Exhibit 29 - - Mr. Bruces letter, dated September 29, 2016 providing his

feedback on the investigation


Exhibit 30 - - New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public

Officers Law - Request for Sue Adler's correspondence


Exhibit 31 - - New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public
Exhibit 32 - - New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public

Officers Law - Request for City School District of Albany (district-wide)

Operations and Maintenance Account

2 | Page
Exhibit 33 - - New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public

Officers Law - Request for City School District of Albany Contracts with Dr. Betty

Webb
Exhibit 34 - - New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public

Officers Law - Request for Ann Savage and Vickie Smith's correspondence
Exhibit 35 - - Another Warning Letter from Mr. Honeywell
Exhibit 36 - - Committee Assignments
Exhibit 37 - - Boards Statement regarding New procedures for small
Exhibit 38 - - Next Act follows theater miscue

Exhibit 1 - - Original inquiries by Mr. Bruce regarding Black


Box Theatre

AHS Black Box Theater

Hogan, Bill
Thu 4/7/2016 9:57 AM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Colucciello,
Ray;
...
You replied on 4/7/2016 1:49 AM.

Ken

Yes I can provide a briefing tonight.

Bill

Sent from my iPhone

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 4/7/2016 1:49 AM

3 | Page
Sent Items
To: Wilkins, Kim; Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Colucciello, Ray;
...

You replied on 3/28/2016 12:17 PM.

Hi Bill,

Based upon our discussion, can you provide a brief overview during exec
session tomorrow? Architect? Turner Construction or in house labor? Any
other relevant facts?

Also for exec session, RFP as per our discussion.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany (CSDA)
(201) 320-6257

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 3/28/2016 12:17 PM
Sent Items
To: Wilkins, Kim; Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Colucciello, Ray;
...

You replied on 4/7/2016 1:49 AM.

Kim - Great, thanks... And I believe that it needs to be done in a public


forum... I added Ray to this string... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany (CSDA)
(201) 320-6257

4 | Page
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my
personal address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Wilkins, Kim
Thu 3/24/2016 10:20 PM
Sent Items
To:

You replied on 3/28/2016 12:17 PM.

I will work with Bill.

Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone

------ Original message------


From: Bruce, Kenneth
Date: Thu, Mar 24, 2016 6:56 PM
To: Wilson, Cecily;Leffler, Eileen;Bechdol, Karen;Hogan, Bill;
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
Subject:Re: AHS Black Box Theater

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 3/24/2016 6:56 PM
Sent Items
To: Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...

Cecily - Thanks for providing the background and offering a broad


perspective on the principal's role in building renovations.

Our principal and our superintendent should generally be able to restructure


the educational environment without board approval. However a $120K
structural change, within a high school with less education space than
needed, should warrant a board request or at the very least a notification.

Kim and Bill - Someone, has to provide the board with this information.
Please help me determine the proper method and the proper forum.

Kenneth M. Bruce

5 | Page
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany (CSDA)
(201) 320-6257

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my
personal address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Wilson, Cecily
Tue 3/22/2016 1:20 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 3/24/2016 6:56 PM.

Good afternoon,

I know Ward Dales discussed creating a theater space over at Abrookin with
me before I went on maternity leave. I felt it was a good idea to investigate
and pursue and knew that he and Ms. Getto would do just that. I cannot
speak to how it came to fruition. I will say that in the past I have reached out
to Brian's office to put up a wall or remove a wall to create various learning
or office spaces in the high school over the summer. Those projects are not
nearly as extensive, but all I did in those instances was reach out to Brian to
see when he could have a crew come over and do the work.

Cecily L. Wilson-Turner

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction


1 Academy Park
Albany, NY 12207

(518) 475-6012

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 3/22/2016 12:01 PM
Sent Items
To: Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;

6 | Page
...
Action Items

I hope that this note didn't come across as abrasive or accusatory... I just
really want to understand how decisions like this were made and if this is
normal within a school district.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany (CSDA)
(201) 320-6257

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my
personal address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 10:02 PM
To: Wilson, Cecily; Leffler, Eileen; Bechdol, Karen; Hogan, Bill
Cc: Wilkins, Kim
Subject: AHS Black Box Theater

In the facilities committee meeting last Wednesday, I inquired about the cost
of the AHS Black Box Theater. I understand that it was built over the
summer, at a cost of $120K and that it replaced four classrooms.

Unless, I am mistaken the board did not approve the expenditure nor did we
approve of the replacement of four classrooms.

I am sure that Dale and Brian Dengler were aware of the construction and I
did not include them on this inquiry.

Please help me understand how a decision like this is made and help me
understand if the proper procedures were followed. You can communicate
with me directly or you can communicate with Kim or Bill and they can help
me understand

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany (CSDA)
(201) 320-6257

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my
personal address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

7 | Page
8 | Page
Exhibit 2 - - Meeting prior to the May 3rd Facilities
Committee Meeting
From: Bruce, Kenneth
Sent: Monday, May 2, 2016 9:20 PM
To: Hogan, Bill; Dengler, Brian
Cc: Wilkins, Kim
Subject: Re: Next Facilities Committee

Hi Brian,

I had an opportunity to speak to Bill this evening about the theater and he answered
my questions, which were:
Did the construction involve architectural drawings?
Was an outside construction firm used as part of the process?
Did the construction require anything exceptional? - - not including the need
to adjust and quieten HVAC.
Bill says that the answer to each question above is, no. So there is no need to meet
early prior to Tuesday's facilities meeting.

Now, I understand why there was so much debris at Abrookin on the first day of
school.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 4:13 PM
To: Hogan, Bill; Dengler, Brian
Cc: Wilkins, Kim
Subject: Re: Next Facilities Committee

Great, Thanks Bill and Brian.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

9 | Page
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

From: Hogan, Bill


Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 8:54 AM
To: Dengler, Brian; Bruce, Kenneth
Cc: Wilkins, Kim
Subject: RE: Next Facilities Committee

Sounds good. Lets meet in my office at 5:15 on May 3rd.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

DISCLAIMER:
This email, including any attachments, was sent to you by the City School District of Albany and may contain
sensitive and confidential information. It is intended only for the individual(s) named. If you received this e-mail in
error or from someone who was not authorized to send it to you, do not disseminate, copy, or otherwise use this e-
mail or its attachments. Please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete the e-mail from your
system.

From: Dengler, Brian


Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 8:12 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth
Cc: Hogan, Bill; Wilkins, Kim
Subject: RE: Next Facilities Committee

Kenny,

That shouldnt be a problem. I have a prior commitment that runs until 5pm that
day. I will head right to Academy Park at 5, and should be there by 5:15. See you
then.

Thanks,

Brian Dengler
Director of Facilities
City School District of Albany
33A Essex Street
Albany , NY 12206
Phone: 518-475-6160
Fax: 518-475-6162

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From: Bruce, Kenneth
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 5:48 PM
To: Dengler, Brian
Cc: Hogan, Bill; Wilkins, Kim
Subject: Re: Next Facilities Committee

Hey Brian,

I have a few questions on the construction of the AHS Black Box Theater. Could you
arrive 15 minutes early at 5:15 so that you and I and Bill if he is available can have
a quick conversation about it.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

From: Hogan, Bill


Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 4:43 PM
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com
Cc: kennethmbruce@gmail.com; Rich Peckham; Dengler, Brian; 'Stewart III, Carl E -
(NYN)'; DePhillips, Scott - (NYN); Tibbitts, Paula; Angerame, Lisa
Subject: Re: Next Facilities Committee

All:

Thank you for allowing us to reschedule the next Facilities Committee meeting. It
will be on Tuesday, May 3rd at 5:30 pm at Academy Park. Please adjust your
calendars.

The meeting originally scheduled on April 20th is canceled.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ALBANY
Phone (518) 475-6020 Fax (518) 475-6024
bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us

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Exhibit 3 - - Mr. Hogan and Mr. Bruce Correspondence after
May 3rd Conversations
Next Facilities Committee - Black Box Theater
Hogan, Bill
Thu 5/5/2016 4:26 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...

Ken:

Thanks for considering if the Board wants to pursue it before we invest more time. I
did interview Brian again this morning. We just havent pursued the labor intensive
data mining in terms of budget transfers, vendors, and specific amounts paid to
specific vendors. We do know that three vendors were used for small pieces of the
project but they were already retained by the District from an annual bidding
process for district-wide services. That is the reason that there are not specific
contracts associated with their small parts of the project performed by vendors.
Had outside contracts been required, the Board would have had to approve them.

We know the total expense and we know that Board was not notified. Other than
what has already been provided, I am not sure if further details would change
anything or the conversation going forward.
See you soon.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 5/5/2016 4:14 PM
Sent Items
To: Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...

Hi Bill,

You make a good point. I will explore with the board this evening and determine if
they would like to pursue this further. Obviously, I do want to pursue it further.

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It was an expenditure of substantial funds on a project - the board was not notified
and nor did we approve the project. We are the community's elected
representatives and fiduciaries. This is exactly what we are elected to do.

Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Hogan, Bill
Wed 5/4/2016 5:06 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 5/5/2016 4:14 PM.

Action Items

Ken:

This issue has been discussed numerous times with several staff members and it
was recently discussed in Executive Session. The Superintendent at the time made
it clear that the theater was to be built so staff followed the directive. Its really that
simple. What decision are we trying to make with regard to the black box? Do at
least four board members consider this a high priority that warrants further time
commitments from staff? Earlier this spring one Board member wanted me to
spend 3 hours or so doing more research on the Land Bank issue. Knowing that it
would never get 4 Board votes, or possibly even one vote, staff waited to hear from
the rest of the Board before proceeding. As a result, a half day of staff time was
saved because the Board was not interested in pursuing the matter further.

At this time I am not prepared to give more specific information than what has
already been provided to you and the Board without doing more research. To do
more research will pull me from several important tasks that are in real-time.

Is the black box still a critical issue? What is issue? The person responsible is no
longer employed by the District.

13 | P a g e
Why dont I give the general information I have given in the past at the last
Executive Session and then see if the Board determines its a high priority
(compared with the other challenges and projects we are facing) then staff can
proceed accordingly.

If its easier, the maybe you would like to just give Kim or I a call.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/4/2016 2:34 PM
Sent Items
To: Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...

My last email may read very accusatory. It wasn't meant to be - the board just
needs all the relevant details

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/4/2016 2:21 PM
Sent Items
To: jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
Jeff - Fyi... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

14 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/4/2016 2:20 PM
Sent Items
To: Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 5/4/2016 2:34 PM.

Hi Bill,
You and I talked about these questions... Can you answer them directly during
executive session tomorrow for the full board.
Did the construction project involve an architect - CSArch or any other
firm?
Was an outside contractor used - Turner, Kasselman or any other firm?
Did the construction project require anything exceptional? - - not
including the need to adjust and quieten HVAC.
Which budget item covered this project? And/or where and when did
the transfers occur.
And more broadly how does a $120K Capital Improvement Project which
involves outside contracts happen without approval from the board and
without notification from anyone involved?
Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

15 | P a g e
Exhibit 4 - - No Exhibit 4

Exhibit 5 - - No Exhibit 5

16 | P a g e
Exhibit 6 - - Mr. Bruces Response to May 20th Board
Decision not to Investigate

Bruce, Kenneth
Fri 5/20/2016 12:50 PM
To: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com; Paul Aloy <pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;

Dear Fellow Board Members,

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity last evening to share my concerns with
you. I am disappointed that I was the only board member interested in a
broad investigation and I plan to evaluate an individual course of action.

As I explained last night, the Superintendent directed staff to build a Black Box
Theater at Albany High School. She didnt request board approval nor did she notify
the Board of the use of financial and district resources used to complete the
project. The theater was built over the summer break and the best estimate, at the
moment, for the cost of this project is $120,000. Its estimated that the theater
encompasses space which is equivalent to about four classrooms. At least three
outside contractors did work on the project. As the board requested, I will follow up
with district staff to develop a better understanding of the actual cost and where
and how the cost appears on our financial statements for this project and I will
report back to the Board.

As I explained and highlighted last night, this is the latest known incident in a
persistent a pattern of the Superintendent acting outside her defined authority
during her tenure as the Superintendent of Schools for the City School District of
Albany.

I shared some additional information last night, related to the Complaint, which was
not included in the forensic accounting report, which provides additional context.
One very significant fact is that the report was calculated based upon verbal
agreements and without written contracts supporting these agreements for
contracts which totaled $1,167,888.

The members of the City School District of Albany Board of Education serve as the
fiduciaries of the funds which taxpayers provide to the School District to educate
Albanys children. One of our primary roles is to hold the superintendent and
district staff accountable for their actions and for the way the peoples money is
spent. It is also a significant component of our role to accurately report
expenditures further to inform the public when we believe district funds were spent
improperly.

I am very disappointed that each of the six of you will not support a fuller legal
investigation and analysis. We cannot sign away our responsibilities in a severance

17 | P a g e
agreement or a legal settlement and we should not avoid asking the hard questions
to maintain calm and quiet.

I plan to discuss my individual concerns with counsel and with the appropriate
governing authorities.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

18 | P a g e
Exhibit 7 - - Ms. Adlers Response to Mr. Bruces Response
to May 20th Board Decision and the Ensuing Discussion

Black Box Theater etc.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/25/2016 6:21 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com;
Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Paul Aloy
<pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

Thanks Sue.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Wed 5/25/2016 6:20 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com;
Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Paul Aloy
<pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 5/25/2016 6:21 PM.

Kenny,

I think it best that any inquiries about the Black Box Theater wait until after we
meet with Jeff on June 2nd. Your email to the BOE setting out your thoughts and
intentions may have a direct impact on that. Given that most of the days between
now and June 2 are days off for our staff, it should not be a problem to wait until
after we meet.

19 | P a g e
Thanks.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/25/2016 5:12 PM
Sent Items
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Paul Aloy
<pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

The board determined that I would inquire about the construction and provide a
summary to the board. The board determined that it did not support any further
action to address my broader concerns. And I believe, that we all agree on these
two outcomes.

I will have Bill's summary by then and we can continue this discussion during
Thursday's executive session.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 5/25/2016 5:07 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...

The board determined that I would inquire about the construction and
provide a summary to the board. The board determined that it did not
support any action to address my broader concerns. And I believe, that we
all agree on these two outcomes.

I don't believe that an officers' meeting will be beneficial. We can cover


anything that warrants further discussion during executive session on

20 | P a g e
Thursday.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my
personal address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Tue 5/24/2016 3:55 PM
Sent Items
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Bruce, Kenneth;
...
You replied on 5/25/2016 5:07 PM.

Jeff,

Whether we meet first just we Officers or we meet as the entire BOE in Exec,
it is Kenny's statement in his last email, "I plan to avail myself to alternative
methods of expressing my concerns as a duly elected fiduciary of the City
School District of Albany", that necessitates a meeting as soon as possible.
Next Thursday's Exec is fine, so long as Kenny does not do anything about
"expressing his concerns" in the meantime.

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Tue 5/24/2016 2:09 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...
Bing Maps

Kenny, I was not at the meeting but the emails which followed (particularly yours
and Sues) lead me to believe there is a lack of consensus on any next steps
which follow that meeting. You stated you wanted to discuss your individual

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concerns with counsel and any governmental agencies. As counsel, I am catching
up on this and offering that discussion opportunity.

I am suggesting officers only to keep the discussion less formal. However, if you
believe it should be executive session on June 2 nd, I am fine with that as well. I was
actually envisioning a discussion then anyway following whatever the officer
meeting produces.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 5/24/2016 1:35 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...

Hi Jeff,

It's unclear to me why an officers' meeting is preferred or necessary. Could either


you or Sue please clarify.

I expressed my concerns to the board during an executive session. The other six
board members did not support my concerns. I don't believe that further discussion
by the officers will lead to a resolution of our differences in opinion.

I respect perspectives of the six board members and accept that the board does not
want to pursue my concerns any further.

My letter was meant as my expression to the board that I am still concerned and
that I plan to avail myself to alternative methods of expressing my concerns as a
duly elected fiduciary of the City School District of Albany.

If further discussion is warranted then it seems to me that it's a board discussion


and not an officers' discussion.

Kenny

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Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Tue 5/24/2016 7:49 AM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Adler, Sue;
...
Action Items

I am not sure what time of day works best for all of you. For example, are mornings
doable or is the only option after work (e.g. 5 or later)? After I hear on this question,
I will put out some date options.

Jeff

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 5/23/2016 9:53 PM
Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue;
...

Sure, let's meet.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

23 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Savage, Anne
Fri 5/20/2016 7:04 PM
Sent Items
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth;
...
You replied on 5/23/2016 9:53 PM.

I return Tuesday evening. I have a couple appointments in flux right now and can't
commit to a time until those settle down.

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 5/20/2016 5:16 PM
Sent Items
To: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Paul Aloy <pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 5/25/2016 5:12 PM.
Bing Maps

Rose, I think we can wait.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

24 | P a g e
rbrandon@nycap.rr.com
Fri 5/20/2016 5:15 PM
Sent Items
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Paul Aloy <pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

Thanks, Jeff, for chiming in so promptly, and saving me the time of composing a
rather lengthy email. I'll save my comments for the session with you, which be the
way; will it (the session with you) necessitate a special mtg or can it wait till our
next Exec Session?
--Rose

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 5/20/2016 4:38 PM
Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Bing Maps
Action Items

I am only email for scheduling purposes. When are you back?

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Savage, Anne
Fri 5/20/2016 4:36 PM
Sent Items
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

25 | P a g e
Cc: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth;
...

I am following. I can respond to scheduling requests but prefer not to respond by


email otherwise.

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 5/20/2016 4:25 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...
Bing Maps

Kenny, this is just to the board officers. I suggest a good first step might be a
meeting of board counsel and the board officers to better define that the issues are,
what needs to be done, and who has any authority to do it. If that suggestion
makes sense, I am happy to host a board officers meeting in my office.

I understand Anne is away in florida now but I am sure checking emails (likely a
good assumption on my part). We can try and schedule something to occur after
she is back.

This is simply my suggestion.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 5/20/2016 4:23 PM
Sent Items
To:
Adler, Sue;
Bruce, Kenneth;
...

26 | P a g e
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Paul Aloy <pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Bing Maps

Folks, although Paul was able to fill me in on last nights conversation, obviously I
have a lot more of the background on the issues being discussed. Since there
appears to be a difference of opinion on what may or may not have been authorized
last evening, I suggest that no further review be conducted or engaged in until
there is an opportunity for me to be involved in a conversation on the issues. My
impression is that although the issues may be important, they do not require any
immediate action.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Fri 5/20/2016 3:40 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com; Paul Aloy <pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

Kenny,

I again am writing as Vice President, representing the interests of the BOE, even
though we have not met since receipt of your letter. I do not think that exchanging

27 | P a g e
emails or letters is prudent. However, since we cannot meet with counsel at this
moment, I believe it is necessary to respond in the briefest manner possible.

You raise allegations and make implications concerning the BOE's actions and
motives that simply are not true. Once we have met with counsel, we will address
these issues more fully.

Adler, Sue
Fri 5/20/2016 2:55 PM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com; Paul Aloy
<pma@honeywelllawfirm.com>;

Kenny,

Thank you for your letter. Since you expressed your intention to pursue this
notwithstanding that the other 6 BOE members do not support this, I will be
reaching out, in my role as Vice President, to counsel seeking guidance on
this matter. I will ask that counsel meet with the BOE as soon as possible to
discuss the legal ramifications that your plan potentially has on us six BOE
members and on the District.

28 | P a g e
Exhibit 8 - - Ms. Adlers Attorney-Client Privilege string

Attorney-Client Privilege - Re: June 2nd BOE Executive Session

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 6/2/2016 4:34 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer;
Honeywell Law Firm <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

I agree Sue. The board tasked me with a sensitive matter to execute and it was
executed through correspondence with district staff, which did not include copying
the board... Bill shared part of this last email as I offered him a couple options on
how to share it with the board.

I am very comfortable with the way I have fulfilled my role, which is primarily
directing traffic. And I will continue to try to respectfully respond to your inquiries.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Thu 6/2/2016 4:29 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc:
Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Honeywell
Law Firm <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 6/2/2016 4:34 PM.

Kenny,

Sticking to just the important BOE business, not personal issues, this BOE has
always had the procedure that all BOE members are copied on emails when any

29 | P a g e
BOE member requests information from staff. This was discussed at length with
NYSSBA. This is not personal criticism of you. We have newer BOE members and we
all need to work to follow our procedures and best practices. When I recently erred
in writing to Kim instead of having someone contact the building leader, you
reminded me to follow chain of command (another NYSSBA topic). I apologized for
my error and did not take it as a personal affront.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 6/2/2016 4:05 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer;
Honeywell Law Firm <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

No, I was not, okay with your suggestion but I thanked you for it. You are neither
my lawyer nor the board's lawyer.

During our last meeting, you all tasked me to do something that I already began
and I continued.

I will copy the board when appropriate Sue.

For the record, and if it matters, the theater was already discussed in a public
meeting of the facilities committee.

As for an investigation I recommended and the board was not in support of an


investigation.

Bill completed a summary dated May 12th and I picked it up last week. You'll each
receive a copy this evening.

Your email is titled attorney-client privilege and I expected that their would be a
reference to this in your email.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Adler, Sue
Thu 6/2/2016 1:03 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;

30 | P a g e
...
Cc: Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange,
Jennifer; Honeywell Law Firm <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 6/2/2016 4:05 PM.

Action Items

Kenny,

I see from the reply email that yesterday you sent to Bill Hogan a request for
information about the Black Box Theater. I thought from last week's emails that you
were ok with waiting to do that until after Jeff spoke with us tonight. I asked that we
wait because this issue is one of the two issues into which you want to conduct an
investigation relating to Marguerite and I wanted legal advice prior to your, or
anyone, creating a record.

Also, please copy the entire BOE when you make requests like this. If we have to sit
through 4 hours of NYSSBA training, it would great if we could stick with best
practices :-)

Thanks!

Hogan, Bill
Thu 6/2/2016 12:35 PM

All:

Attached please find responses to questions submitted by Mr. Bruce.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

DISCLAIMER:
This email, including any attachments, was sent to you by the City School District of Albany and may contain
sensitive and confidential information. It is intended only for the individual(s) named. If you received this e-mail in
error or from someone who was not authorized to send it to you, do not disseminate, copy, or otherwise use this e-
mail or its attachments. Please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete the e-mail from your
system.

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2016 11:08 PM
To: Hogan, Bill
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray
Subject: Re: June 2nd BOE Executive Session - - draft of topics for discussion

Hi Bill,

31 | P a g e
I will share a paper copy your Black Box Theater report with the Board during
executive session... They may have questions.

And these are my questions:


What account were the monies transferred to - - A1621.400-00 - - was this
account set up for this project - - can't be because it must have had a
beginning balance? This is a district-wide contractual account used for all
buildings throughout the year.
What was the second account that the monies, $52K, were transferred from -
- A1620.402-00? The district-wide contractual account had some funding
available towards year-end. We do not see any other transfers that can be
directly linked to the theater. The project was a late directive near the end of
the school year and being so was not set-up as a separate project. The
vendors used were already under contract with the school district and likely
working on other small projects within the district.
The total project cost of $130, 889.01 - - does that include in-house staff
payments - - it appears to recount contracting totals? It does not include in-
house staff time.
Did the staff work with the contractors or were their duties separate? The
vendors usually do not engage staff.
How much was paid to individual contractors - - most importantly, was
Kasselman Electric paid over $100K or what could be $106, 900? The
contractors role was limited to specialty work around sound, electrical, and
heating and cooling. These vendors were already on contract with the
District and worked on projects district-wide in various buildings throughout
the year. It would take several hours of additional staff time to obtain more
detail on specific vendor activity and specific costs relating to the theater.
Even after doing so, it will not change the total cost of the project. All
invoices for all vendors involved would have to be identified, pulled, and
reviewed within a several month timeframe before any items that could be
linked to the theater could be documented. To date, at least seven staff
members have engaged in over 30 conversations pulling the information
together when initial questions were raised by a member of the board and
also follow-up conversations needed to create the memo dated May 13, 2016
which summarizes the black box theater activity.
I would like to know how much each contractor was paid? See above.
How was the total in-house hours estimated at 200 hours - - Dr. Vanden
Wyndgaard told me that there were 10 district employees who worked from
4am until afternoon cleaning up debris on the second day of school, which is
about 80 hours for just one day - - possible exaggeration. The estimate was
provided by the Director of Buildings and Grounds.
VIII. Drawbacks - - Dr. Vanden Wyndgaard should have brought the project to
BOE Facilities Committee to REQUEST approval of the project.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 6/1/2016 11:07 PM

32 | P a g e
To: Hogan, Bill;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray;
...

Hi Bill,

I will share a paper copy your Black Box Theater report with the Board during
executive session... They may have questions.

And these are my questions:

What account were the monies transferred to - - A1621.400-00 - - was this


account set up for this project - - can't be because it must have had a
beginning balance?

What was the second account that the monies, $52K, were transferred from -
- A1620.402-00?

The total project cost of $130, 889.01 - - does that include in-house staff
payments - - it appears to recount contracting totals?

Did the staff work with the contractors or were their duties separate?

How much was paid to individual contractors - - most importantly, was


Kasselman Electric paid over $100K or what could be $106, 900?

I would like to know how much each contractor was paid?

How was the total in-house hours estimated at 200 hours - - Dr. Vanden
Wyndgaard told me that there were 10 district employees who worked from
4am until afternoon cleaning up debris on the second day of school, which is
about 80 hours for just one day - - possible exaggeration.

VIII. Drawbacks - - Dr. Vanden Wyndgaard should have brought the project to
BOE Facilities Committee to REQUEST approval of the project.

Feel free to either rework the report or please be prepared to answer these
questions - whichever way you prefer.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

33 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

34 | P a g e
Exhibit 9 - - No Exhibit 9

35 | P a g e
Exhibit 10 - - Dr. Colucciellos Report on Black Box Theatre
dated May 13, 2016

Theatre Information
Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 6/13/2016 10:06 PM
Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne;
...

From the sheet marked Authorized Budget Transfers

The transfers do not appear to come from encumbered accounts. They actually
appear to out of the 2015-2016 Budget.

I was told that the contractor list should include Kassleman's contractual arm -
maybe it's under Kassleman Electric?

BPI Piping's contract says explicitly that it's a service contract for repairs, though I
could not find the RFP, though as Ellen mentioned there is no max amount but it's
probably there on the RFP.

Contractor list on one page and services performed on a separate page.

These are the same three pages from last meeting. No dates for transfer with initial
3 page report.

Mon 6/13/2016 3:08 PM


Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne; Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill; Colucciello, Ray;
...
Cc: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer;
...
You replied on 6/13/2016 10:06 PM.

Thank you for sharing this information... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

36 | P a g e
Savage, Anne
Sat 6/11/2016 6:06 PM
Sent Items
To: Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill; Colucciello, Ray;
...
Cc: Bruce, Kenneth; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie; Roach, Ellen;
Lange, Jennifer;
...

You replied on 6/13/2016 3:08 PM.

Please see below ...

-------------------------------------
Anne Savage
City School District of Albany
School Board
asavage@albany.k12.ny.us
518-522-6494

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Sat 6/11/2016 5:55 PM
Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne;
...
Cc: Bryan, Mary; Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth; Lange, Jennifer;
rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...

I suggest this also be shared with Kim, Bill, and Ray.

Jeff

Sent from my iPhone


Jeffrey Honeywell

Savage, Anne
Sat 6/11/2016 5:47 PM
Sent Items
To: Bryan, Mary; Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth; Lange, Jennifer;
rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell (JDH@honeywelllawfirm.com) <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;

37 | P a g e
...

Fellow Board members

FYI -- I pulled the actual budget transfers that are referenced in the document. Here
are the links and the text related to each transfer.

$51,300 on December 3, 2015 (typo in the memo from Ray which says 12/13)
https://www.boarddocs.com/ny/albany/Board.nsf/files/A4RJNH4DC7B1/$file/Budget
%20Transfers%20Over%20%2410k.pdf
"To cover some of the expense of building the Abrookin theatre"

$60,000 on July 16, 2015


http://www.albanyschools.org/district/board/2015-16/7-16.docs/2014-
15.Budget.Transfers.Over.$10k.pdf
"To cover the expense of converting space at Abrookin into an operating theater"

I'm only using email to convey this specific factual information. I think we all agree
it's best if we have a full discussion in person on Monday.

- Anne

Bryan, Mary
Fri 6/10/2016 2:39 PM
Sent Items
Show all 13 recipients
To: Adler, Sue; Bruce, Kenneth; Lange, Jennifer; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach,
Ellen; Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray; Hogan, Bill; Jeffrey Honeywell
(JDH@honeywelllawfirm.com) <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

This message was sent with high importance.


2 attachments
Constructio~.pdf Black Box T~.pdf
75 KB Open in browser 33 KB Open in browser
Board members,

Attached please find the information concerning the Black Box Theatre. Per Jeff
Honeywell, it can be sent by email.
Thank you.
Mary
Mary Bryan
Secretary to the Superintendent
City School District of Albany

38 | P a g e
1 Academy Park
Albany, New York 12207
(518) 475-6010

39 | P a g e
40 | P a g e
41 | P a g e
42 | P a g e
Exhibit 11 - - Bill Hogans response to questions related to
Dr. Colucciellos Report on Black Box Theatre dated May
13, 2016

Hogan, Bill
Thu 6/2/2016 12:35 PM
All:

Attached please find responses to questions submitted by Mr. Bruce.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

DISCLAIMER:
This email, including any attachments, was sent to you by the City School District of Albany and may contain
sensitive and confidential information. It is intended only for the individual(s) named. If you received this e-mail in
error or from someone who was not authorized to send it to you, do not disseminate, copy, or otherwise use this e-
mail or its attachments. Please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete the e-mail from your
system.

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2016 11:08 PM
To: Hogan, Bill
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray
Subject: Re: June 2nd BOE Executive Session - - draft of topics for discussion

Hi Bill,

I will share a paper copy your Black Box Theater report with the Board during
executive session... They may have questions.

And these are my questions:


What account were the monies transferred to - - A1621.400-00 - - was this
account set up for this project - - can't be because it must have had a
beginning balance? This is a district-wide contractual account used for all
buildings throughout the year.
What was the second account that the monies, $52K, were transferred from -
- A1620.402-00? The district-wide contractual account had some funding
available towards year-end. We do not see any other transfers that can be
directly linked to the theater. The project was a late directive near the end of
the school year and being so was not set-up as a separate project. The
vendors used were already under contract with the school district and likely
working on other small projects within the district.
The total project cost of $130, 889.01 - - does that include in-house staff
payments - - it appears to recount contracting totals? It does not include in-
house staff time.

43 | P a g e
Did the staff work with the contractors or were their duties separate? The
vendors usually do not engage staff.
How much was paid to individual contractors - - most importantly, was
Kasselman Electric paid over $100K or what could be $106, 900? The
contractors role was limited to specialty work around sound, electrical, and
heating and cooling. These vendors were already on contract with the
District and worked on projects district-wide in various buildings throughout
the year. It would take several hours of additional staff time to obtain more
detail on specific vendor activity and specific costs relating to the theater.
Even after doing so, it will not change the total cost of the project. All
invoices for all vendors involved would have to be identified, pulled, and
reviewed within a several month timeframe before any items that could be
linked to the theater could be documented. To date, at least seven staff
members have engaged in over 30 conversations pulling the information
together when initial questions were raised by a member of the board and
also follow-up conversations needed to create the memo dated May 13, 2016
which summarizes the black box theater activity.
I would like to know how much each contractor was paid? See above.
How was the total in-house hours estimated at 200 hours - - Dr. Vanden
Wyndgaard told me that there were 10 district employees who worked from
4am until afternoon cleaning up debris on the second day of school, which is
about 80 hours for just one day - - possible exaggeration. The estimate was
provided by the Director of Buildings and Grounds.
VIII. Drawbacks - - Dr. Vanden Wyndgaard should have brought the project to
BOE Facilities Committee to REQUEST approval of the project.

44 | P a g e
Exhibit 12 - - No Exhibit 12

45 | P a g e
Exhibit 13 - - Mr. Bruces letter to NYS Department of
Education Commissioner, dated June 6, 2016 and Related
Correspondence

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:34 PM
Sent Items
To: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer; Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins,
Kim;
...

Jeff requested a copy of my correspondence with SED... A complete copy is contained


below... Kenny

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 3:08 PM
To: 'Emily DeSantis'
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Emily - Thank you Kenny

From: Emily DeSantis [mailto:Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov]


Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 2:40 PM
To: Kenneth M. Bruce
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Hi Kenneth,

I have referred this to the appropriate program office at SED.

Regards,

Emily DeSantis

Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs


NYS Dept. of Education
518-474-1201
Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov

**** Mr Bruce had a follow-up conversation with a member of the NYSED, Office of the

46 | P a g e
Commissioner on Monday afternoon, June 13th. ****

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Monday, June 6, 2016 7:32 PM
To: 'emily.desantis@ny.sed.gov'; MaryEllen Elia (commissioner@nysed.gov)
Subject: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany High
School

Dear Commissioner,

I learned on March 5, 2016 when I went to the high schools annual creative arts
performance that a Black Box Theater was built in the Abrookin Career And Technical Center,
the second of two buildings which comprise Albany High School, which is of course in a two
year receivership. This capital project was designed and executed without requesting
approval of the Board of Education and without even informing us of the project. As near as
I can determine our previous Superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard directed
district staff to build the theater and it was built last summer with a mixture of district staff
and outside contractors.

During the second week of March at a public meeting of the facilities committee I asked for
more information on the construction and also asked for background on the approval
process. The Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs was aware of the project and was
generally aware that the project did not receive board approval.

Almost three months later, I have received several iterations of a full summary, Assistant
Superintendent of Business Affairs, which escalated the cost and increased the involvement
of outside contractors. None of the work was RFPed. There was no discussion about
resource usage employees, funds and space in an overcrowded school. I am not sure if the
construction would qualify for any state aid. End of the year transfers moved the necessary
monies to a general account, which covered the costs of the contractual services.

I recommended that the board hire an external legal firm to conduct an investigation and
further recommended that we perform a general investigation over a longer time period.
Based upon several less-than-fully related reasons, the board voted 1-6 not to continue an
investigation. I informed the board that I was disappointed and felt that I had to inform our
governing entities and consequently I am notifying you. The board verbally suggested that
if I continued down this path that they would remove me as president.

The district has provided escalating estimates and the last estimate of the total was $131K.
My personal estimate is that the theater construction cost was about $200K.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Wilkins was never really involved as I brought it to the
facilities committee which includes the Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs and my
initial request for more information was directed to him.

So far, our legal counsel has remained relatively neutral.

Please advise on how I should direct my concerns if you are in fact you are not the
appropriate party.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce

47 | P a g e
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Wed 7/13/2016 3:58 PM
Sent Items
To: Savage, Anne; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer; Bruce, Kenneth; Rose Brandon
(rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Bing Maps
Action Items

Folks, as per my request to SED, they provided me with a copy of the email from Kenny
Bruce that led to their review. I understand that no one else has seen this so I am
forwarding it to all of you so you are fully informed.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder

III Winners Circle


Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl Thurnau [mailto:Carl.Thurnau@nysed.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 2:24 PM
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>
Cc: FOIL <FOIL@nysed.gov>; Carl Thurnau <Carl.Thurnau@nysed.gov>; Jhone Ebert
<Jhone.Ebert@nysed.gov>
Subject: RE: Albany

Mr. Honeywell,

48 | P a g e
Per your Email FOIL request below, please find the requested information to the
Commissioner.

Sincerely,
Carl T. Thurnau, PE
Director of Facilities, NYSED

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Monday, June 6, 2016 7:32 PM
To: 'emily.desantis@ny.sed.gov'; MaryEllen Elia (commissioner@nysed.gov)
Subject: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany High
School

Dear Commissioner,

I learned on March 5, 2016 when I went to the high school's annual creative arts
performance that a Black Box Theater was built in the Abrookin Career And Technical Center,
the second of two buildings which comprise Albany High School, which is of course in a two
year receivership. This capital project was designed and executed without requesting
approval of the Board of Education and without even informing us of the project. As near as
I can determine our previous Superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard directed
district staff to build the theater and it was built last summer with a mixture of district staff
and outside contractors.

During the second week of March at a public meeting of the facilities committee I asked for
more information on the construction and also asked for background on the approval
process. The Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs was aware of the project and was
generally aware that the project did not receive board approval.

Almost three months later, I have received several iterations of a full summary, Assistant
Superintendent of Business Affairs, which escalated the cost and increased the involvement
of outside contractors. None of the work was RFP'ed. There was no discussion about
resource usage - employees, funds and space in an overcrowded school. I am not sure if the
construction would qualify for any state aid. End of the year transfers moved the necessary
monies to a general account, which covered the costs of the contractual services.

I recommended that the board hire an external legal firm to conduct an investigation and
further recommended that we perform a general investigation over a longer time period.
Based upon several less-than-fully related reasons, the board voted 1-6 not to continue an
investigation. I informed the board that I was disappointed and felt that I had to inform our
governing entities and consequently I am notifying you. The board verbally suggested that
if I continued down this path that they would remove me as president.

The district has provided escalating estimates and the last estimate of the total was $131K.
My personal estimate is that the theater construction cost was about $200K.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Wilkins was never really involved as I brought it to the
facilities committee which includes the Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs and my
initial request for more information was directed to him.

So far, our legal counsel has remained relatively neutral.

Please advise on how I should direct my concerns if you are in fact you are not the
appropriate party.

49 | P a g e
Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeffrey Honeywell [mailto:jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2016 12:31 PM
To: Carl Thurnau
Subject: Albany

Mr. Thurnau, please allow this email to constitute a request under the New York State
Freedom of Information Law for any records (email or otherwise) that SED has concerning a
request for review of what may be known as the blackbox theatre in the Abrookin School in
the City School District of Albany. Providing and records via email is fine.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Jeffrey Honeywell

Sent from my iPhone


Jeffrey Honeywell

Confidentiality Notice

This email including all attachments is confidential and intended solely for the use of the
individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information
that is protected from disclosure under State and/or Federal law. Please notify the sender
immediately if you have received this communication in error and delete this email from
your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying,
distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly
prohibited.

50 | P a g e
Exhibit 14 - - Letter from the Majority of the Board to
Mr. Bruce

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 6/13/2016 3:15 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 6/22/2016 3:53 PM.

Sue - I am in receipt of your letter... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

51 | P a g e
CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF ALBANY
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Academy Park
Albany, New York 12207

June 10, 2016

CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION
VIA EMAIL AND REGULAR MAIL

Kenneth Bruce
12 Woodside Dr.
P.O. Box 8411
Albany, NY 12208

Re: Public Statements

Dear President Bruce:

Please be advised I am writing this letter in my capacity as Vice President of


the Board of Education of the City School District of Albany and on behalf of the
remaining five (5) Board Members of the Board to express our serious concern with
your recent actions as both President and a member of the Board of Education.

By way of background, the School District entered into a Separation


Agreement with former Superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard which was
executed by you as President of the Board on January 21, 2016. Paragraph 10 of
that Separation Agreement specifically provides and requires both the
Superintendent and the Board of Education to agree to not make or publish any
written or oral statement or remark, including, but not limited to, derogatory
rumors, allegations, negative reports or comments, which are disparaging,
deleterious, or damaging to the integrity, reputation, or goodwill of the District, or
Superintendent, except an answer or response to inquiries as required by law. In
addition, Paragraph 8 of the same Separation Agreement provided a release of
any claims by the District against Dr. Vanden Wyngaard, except for any claims
which arise from any criminal act, receipt of monies, or any other act involving the
illegal or unauthorized receipt of monies or things of value of the District by
Superintendent, by her own acts.

The Board of Education has been advised by counsel to the School District
that in the weeks following execution and approval of this Agreement, he was
contacted by counsel for Dr. Vanden Wyngaard with a concern that you had been
making public comments which were disparaging of Dr. Vanden Wyngaard. Counsel
to the School District further advises that he spoke to you about that phone call and
reminded you of your obligations as a member of the Board to comply with the
terms of the Separation Agreement in order to avoid liability to the School District.

In the past few months, you have engaged in independent actions requesting
information of School District employees concerning the forensic audit and
conclusions reached by the School District in 2014 regarding invoices from Dr. Betty

52 | P a g e
Webb which involved the former superintendent. As you are aware based upon
your membership on the Board at that time, that issue was thoroughly investigated
by counsel to the School District and an independent forensic auditor, the issues
and conclusions were shared with the public and with appropriate governmental
entities, and many internal control and contract changes were put into place to
correct the internal control issues which were identified by that audit and
investigation. In addition, agreements with Dr. Webb and another consultant both
provided for the termination of their relationship with the District, including a
mutual exchange of releases. The investigation did not result in any findings that
former Superintendent Dr. Vanden Wyngaard engaged in any criminal or other
action in which she received cash or other things of value as a result of any
involvement with Dr. Webb. Yet, despite this history, you have sought to re-
investigate that matter, criticize the investigation, and engage district staff in
responding to information requests on the topic, all of which could be viewed as
disparaging to the former superintendent.

More recently, the issue of the black box theater has been the subject of
much discussion. A new black box theater was constructed at the Abrookin Career
and Technical Center in the spring of 2015 under the direction of the former
superintendent without Board knowledge. The entire Board has had this
conversation in executive session on several occasions regarding the funding for the
black box theater, how such funds came to be utilized, and how they were
approved. Please be assured that the rest of the Board Members share your
concern as to how the black box theater came into existence, how funds were
utilized in constructing the theater, and what processes, if any, may need to be
changed to prevent such an occurrence in the future. I believe the conversations
that have occurred on this issue demonstrate that the entire Board is interested in
finding the facts and making appropriate reasoned decisions based on those facts.
In fact, some board members share your frustration on the difficulty ascertaining
some of those facts to date.

However, what is extremely troubling is the manner in which you are acting
unilaterally on this issue by making comments on this issue in public or non-
confidential settings that are or could reasonably inferred to be disparaging of the
former Superintendent and hence, in violation of the Separation Agreement
referenced above. You have also stated that you are engaging unnamed governing
entities on this matter without board approval. Therefore, it is your manner of
acting on this particular concern that causes us to send this letter to you.

Acting in a manner that potentially creates liability against the School District
as a result of violations of the Separation Agreement with the former superintendent
is not productive nor does it advance the interest of the Board of Education and the
students of the School District. Therefore, in executive sessions held on May 19,
2016 and June 2, 2016 the six members of the Board specifically requested that you
cease from making any further public announcements or engage in any further
public actions concerning this issue, or any issue concerning the former
superintendent.

Notwithstanding this direction to you by the rest of the Board, you have
continued to make statements or ask questions in public settings which could

53 | P a g e
arguably be viewed to refer to the former superintendent in a disparaging manner.
This has occurred on more than one occasion, in multiple venues, and causes the
rest of the Board, and counsel for the School District, extreme concern that you are
creating the potential for liability against the School District based on what could be
viewed as a violation of the former superintendents Separation Agreement. Again,
it is important to stress that we share your concern about the black box theater and
how it came into existence; what we are strongly opposed to is the manner in which
you are unilaterally proceeding on that topic and others related to the former
superintendent at the present time.

The Board believes that a well thought out and reasoned approach to
investigating the black box theatre concern and having the Board act as the
corporate body to decide what the appropriate next steps is a far better course of
action. We are committed to doing so. Therefore, we are again requesting that you
cease your individual communications and contacts with the Interim Superintendent
and other District staff on the black box theater and any other situations involving
the former Superintendent. This is solely to permit the Board as an entire entity to
engage on any of these issues in a productive and reasoned fashion.

The fact that you have not heeded your fellow Board Members request and
guidance to cease making public statements which are or could be viewed as
disparaging of the former superintendent is a very serious concern. Therefore, we
are writing this letter to you to formally place in writing our direction to you to cease
making or publishing written or oral statements or remarks to anyone outside of the
board or counsel for the School District regarding your concerns regarding any
projects or activities under the supervision of former Superintendent Dr. Vanden
Wyngaard. We truly hope you will honor this request.

Pursuant to Education Law, school district employees and members of a


board of education are entitled to legal protection if litigation is commenced against
them based on actions they took while an employee or a member of a board if they
were acting within the scope of their duties. It is incumbent upon us to advise you
that it is the opinion of your fellow board members, and that of counsel for the
School District, that your recent actions making public comments which are or could
reasonably be inferred to be disparaging towards the former superintendent are not
within the scope of your duties or authority as either president of the board or as a
member of the Board of Education. In fact, they are contrary to the specific
direction of the rest of the board and counsel. Therefore, you are advised that
continuing such behaviors may well expose you to personal liability and negate the
protection you are afforded by the Education Law in this area for defense and
indemnification.

In conclusion, we are confident that we can find a way to work together on


these important issues in a manner which is consistent with the law and our
obligations as member of a board of education. Rest assured we are committed to
reviewing any situation, including the black box theater, to ensure that public funds
were properly disbursed and, if not, that appropriate actions or next steps are taken.
However, this must be taken by the Board of Education as a whole, not by you as an
individual board member acting against the best interests of the school district.

54 | P a g e
We truly hope that we you will heed our request and that we can put this
issue behind us so we can focus on educating the children of Albany. You are
advised that this is a confidential communication within the subject area of legal
matters. Therefore, other than seeking outside legal counsel should you wish to do
so, you are not authorized to distribute this letter to any individual or discuss its
contents.

Very truly yours,

____________________
Sue Adler
Vice-President
cc: Anne Savage, Secretary
Rose Brandon, Board Member
Ellen Roach, Board Member
Vickie Smith, Board Member
Jennifer Lange, Board Member
Jeffrey Honeywell, School Counsel

55 | P a g e
Exhibit 15 - - Mr. Bruces response to the letter from Ms.
Adler and the Majority of the Board of Education dated
June 10, 2016.

Letter from BOE

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 6/22/2016 5:15 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

An error....

In early July at the beginning of the fiscal year, 2015-2016 Medical Insurance
Premiums were transferred into this account.
In December funds from an AHS account were transferred and again it was 2015-2016
dollars which were transferred into this account.
It states that service contracts used excess capacity form 2014-2015 - but service
contracts began in July right as the construction began.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 6/22/2016 3:53 PM
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 6/22/2016 5:15 PM.
1 attachment
Black Box T~.docx
20 KB Open in browser
Please see attached letter

56 | P a g e
I am sure that we would all prefer that we were in a different position than we are
in. But were here and we can come together as a board and make the right
decisions moving forward.

I will continue to recommend to the Board of Education that we hire an outside


counsel to do a simultaneous investigation into the construction of the Black Box
Theater along with the New York State Education Department.

We all have good reason to believe that district staff and possibly district
contractors have consistently misrepresented the facts related to the construction
of the Black Box Theater. Answers have been misleading and deceptive. I am not
sure why our staff has put themselves in such a compromising position. A legal
investigation is the only possibility for a reset for those involved. But more
importantly, I believe that it is the necessary next step for the Board of Education,
given the known facts at this point.

Three months into this process we have just as many questions as we have
answers.

These are my outstanding concerns:


May 13th Summary Memo has significant contradictions.
It states that funds were left over from 2014-2015 - but the two listed transfers
into this project account came from unencumbered accounts, which contained
2015-2016 dollars.
In early July at the beginning of the fiscal year, 2015-2016 Medical Insurance
Premiums were transferred into this account.
In December funds from an AHS at the beginning of the fiscal year, 2015-2016
Medical Insurance Premiums were transferred into this account.
It states that service contracts used excess capacity form 2014-2015 - but service
contracts began in July right as the construction began.
The summary went from an initial estimate of no contractors and $120K, to $120K with 3
contractors (which excluded CS Arch), to ~$130K with 5 contractors and 200 man hours
of staff time, to $150K and 5 contractors.
We still have NO EVIDENCE to support the exact cost invoices, full list of transactions
within the account designated for this project.
If this project was properly categorized as a capital project then it would almost certainly
qualify for State Aid possibly in the 65% range or almost $100K on the current project
estimate of $150K.
It was probably illegal not to categorize this project as a capital project - it repurposed
educational space with a cost above the capital project threshold of $30K?
An architectural plan is necessary to get the proper permits from NYSED I have been
told that there were no architectural designs and I was told that the project had the
necessary permits.
It was probably illegal to do this work without an architectural plan in place, given the
scope of the work.
It was illegal if NY SED permits were attained without properly describing the work.

57 | P a g e
It was probably illegal to use district service contracts since the service contracts do not
encompass the range of this work they specifically describe their charge as to only
include repairs?
It was probably illegal to use outside contractors without properly issuing an RFP or
RFPs for the work, which total at least $130K CSDA RFP threshold is $10K.
It is possible that this project required a referendum.
We still dont know which contractors did what and for how much.
The fund transfers associated with this effort were never brought to the attention of the
board, one of which was in the range of $50K and another in the range of $60K and
instead appeared in routine consent?
We still have an incomplete understanding of the amount of overall district resource
involved in this project employees salaries and time, funds paid to contractors and
amount of educational space allocated in an overcrowded school (three classrooms worth
or four?)?
I was told that Kasselman Electrics General Contracting Group did some of the
construction but Kasselman Electrics service contract does not encompass general
contracting work and there is seemingly no other Kasselman contract in place.

I also recommend that we notify Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard that there is an
investigation.

I would further recommend that we notify Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard that her
severance payment will be withheld pending the results of this investigation. This
would be subject to Jeffs guidance.

I believe that an investigation which we can share with the Comptroller is preferable
to a Comptrollers audit.

And I believe that we must fully apprise the superintendent of our concerns and our
concerns regarding district staff.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 6/13/2016 3:15 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...

58 | P a g e
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 6/22/2016 3:53 PM.

Sue - I am in receipt of your letter... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

59 | P a g e
Exhibit 16 - - NYSED Inspection Summary on July 14, 2016

60 | P a g e
61 | P a g e
Exhibit 17 - - Mr. Bruces Request to the Office of the NYS
Comptroller dated July 7, 2016

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:53 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...

There are no surprises here. I did exactly what I said that I would do.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:36 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
You replied on 7/14/2016 3:53 PM.

No written documents. One conversation where I summarized my concerns, listed


in the previous email, and recommended the necessity of an audit.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

62 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Thu 7/14/2016 3:31 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
You replied on 7/14/2016 3:36 PM.
Action Items

Kenny,

Please provide all BOE members with any written documents you submitted to the
Comptroller's Office.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:24 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...

I received this communication this morning in response to my conversation with the


Office of the NYS Comptroller's.

In a five minute conversation, I recommended a Comptroller's audit based upon my


concerns around:
Construction of the Black Box Theater
Contractor contracts
Consultant contracts

From: JLEONARD@osc.state.ny.us [mailto:JLEONARD@osc.state.ny.us]


Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2016 9:27 AM

63 | P a g e
To: kennethmbruce@gmail.com
Subject: Audit Request

Good Morning Mr. Bruce,

I am the manager of the State Comptroller's regional office in Glens Falls. Last week you called my office
and talked with Scott Messineo regarding your request to have us conduct an audit of the Albany City
School District. At this time, I plan on proposing an audit of the District to my managers in the central
office and anticipate they will approve my request. Due to our current commitment of staff to other audits
and other audits scheduled for late summer / early fall, I don't anticipate we will be able to initiate our
audit of your District until mid to late fall of this year. If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to
me at any time.

Sincerely,
Jeff Leonard, CPA
Chief Examiner OSC - Glens Falls Regional Office

Notice: This communication, including any attachments, is intended solely for the use of the individual or
entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is protected from
disclosure under State and/or Federal law. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this
communication in error and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient, you
are requested not to disclose, copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on the contents of this
information.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

64 | P a g e
Exhibit 18 - - Request from the Majority of the Board for
Mr. Bruces Resignation on July 8, 2016

BOE Confidential Communication


REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Adler, Sue
Sun 7/10/2016 1:22 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange,
Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Jeffrey Honeywell
<jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
1 attachment
BOE Letter ~.docx
14 KB Open in browser
Download all
Please see attached letter.

65 | P a g e
66 | P a g e
67 | P a g e
Exhibit 19 - - Audit/Investigation Authorized by the
Majority of the Board

Black Box Theatre

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/16/2016 11:55 AM
Inbox
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...

Sue,

You are not presenting facts. You are sharing your perspective.

To be clear, the Board determined, without my participation, that they would hire an
outside counsel and they decided who that would be. They determined the method
and the process of doing the audit and the investigation. The fact of the matter is
that the district counsel, on Thursday, July 7th, presented this plan to me after it
was decided by the majority of the board. These are very important decisions and I
was not present. I objected to the selection of "independent" counsel and I objected
to the selection of the Bonnadio Group as the auditor. Counsel informed me that
the majority of the board had already reached these decisions and that my input
would not change these decisions. He also expressed that he knew and that the
majority of the board knew that I would not like the fact that I was not involved in
the process. He later, after our discussion, realized that the audit would actually be
conducted by Marvin and Co., our internal auditors, and not the Bonnadio Group,
our external auditors. The important aspect of this discussion is not who was
selected as auditor but his expression that these decisions were already made,
which they were, without my input.

At the meeting with Board Counsel and Charles Dedrich, (the June 13 thmeeting at
Academy Park), I was asked by the majority of the board to wait until the results of
the internal audit were finalized before taking any other steps to protect the safety
of the district, the safety of it's students and the safety of the community. As you
state in this last email this meeting established the board's desire for an iterative
process and at some point, without my participation, the board decided instead to
do these processes in parallel.

This situation highlights my stated issues with Dr. Vanden Wyngaard - circumventing
the board's authority and operating without a plan and these are easy and obvious
conclusions but they are not the point of this matter. You and the majority of the
board have consistently focused on one particular small aspect of this issue and
that is your belief that this is a personal campaign against Dr. Vanden Wyngaard. I
have consistently stated my safety concerns and my desire for a proper fiduciary

68 | P a g e
response - a full investigation. And if you reread my emails or remember any of the
discussions this has been my primary focus. My questions revolved around
oversight, safety, appropriate approvals, and cost. Dr. Vanden Wyngaard did not
ask for board approval and that was one fact that it was easy to conclude with
certainty. I received contradicting information from district leadership with regards
to an SED construction permit and contradicting financial information and that is
when I recommended to the board that we do an investigation.

At every meeting of the board, where I was included, I reaffirmed my belief that it
was important to act expeditiously. I also reaffirmed that I would act if the Board
would not act. My primary responsibility is to the people of Albany and not to the
six other members of this board. I totally rejected the board's refusal to recognize
the possibility that this project placed students, employees and families at risk. I
protected the District from potential liability and the individual board members
from the potential for personal liability by notifying NYSED of a situation which
warranted their attention.

I walked into a theater to see a play. I didn't see any exit signs - points of egress if
they existed were not obvious. I saw overly exposed and low hanging wires. It was
too dark. The "orchestra pit" looked too tight. The boards that the actors ran
across were noisy, which suggested a low tensile strength. I was seated in the
second row behind a pole and wondered how I would exit if that were necessary. I
believe and continue to believe that cinder block walls were cut into - and the
potential for asbestos contamination exists. These facts were the basis for my
actions! The truth of the matter is that I wanted to stand up and ask everyone to
leave right then and there but I didn't have the authority nor the facts.

These facts are the for my accusation. An allegation is actually claim without the
proof of fact.

In every instance through this protracted process I have given


various participants an opportunity to accept accountability for their actions and to
seek out an internal solution to move forward. Right now, Sue, I am giving this
opportunity to you in particular and more generally I am offering this opportunity to
the majority of this board.

Sincerely,

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

69 | P a g e
Adler, Sue
Mon 8/15/2016 9:53 PM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
Savage, Anne;
Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 8/16/2016 11:55 AM.

Kenny,

To be clear, no BOE decisions -- important or otherwise -- were made at any meeting


at which you were not present or notified. Our meeting with District Counsel was
triggered by your continued actions and our resulting need to protect the District
from potential liability and ourselves from personal liability for your actions.

You participated in the meetings where the BOE discussed that an audit relating to
the Abrookin space should and would go forward, first by its Audit Committee on
which you sit and then the entire BOE at a non-public meeting with Board Counsel
and Charles Dedrich, (the June 13thmeeting at Academy Park). In fact, at the June
13thmeeting, you were specifically asked to wait until the results of that audit before
continuing to engage in any discussions or take any of the actions you threatened
to take in pursuit of your personal campaign against Dr. Vanden Wyngaard. This was
the latest of many requests and personal entreaties by fellow BOE members, all
seeking to merely have you wait until the BOE had the results of its audit before
your undertaking any further independent and ill-advised actions, all of which you
rejected.

Thus, there is no basis for your alleging that the audit relating to the Abrookin space
was undertaken by the BOE without your knowledge or involvement.

Sincerely,
Sue

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 8/14/2016 6:06 PM
Inbox
To: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...

70 | P a g e
Jeff And Sue,

Thank you for your quick response.

Because the board met and made critical decisions without me, and I was informed
after the fact, I want to assure that I have all the relevant directives and guidance
involved in this investigation/audit. Thank you for the clarification.

I asked critical questions which I believe warrant an independent appraisal now


while the investigation is in progress. I will return to my question regarding Dr. V's
separation agreement and my asbestos abatement concerns, stated in a previous
correspondence, as questions to the investigation/audit team as part of
the conclusion of this investigation.

Sue's verbal and written assurance regarding the legality of six members of the
Board of Education meeting with counsel and making important decisions, regarding
this investigation, without me is insufficient. I will seek independent clarification.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

rbrandon@nycap.rr.com
Fri 8/12/2016 7:39 PM
Inbox
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Bruce, Kenneth; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Savage,
Anne; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 8/14/2016 6:06 PM.

Kenneth--
I am in total agreement with Sue's synopsis of this issue. If you need further
clarification I would advise you to allocate time at next week's Exec. Session to
further explain what you apparently still do not understand.
--Rose

71 | P a g e
Sent from my iPhone

Adler, Sue
Fri 8/12/2016 12:29 PM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon
<rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins,
Kim;
...

Kenny,

I saw that Jeff responded to your email from last week. Nonetheless, I am
responding to your email to me as BOE Vice President.

No public BOE meeting was held without you. I believe this was communicated to
you informally by one or more BOE members. I know I addressed it clearly and
formally in an Executive Session. At that time I stated, and I repeat it now, in
response to your continued actions in violation of your fiduciary duties as a BOE
member and your refusal to abide by the will of the BOE (all 6 members other than
you), we felt an obligation to meet with Board Counsel to seek legal advice on how
to deal with your actions, to protect ourselves and the District legally, since your
actions were creating potential legal exposure for the District. As I am sure you are
aware, Board Counsel works at the direction of the Board and no individual member.
To the extent you wish to have your other questions or request discussed, that must
be done with the entire Board and Board Counsel present so that the Board, as a
whole, can make any determinations or offer any further direction to Board
Counsel.

Sincerely,
Sue Adler

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 8/12/2016 11:27 AM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange,
Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...
Bing Maps

72 | P a g e
Kenny, I am sorry you feel as though your email to me was being ignored. As you
likely know, I was on vacation last week when you sent it. Since then, I have been
reviewing whether and how to respond to your email.

As I have stated to you before, my client is the City School District of Albany. I
receive direction from and report to the highest governance body, the Board of
Education (or any majority thereof). Stated differently, my client is not any
individual board member or officer.

Regarding the independent investigation/audit, you and all board members have
any documents I provided to Mr. Evans and Marvin and Company (namely, the
reports from Dr. Colucciello and budget transfer minutes. The questions posed by
Anne and you (except for the one on the former Superintendent) were all forwarded
to Mr. Evans and Marvin by me as requested. I am not conducting or directing the
investigation/audit. Thus, I do not know what documents, if any, they have been
provided as part of that process by the people interviewed who had first-hand
knowledge or involvement in the Black Box Theatre. The scope of their review is
the Black Box Theatre. Who they interview will depend on how the review goes and
any determination as to who has first-hand knowledge.

As to your other questions, they are best discussed by you with the full board. Any
additional or altered charge to the review team must come from the Board, not any
individual member. The issue on Dr. Vs severance agreement has been addressed
by me and can be discussed again with the full board if it wishes to do so.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 8/11/2016 6:11 PM
Inbox
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange,
Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...

Sue,

73 | P a g e
I am directing this correspondence to you in your capacity as Vice President of the Board of
Education of the City School District of Albany and as the representative of the remaining five
(5) Board Members of the Board.

In a previous communication addressed to District Counsel Jeff Honeywell and copied to board
members on August 4th, I made these requests:
Clarification of a legal question regarding Dr. V's release.
Marvin and Company directive/guidance for the audit/investigation authorized by the
"majority of the board."
A date to discuss my perspective with Mr. Evans as part of the investigation.
Explanation of the legality of a board meeting, which excluded me.
My correspondence has not been acknowledged, nor was I offered a timeline for a response.

I expected an immediate response to the requests for the Marvin and Company
directive/guidance and a date to meet with Mr. Evans. And I expect that I will receive
clarification of the legal question regarding Dr. V's release at the conclusion of the investigation.

The most perplexing issue mentioned in the correspondence, a previous correspondence and as
a direct question to you Sue was the fact that the six board members held a board meeting
and excluded me.

I am now notifying you that I plan to raise this question with the Office of the Commissioner of
NYS Education Department. I also may FOIL all intra-board correspondence, which excluded
me, as well as any board member correspondence with District Council and the Assistant
Superintendent for Business Affairs.

No board member is responsible for the circumstances that originally created this situation.
And its a pity that we as the governing body of the school district haven't acted more
professionally as a group and as individuals. At some point we need to look for solutions to
move forward but this is impossible as long as we continue to disrespect one another.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 8/4/2016 2:05 PM
Inbox
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

74 | P a g e
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange,
Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 8/11/2016 6:11 PM.

Jeff,

I am circling back to this communication. And I apologize for the delay.

In your correspondence dated July 15th, you state, " I can answer that. You singed
an agreement with a full release to Dr. V (except for theft of funds). Therefore,
under this situation, unless there is some finding she personally benefitted
financially, to "clawback" any funds from her. Thus far, I heard absolutely nothing to
support any claim that she benefitted personally from the blackbox theatre. I
suggest you re-read the separation agreement."

Based upon your suggestion, I reviewed the separation agreement and I believe this
is the clause that you are referencing.

1. The District, for and in consideration of the agreements made by Superintendent, as


set forth herein, and other good and valuable consideration, hereby releases and forever
discharges, and by this instrument does release and forever discharge Superintendent of and
from all actions, causes of action, suits, charges, complaints, proceedings, grievances,
obligations, costs, losses, damages, injuries, attorneys fees, debts, dues, sums of money,
accounts, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements and promises of any form whatsoever
(collectively referred to as claims) including, but not limited to, any claims in law, equity,
contract, tort or those claims which were or could have been alleged up until the date of
execution of this Agreement, or any claims arising under any and all federal, state, county or
local statutes, laws, rules and regulations pertaining to employment, as well as any and all
claims under state or federal contract or tort law against Superintendent, known or unknown
claims, excluding any claims which arise from any criminal act, receipt of monies, or any other
act involving the illegal or unauthorized receipt of monies or things of value of the District by
Superintendent, by her own acts.

My rereading of the document leads me to believe that there is an exclusion to the


release which includes criminal acts as well as theft. I am not a lawyer and I would
like an independent interpretation of what constitutes a criminal act. As there is the
distinct possibility that laws were broken and crimes were committed during this
process. And ultimately the request is - an analysis of the probability of success of
a claw-back effort with regards to Dr. Vanden Wyngaard's severance payment.

Also, please provide the directive and guidance provided to Marvin and Company for
the initiation of the audit/investigation authorized by the "majority of the board" into
the circumstances surrounding the construction of what has come to be known as
the black box theatre. You mentioned in your email correspondence dated July 12th
that "the report background previously provided to the board." I do not believe that
I have been provided with this report. And if I am mistaken then please tell me
when and provide another copy.

75 | P a g e
Given my significant involvement in this process and the fact that I have some
information that other members of the board may not have, I expect an opportunity
to discuss my perspective with Mr. Evans as part of the investigation.

As I referenced earlier hiring our Bond Counsel, Barclay Damon, to do this review
which largely involves district leadership, who work closest with the Bond Counsel is
at least a curious choice, when the goal in my mind should have been an
independent review.

I would also like the independent counsel, as part of this investigation, to review the
actions of the "majority of the board." I mentioned my curiosity in my
correspondence date July 14th and that part of my correspondence was ignored.
Now I am formally requesting an explanation of the circumstances leading up to a
meeting of the six members of this board and district counsel; date and place of
meeting; full list of meeting participants; a summary of the discussion and the
outcome; and a determination around the ability of six board members to reach a
significant decision and commence action, without allowing the participation of one
of the city's dully elected members of the board, who is the only black male board
member, and is also the board elected president. Ultimately this request relates to
the legality of a elected municipal governing body to meet and act without
informing or including one of its members.

If it is concluded that the previous paragraph related to the actions of the "majority"
of the City School District of Albany Board of Education through this Black Box
Theatre process are beyond the scope of this particular investigation then please
advise on the appropriate next steps towards an independent review of these
actions.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Fri 7/15/2016 7:28 AM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...

76 | P a g e
Cc: Adler, Sue; Wilkins, Kim; Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon
<rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...
You replied on 8/4/2016 2:05 PM.

Kenny, I will forward all of your questions to the audit team except the last one. I
can answer that. You singed an agreement with a full release to Dr. V (except for
theft of funds). Therefore, under this situation, unless there is some finding she
personally benefitted financially, to "clawback" any funds from her. Thus far, I
heard absolutely nothing to support any claim that she benefitted personally from
the blackbox theatre. I suggest you re-read the separation agreement.

Jeff

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:17 PM
Inbox
To: Adler, Sue; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...

SED called me directly yesterday as a response to my communications with the


Commissioner's office to inform me of the status of their investigation. Jeff told me
that the board or district through our counsel or by some other means had already
received a formal communication.

Mr. Thurnau informed me yesterday in a phone call that they would visit the theater
at some point over the next two weeks. Their visit today may have been prompted
by Mr. Churchill's inquiry or the TU story today. They are awaiting a response from
district staff and the district's architect to proceed with the reverse engineering
process. This communication seemed identical to what Jeff told me last Thursday.

Thank you Jeff for your notification of the audit/investigation authorized by the
majority of the board. I am glad that a majority of the other six board members
finally recognizes the significance of this situation. And while I don't fully agree with
the prescribed process it is close enough to my original request that I believe that It
is sufficient.

I am curious about the board hold a meeting without including or informing me and I
am inquiring now with regards to legality.

77 | P a g e
I would like to add the following areas/issues to Marvin and Attorney Evans:

Source of funds, associated budget year and were fund transfers appropriate?
Approximate number of students involved in the project construction?
Projected opportunity cost of lost State Aid?
District liability or exposure associated with lack of compliance with SED capital
improvement project requirements this question relates to insurance coverage
and potential violation of coverage?
A list of all laws which were broken during this process?
An analysis of the probability of success of a claw-back effort with regards to Dr.
Vanden Wyngaard's severance payment?

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Thu 7/14/2016 1:19 PM
Inbox
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Bruce, Kenneth;
...
You replied on 7/14/2016 3:17 PM.

Action Items

Jeff and Kim,

In the future, please ask that outside entities/officials let the District and/or District
Counsel know about such things. Just letting Kenny know is no longer sufficient for
notifying the entire BOE.

Thank you.

Begin forwarded message:

78 | P a g e
From: "Smith, Vickie" <vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us>
Date: July 14, 2016 at 1:00:15 PM EDT
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>, "Savage, Anne"
<asavage@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Roach, Ellen" <eroach@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Lange,
Jennifer" <jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Rose Brandon (rbrandon@nycap.rr.com)"
<rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>, "Adler, Sue" <sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us>
Cc: "Wilkins, Kim" <kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Colucciello, Ray"
<rcolucciello@albany.k12.ny.us>
Subject: Re: Black Box Theatre

All,

Unsolicited, but I understand that SED Facilities consultants are or were at Abrookin
today. We will know soon what is required for that space to be useable again.

Jeff, Carl Thurnau will be leaving SED service in August for a gig in the New Rochelle
School District. He will be missed by many a district, ours included.

Kenneth was informed this morning.

Vickie A. Smith
City of School District of Albany
Board of Education
vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us
518-210-8446

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Thu 7/14/2016 8:36 AM
Inbox
To: Savage, Anne; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer; Bruce, Kenneth; Rose Brandon
(rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray;
...
Bing Maps

Anne, that was part of the conversation and I believe is implied, but I will make sure
it is clear to them.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205

79 | P a g e
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Savage, Anne
Wed 7/13/2016 10:56 PM
Inbox
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer;
Bruce, Kenneth; Rose Brandon (rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Adler, Sue; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray;
...

Jeff -

Thanks for providing this information and moving on this.

One detail which I think is implied, but not fully stated by your list of questions is
"Was the work done under the ongoing annual contracts consistent with the scope
of work described in those contracts?" (ie are these contracts limited in scope to
only repairs, or only routine maintenance?) and in a related question "Were the not
to exceed amounts of ongoing annual contracts increased to allow for this work?".
Also, I'd like to know whether all regulations complied with regarding budget
transfers related to this project.

Also, I'd like clarification of the approximate amount of state aid this project would
have been eligible for if it had been treated as a capital project. During the AHS
design and re-design we were told that theaters are not eligible for substantial aid.
I'm hoping that piece of information can be gathered quickly, and not have to wait
until the audit/investigation is complete.

- Anne

-------------------------------------
Anne Savage
City School District of Albany
School Board
asavage@albany.k12.ny.us
518-522-6494

rbrandon@nycap.rr.com
Tue 7/12/2016 8:58 PM
Inbox
Show all 9 recipients
To: Smith, Vickie;

80 | P a g e
...
Cc: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Savage, Anne; Roach, Ellen;
Lange, Jennifer; Bruce, Kenneth; Adler, Sue; Wilkins, Kim;
...

Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Jeff.


--R

Sent from my iPhone

Smith, Vickie
Tue 7/12/2016 4:23 PM
Inbox
To: Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>; Savage, Anne; Roach, Ellen;
Lange, Jennifer; Bruce, Kenneth; Rose Brandon (rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Adler,
Sue;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Colucciello, Ray;
...

Thank you very much for the update,

Vickie A. Smith
City of School District of Albany
Board of Education
vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us
518-210-8446

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Tue 7/12/2016 12:58 PM
Inbox
1 attachment
Evans -- En~.PDF
110 KB Open in browser
Download all

All, I am providing this brief update on the initiation of the audit/investigation


authorized by the majority of the board into the circumstances surrounding the
construction of what has come to be known as the black box theatre.

The board wished the Districts internal auditing company to be involved. While I
was initially under the impress that is the Bonadio group, it is Marvin and Company.
In fact, when speaking with Bonadio, they also suggested the internal auditor was
better suited for this review in terms of responsibilities. I spoke with Heather Lewis

81 | P a g e
of Marvin and they are able to start the review this week (ahead of the normal busy
season of school district reviews starting later this month). I have provided her with
the report background previously provided to the board and suggested that Ray
Colucciello is the best point person for them to work through since Ray has the
background and can arrange for any additional documents or employees that may
need to be interviewed.

I have also reached out to another law firm to perform any supporting legal advice
concerning the non-financial aspects of the revdiw such as when SED review is
required, when is voter approval required, etc. That attorney is Jim Evans. He is a
partner in the firm of Barclay Damon (formerly Hiscock Barclay) (the Districts bond
counsel) who works in their Syracuse office and represents school districts and is
familiar with building projects. After conveying the background, he was certain he
could be of assistance. He has the same reports background along with the SED
email from Carl Thurnau that you all have and was provided to Marvin. Also,
attached is his proposed retainer letter. I have advised him that his retention is
subject to the Boards approval which I anticipate discussing on Thursday night in
executive session. While he will work for and report to the Board, you can either
choose to approve the retainer separately or have him engaged as a consultant to
my firm. However, I have conveyed to all that I am simply coordinating the
commencement of this review and that I am not part of conducting the review.

I conveyed the following areas/issues to Marvin and Attorney Evans:

1. Was this a project which required an SED building permit? (none was
obtained)
2. Was this a project that required voter approval?
3. Were there any procurement or bidding issues that were not complied with?
4. What was the time frame of the project from inception to completion?
5. What was the total cost of the project including both actual costs and any use
of existing personnel to perform part of the work?
6. The above should be broken down by entity. For example, Kasselman
Electric performed all or most of the electrical work and some general
construction work. The breakdown of these costs and the contract(s) under
which it was performed should be identified. Please obtain and review all
contracts involved. If any work was done under general annual contracts
(e.g. Kasselmans contract to provide electrical services during the year), can
the work on the project be segregated? Was work performed under a
different contract? If not, was there a contract to act as the source of
approval for payment?
7. What process existed to identify what projects may or may not need the
intervention of the Districts architect or SED involvement? What process
should be in place to identify this?

These are the key questions the board has asked. You should feel free to review
what you may believe is necessary to arrive at a complete understanding of the
project for the Boards review. The board would like this completed as soon as is
reasonable.

82 | P a g e
If anyone has additional questions or areas, please feel free to let me know, let Kim
or Ray know, or bring them Thursday evening.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

83 | P a g e
Exhibit 20 - - NYS Education Department review the Black
Box Theatre dated August 8, 2016, with CS Arch

WILLIAM HOGAN, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT FOR BUSINESS AFFAIRS

Board Update Report


August 8, 2016

TO: Dr. Kimberly Young Wilkins, Interim Superintendent


FROM: William Hogan
RE: Board Update
DATE: July 18 - August 5, 2016

Facilities Committee
The Committee met on July 19th and August 2nd to discuss the ongoing construction in our buildings
this summer (10 buildings), the black box space, and the formulation of a capital project plan to
improve 50 North Lark for September of 2017.
The next two Facilities Committee meetings are scheduled as follows:

Monday, August 29th meeting to discuss a capital project at 50 North Lark (covert to a full-sized
middle school) 5:30 pm 6:30 pm.
Tuesday, August 30th meeting to interview MWBE finalists, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

The Committee discussed the feedback from SED which will require the followings changes to the
Abrookin black box space in order to utilize the space for an instructional classroom this September:
1. Remove raised seating tiers. Remove wood platform in front of control room.
2. Provide door closers and panic bars on doors exiting space.
3. Seal wall infill to create smoke barrier around classroom.
4. Provide complete second smoke zone exiting. a. Option 1 Provide magnetic hold
opens and latching panic bars on vestibule doors. Replace vestibule ceiling with
smoke rated ceiling.
b. Option 2 Provide exit door directly to the exterior.
c. Option 3 Provide connection from classroom to adjacent corridor. Requires
modification of an existing office.

5. Install landing inside opening to backstage area.


6. Provide handicapped ramp with railings to performance platform.
7. Modify existing lighting to maintain 1 foot-candle at all times that the space is occupied.
8. Remove window curtains and other curtains if documentation is not available that they comply
with the required fire retardant ratings.
9. Provide signage for maximum occupancy and designating exits.

While there, SED identified three other issues that are not related to the black box construction.
These will be corrected as well in time for the schools opening.

84 | P a g e
1) In storage room, provide sprinkler heads below storage platform or remove storage platform.
2) Remove carpet at vestibule if certification is not available to confirm compliance with fire
retardant requirements.
3) Minor electrical modifications to close a partially open junction box and reinstall a duct
smoke detector. Relocate smoke detectors above corridor doors to proper activation zone.

The approximate cost for the required modifications is $10,000 and will come from the Buildings
and Grounds operational budget. District staff will proceed with the work with the goal to make the
classroom ready for use on the first day of the school year. These changes will also scale the project
back to be more in-line with what central office had in mind for the space.
If the District wishes to use the Abrookin black box space as a theater and hold performances there,
then higher-level building codes would apply (for 50 or more individuals in the space) and a capital
project would have to occur with a public referendum and more investment.

High School Pool


The High School pool project was approved by the SED. This will put the completion date in April or
May of 2017.

School Taxes:
The Business Office has been working with the City tax assessors office and BOCES to prepare the
upcoming school tax bills. It has been more of a challenge this year due to the State changing parts of
the STAR program.

Year-Ending Financial Closing and Audit


The Business Office staff is busy closing the 2015-16 financial records and
preparing for the extensive audit field work that will occur later this month.

85 | P a g e
Exhibit 21 - - Mr. Churchills article in Times Union dated
July 13, 2016

http://m.timesunion.com/tuplus-
local/article/Churchill-Albany-school-district-hid-
theater-8376943.php

Churchill: $150,000 theater bypasses Albany


school board vote
Chris Churchill | on July 13, 2016

The state Department of Education has ordered the closure of a 150-seat theater within the
Abrookin Career and Technical Center because the Albany school district conducted
construction without proper permits and approvals. (Photo by Chris Churchill/Times Union)

86 | P a g e
Albany school board president Kenny Bruce, right, and acting district superintendent Kim
Wilkins speak to media about the outcome of Tuesday's $180M Albany High referendum on
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 in Albany, N.Y.(Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Kenny Bruce, president of the Albany school board, has many questions. He hasn't
been getting answers.

Bruce wants to know why the Albany City School District constructed a 150-seat theater
without approval from voters or the Board of Education. He wants to know who did the
construction.

And where, he asks, did the district find the money?

Bruce isn't alone with questions. When he took his concerns to state Education Department, it
ordered the theater shuttered until it can guarantee its safety for students and audiences.

Did the district put students at risk? That's an open question, given that the theater hosted
rehearsals and performances this spring.

The theater was built last year within the Abrookin Career and Technical Center near Albany
High School. Bruce said he was stunned in March when he saw the extent of the construction,
which appeared to involve the removal of walls and extensive electrical work.

87 | P a g e
That's when he started asking questions.

Bruce said he's been told the theater cost roughly $150,000, though he has seen no verification.
A construction project that large, he said, should have been presented to voters.

With voter approval, the district could have been reimbursed from the state for 60 percent of the
cost.

But district officials didn't bother. Nor did they bother to get required state approvals or permits
from the city. The state ordered the theater closed on June 20.

"We have a duty to protect the safety of everyone who uses our schools' facilities so we are
working with the district and its architect to ensure the space was constructed in compliance
with building codes," said Jeanne Beattie, an Education Department spokeswoman. "The space
can be opened as soon as we are satisfied it meets all safety requirements."

The construction occurred under then-Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, who


resigned in January after a contentious relationship with the school board. Vanden Wyngaard
declined to comment on Wednesday.

But Bruce's primary concern a lack of transparency and accountability extends beyond the
former superintendent's tenure.

"The board didn't approve funding for this project, so where did the money come from?" Bruce
asked. "I brought that up in March. It shouldn't be an unanswered question in July."

I can sympathize. Last year, when I asked the district for information on the cost of its proposed
reconstruction of the high school, I waited for months and months before receiving an answer.

But it is one thing to ignore a newspaper columnist. It's entirely different to stonewall the
president of the school board, which is charged with fiscal oversight of the district. It suggests
extraordinary arrogance.

Still, members of the board have been divided on whether to aggressively pursue the
investigation, Bruce said.

In part, that reflects a consensus that the new theater, built primarily for the high school's highly
regarded Theatre Ensemble, was needed. That's an opinion Bruce shares.

"I'm in favor of the concept," he said. "My concerns are about the execution."
On Tuesday, that school board ordered an independent audit.

"The board has asked the auditor to review the process under which the theater was
constructed last year and to determine what procedures should be put in place to govern such
projects in the future," said Sue Adler, the board's vice president, in a written statement.
A spokesman said the district would not comment until the conclusion of the board's review.

Let's hope the investigation includes a look at whether the construction should have been
competitively bid a move that might have benefited taxpayers.

88 | P a g e
The Albany school district has a $234 million annual budget and is embarking on a $180 million
remake of its high school.

Given the eye-popping size of those numbers, Bruce acknowledged that the cost of the theater
pales by comparison. But the lack of transparency, he said, opens the possibility of additional
improper spending.

"A $150,000 price tag could be insignificant," he said. "But it could also be the tip of the
iceberg."

Bruce had reservations about whether to speak publicly about all this and about what doing so
could mean for the reputation of a district that garners more than its share of negative publicity.

But the board president said the district needs to commit to transparency for city residents to
believe in its future. It cannot demand accountability and excellence from students and
teachers, he added, if the administration isn't willing to meet those standards.

In other words, the district has questions to answer.

cchurchill@timesunion.com 518-454-5442 @chris_churchill

89 | P a g e
Exhibit 22 - - NYS Education Department review the Black
Box Theatre dated July 14, 2016, with CS Arch

Project. Abrookin Career and Technical School Albany CSD July 14, 2016

List of Code Non-conformances observed during a Site Inspection by NYSED


Facility Planning Representatives: Comments shall be addressed with requested
certifications, reports or with construction documents thoroughly describing
required
alterations. A design professional shall certify that the design complies with the
Building
Code of NYS and the Commissioners Regulations Part 155.

1. Smoke Detector above double corridor door (adjacent to Corridor C03) Confirm
installation and operation comply with requirements of NFPA 72 and manufacturer
requirements.

2. Panic Device required on both leaves of pair of exit doors at N. End of Room (remove
flush bolt at top of inactive leaf and install panic device BC 1008.1.9. Closer and
latching required for both leaves to meet SED smoke control requirements.

3. Closer and latching panic bar required at single exit door to Vest V01 (SED smoke
zone requirement)

4. Magnetic Hold-opens required at existing Corridor Doors to Vest V01. Verify if doors
are in fact required smoke doors. If a smoke separation is constructed above these
doors to the deck at this location they were intended to be a smoke separation.
Appropriate door hold-opens would be required. SED Smoke zone exiting
requirements

5. Lower ticket sales counter to 34-36 ICC/ANSI A117.1 Sect. 904.3.1

6. Remove Wood Riser/platform in front of Power Rm. A04B obstructs door/trip hazard

7. Provide electric strip light illumination along edge of stage platform to continuously
illuminate trip hazard & mark egress when room is occupied and provide/supplement
emergency egress illumination.

8. Install landing at inside Classroom A03 at door to stage, under cut door, reinstall or
alter as required for proper operation. BC 1008.1.4, 1008.1.5

9. Increase aisle width to 48 at tiered seating stepped aisle. BC 1025.9.1.1

10. Confirm that dead end assembly seating aisle complies with BC 1025.9.5

11. HC door maneuvering clearance outside Supply Room door is insufficient aisle needs
to widened to 48 min. ANSI A117.1 fig. 404.2.3.1

12. Provide tier seating aisle tread nosings with contrasting stripe per BC 1025.11.3

13. Install tier seating stepped aisle railings in conformance with BC 1025.13

90 | P a g e
14. Provide 48 min. door approach clearance at rear single exit door to Vest per ANSI
A117.1 fig 404.2.3.1 (e)(b)(g)

15. Fabric on 2x4 low wall surrounding tier seating needs certification to meet NFPA 701-
Building Code Section 806.1. Alternatively, remove and replace with drywall.

16. Provide evidence that exposed 2x4 framing of same walls (surrounding tier seating)
meets a min. Class B flame spread index. Building Code Table 803.5 for Minimum
Flame spread index, indicates (for buildings with corridors and rooms protected with
a sprinkler system) Class B rating for A-1 Assembly occupancies (theater) and E
Education occupancies, MPS requires Class A or B finish in assembly occupancies. If
acceptable evidence is not available replace walls with non-combustible framing and
drywall finish.

17. Exposed wood studs high on West Wall of theater and other locations inside black box
theater space same comment as above.

18. All gaps and penetrations in smoke partition surrounding entire black box theater
space need to be sealed.

91 | P a g e
Exhibit 23 - - NYS Comptrollers response July 14, 2016

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:53 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...

There are no surprises here. I did exactly what I said that I would do.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:36 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
You replied on 7/14/2016 3:53 PM.

No written documents. One conversation where I summarized my concerns, listed


in the previous email, and recommended the necessity of an audit.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

92 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Thu 7/14/2016 3:31 PM
Sent Items
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
You replied on 7/14/2016 3:36 PM.
Action Items

Kenny,

Please provide all BOE members with any written documents you submitted to the
Comptroller's Office.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 7/14/2016 3:24 PM
Sent Items
To: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen;
Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...

I received this communication this morning in response to my conversation with the


Office of the NYS Comptroller's.

In a five minute conversation, I recommended a Comptroller's audit based upon my


concerns around:

Construction of the Black Box Theater

Contractor contracts

Consultant contracts

From: JLEONARD@osc.state.ny.us [mailto:JLEONARD@osc.state.ny.us]


Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2016 9:27 AM

93 | P a g e
To: kennethmbruce@gmail.com
Subject: Audit Request

Good Morning Mr. Bruce,

I am the manager of the State Comptroller's regional office in Glens Falls. Last week you called my office
and talked with Scott Messineo regarding your request to have us conduct an audit of the Albany City
School District. At this time, I plan on proposing an audit of the District to my managers in the central
office and anticipate they will approve my request. Due to our current commitment of staff to other audits
and other audits scheduled for late summer / early fall, I don't anticipate we will be able to initiate our
audit of your District until mid to late fall of this year. If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to
me at any time.

Sincerely,
Jeff Leonard, CPA
Chief Examiner OSC - Glens Falls Regional Office

Notice: This communication, including any attachments, is intended solely for the use of the individual or
entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is protected from
disclosure under State and/or Federal law. Please notify the sender immediately if you have received this
communication in error and delete this email from your system. If you are not the intended recipient, you
are requested not to disclose, copy, distribute or take any action in reliance on the contents of this
information.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

94 | P a g e
Exhibit 24 - - Communication related to the Facilities
Committee Meeting on August 2, 2016 and Asbestos Test
Request

Facilities Committee August 2nd.


REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 8/10/2016 1:19 PM
Inbox
To: Hogan, Bill; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue;
Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the clarification.

And you are right, I probably should have directed my asbestos abatement question
to Jeff. But I directed it towards you since I asked this question during a facilities
committee; Rich answered, and I wanted to further clarify his answer. I don't need
an immediate answer - my primary goal was to share that a definitive answer to this
particular question at the end of this process is important to me and I believe that it
may also be important to the majority of the board.

Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Hogan, Bill
Wed 8/10/2016 11:22 AM
Inbox

95 | P a g e
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler,
Sue; Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 8/10/2016 1:19 PM.

Ken:

I would like to make one point of explanation due to perhaps a lack of clarity or a
poorly worded comment on my part. I believe that the teachers and CTE students
did a significant amount of the carpentry work, however I do not know this as fact. I
did not witness or direct the construction on the black box and therefore cannot
definitively say who did what in that room. I have not spoken with the two teachers
or the contractors involved to ask them their role in this matter. We should rely on
the 3rd party consultants reviewing this matter for the all the facts. When
referencing the teachers and students I was simply trying to point out that Rich
Packham and I cannot definitely state things like whether or not a cinder block was
cut because we did not direct or witness the construction. Again, to the best of my
knowledge Rich did not witness construction but I have not asked him this
specifically. But I do know that he was never assigned to the project and therefore it
is highly unlikely that he was there observing construction activities when he could
have been working on other projects for which he was assigned and being paid.
Rich and I can only state what we believe based upon inspection of the room after-
the-fact. If Rich has more information or knowledge, I am confident that he will/has
openly share(d) it with the independent consultant reviewers.

Jeff Honeywell on an earlier email today corrected the point that the independent
review is not being done under his direction. He clarified that his role was simply to
facilitate its commencement. I knew that Jeff was involved in helping the Board
acquire these services (he asked me who the internal auditor was early on) and was
simply trying to help direct you to the appropriate Counsel or party for any other
concerns. In any event, even if Jeff was aware of the reviews and not actually the
lead, I was confident he could suggest something other than individual board
members contacting staff directly on the subject matter while an independent
review was occurring. My concern is that I am becoming uncomfortable as a staff
member being asked to respond questions and do other research outside of the
independent review process unless specifically asked to do so by the Board. Jeff
was provided as a resource as opposed to using the literal interpretation of how I
characterized his role. My apologies for this misunderstanding.

Best Regards,

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

96 | P a g e
Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>
Wed 8/10/2016 8:52 AM
Inbox
Show all 9 recipients
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Hogan, Bill; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach,
Ellen; Adler, Sue; Lange, Jennifer;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Bing Maps

Kenny,

while I have no knowledge or comment on the construction aspects of this


exchange, please understand that Bill has not been part of any discussion on the
independent investigation. As you and the Board know, that independent
investigation is not being done under my direction. All I have done is facilitate its
commencement as per the request of the board. I understand why Bill might have
had that belief, but just wanted to clarify it for you and Bill.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/9/2016 7:38 PM
Inbox
To: Hogan, Bill; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue;
Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...

Bill,

My overarching question relates to whether there is any need to be concerned


about asbestos abatement. I generally agree with your thesis - if none of the cinder
blocks were cut into then none of the other questions related to asbestos
are relevant. And I shared my asbestos questions and concerns now so that we
could have a definitive answer coming as part of the final investigation report.

97 | P a g e
I am actually not aware of who did the work and how the work was done. And I was
certainly not aware that most of the carpentry work was performed independently
by two teachers and CTE students, though I have heard that students were involved
in the project.

As you state, the work was not authorized through the normal process, which has
served the District well and is required by law. I am aware that the project
evolved into something much larger than what was originally envisioned but I don't
really know what was originally envisioned.

Quite honestly, I was not aware of the fact that two independent third party
consultants have been authorized by the Board and my understanding was that this
was occurring under the direction of an Independent Counsel.

I look forward to the independent reviews in the near future and I certainly hope
that they will be responsive to the needs of every board member.

Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Hogan, Bill
Tue 8/9/2016 3:42 PM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler,
Sue; Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
You replied on 8/9/2016 7:38 PM.

Action Items

Ken:

I believe that my original responses provided below stand on their own. I have
provided what I know and what I am aware of based upon following up with Rich
Peckham. Some of your follow-up questions cannot be answered. For example, if
internal cinder blocks were not cut into, how could staff affirm with 100% certainty

98 | P a g e
what is inside of them? Additionally, even if the internal cinder blocks did have
insulation, and the insulation contained asbestos, it wouldnt be hazardous because
it is contained and was not disturbed (to the best of Mr. Peckhams and my
knowledge there is no evidence of blocks cut).

As you are aware, most of the carpentry work was performed independently by two
teachers and CTE students under the authority of the former superintendent in
Receivership status. Had the work been authorized through the normal process of a
staff recommendation to the Facilities Committee, followed by a joint
recommendation to the BOE, then it would have followed the capital improvement
process that has served the District well over the last two decades. Central Office
staff and the architect assigned would have supervised, monitored, and known with
certainty what construction occurred and what didnt occur in that particular room.
Additionally, the full scope would have been defined and agreed upon upfront
instead of the project evolving into something much larger than what was originally
envisioned.

A review by two independent third party consultants has been authorized by the
Board and is occurring under the direction of Board Counsel. Given this, with all due
respect I am not comfortable performing other staff interviews and investigations
unless asked to do so by the Board. Please refer any other concerns on the black
box directly to Board Counsel. Staff has already shared everything it knows with the
3rd parties reviewing this matter. In this process, its safe to assume that the
teachers who worked on the project will also be interviewed. I suspect that the
independent reviews will be provided to the Board in the near future and be
responsive to the needs of the Board.

Best Regards,

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/9/2016 11:42 AM
Inbox
To: Hogan, Bill; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue;
Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...

Bill,

Thank you for the quick response.

And to clarify Rich's responses - please let me know if any of these statements
are inaccurate. No cinder blocks were cut and none were removed as part of the

99 | P a g e
Black Box Theater construction project. These Abrookin walls were built in the
1970s after more stringent asbestos rules were in place, and its a reasonable
conclusion that these particular cinder blocks did not contain asbestos. There was
no insulation in these blocks. The building was thoroughly tested in 2011
and nothing that occurred as part of the Black Box Theater construction, would
suggest that the space should be retested for asbestos.

Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Hogan, Bill
Tue 8/9/2016 8:39 AM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler,
Sue; Lange, Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim;
...
You replied on 8/9/2016 11:42 AM.
Ken:

See my notes below which are based upon a conversation with Rich Peckham this
morning.

Bill Hogan
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Phone: (518) 475-6020 Fax: (518) 475-6024

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Monday, August 08, 2016 4:00 PM
To: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue; Lange,
Jennifer; Smith, Vickie
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill
Subject: Re: Facilities Committee August 2nd.

100 | P a g e
I wanted to follow-up on a question which I asked Rich Peckham, CS Arch, at the
facilities committee meeting last Monday. I asked a two part question, first, with
regards to asbestos abatement and, second, related to removal of any of the cinder
block walls in the Black Box Theater/Classroom space. Mr. Peckham reassured me
that no cinder block walls were removed. But he never fully addressed the asbestos
abatement question and I did not follow up at the moment.
It appears that all the existing walls at Abrookin are still there and none were
"removed," as Rich assured. It does appear, though, that there were at least a
couple cut outs in the cinder block walls as part of this project. There is a door to
the stage from what was formerly the storage area used by culinary to store food
products, which appears to be "new." A door was simply taken off the hinges in this
area which opened up the space. And there is a new cut out in the cinder block wall,
it was pre-existing opening in the wall and what was in the cutout was simply taken
out. in what I believe was the teacher's office within the space, which now
has a series of sliding windows, where the sound board is now located for theater
production.

My original asbestos abatement inquiry was based on the fact that cinder block
mortar during the time period which this building was constructed frequently
includes asbestos as a common ingredient because it was inexpensive, easy to use
and provided a great deal of tensile strength and heat resistance to the finished
product. Sometimes an asbestos mixture was also used as insulation filler in the
empty area within the cinder blocks but it is probably unlikely that it was used in
internal walls. And as Rich mentioned at the meeting sometimes the paint used to
cover cinder blocks, included asbestos. No blocks are cut that we are aware of,
these walls were built in the 1970s when the use of asbestos material were
abandoned. Also, there is no insulation in these bricks because you are referencing
internal blocks which wouldnt contain insulation.

There is the significant potential of asbestos dispersion, if in fact there were cut outs
of the existing cinder block walls. White dust remains throughout the theater
especially on the elevated fixtures, etc. You are most likely seeing sheetrock dust
as we are not aware and did not see any evidence of cinder blocks being disturbed.
Please direct the steps necessary to assure that asbestos exposure is not currently
an issue. I would also like to understand, as part of this investigation, who did this
work and what care was taken while doing it? The building was thoroughly tested
about 6 years ago when we did major improvements in it, over $4 million of
renovations.

Although the full board was not in attendance at the facilities committee meeting, I
copied all of them on this correspondence and I also included district counsel, Jeff
Honeywell. I would like to assure that everyone is aware of my concerns.
Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

101 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Mon 8/8/2016 5:42 PM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer; Smith,
Vickie; Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill;
...

Kenny,

You refer to "this investigation" in your second to last paragraph. Please specify to
what investigation you are referring.

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 8/8/2016 4:00 PM
Inbox
To: Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue; Lange, Jennifer;
Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill;
...

Hi Bill,

I wanted to follow-up on a question which I asked Rch Peckham, CS Arch, at the


facilities committee meeting last Monday. I asked a two part question, first, with
regards to asbestos abatement and, second, related to removal of any of the cinder
block walls in the Black Box Theater/Classroom space. Mr. Peckham reassured me
that no cinder block walls were removed. But he never fully addressed the asbestos
abatement question and I did not follow up at the moment.

It appears that all the existing walls at Abrookin are still there and none were
"removed," as Rich assured. It does appear, though, that there were at least a
couple cut outs in the cinder block walls as part of this project. There is a door to
the stage from what was formerly the storage area used by culinary to store food
products, which appears to be "new." And there is a new cut out in the cinder block
wall, in what I believe was the teacher's office within the space, which now

102 | P a g e
has a series of sliding windows, where the sound board is now located for theater
production.

My original asbestos abatement inquiry was based on the fact that cinder block
mortar during the time period which this building was constructed frequently
includes asbestos as a common ingredient because it was inexpensive, easy to use
and provided a great deal of tensile strength and heat resistance to the finished
product. Sometimes an asbestos mixture was also used as insulation filler in the
empty area within the cinder blocks but it is probably unlikely that it was used in
internal walls. And as Rich mentioned at the meeting sometimes the paint used to
cover cinder blocks, included asbestos.

There is the significant potential of asbestos dispersion, if in fact there were cut outs
of the existing cinder block walls. White dust remains throughout the theater
especially on the elevated fixtures, etc. Please direct the steps necessary to assure
that asbestos exposure is not currently an issue. I would also like to understand, as
part of this investigation, who did this work and what care was taken while doing it?

Although the full board was not in attendance at the facilities committee meeting, I
copied all of them on this correspondence and I also included district counsel, Jeff
Honeywell. I would like to assure that everyone is aware of my concerns.

Ken

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Savage, Anne

8/3/2016 11:20 AM
Inbox
To: Bruce, Kenneth; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue; Lange,
Jennifer; Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill;
...
You replied on 8/8/2016 4:00 PM.

Thank you for the update. I will look forward to the additional information in the
next SBU.

103 | P a g e
-------------------------------------
Anne Savage
City School District of Albany
School Board
asavage@albany.k12.ny.us
518-522-6494

Please note this email is for City School District of Albany board business only.
Please direct all other correspondence to my personal address. If you don't have
that, email me here and I'll send it to you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/2/2016 8:16 PM
Inbox
To: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Roach, Ellen; Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Lange, Jennifer;
Smith, Vickie;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Hogan, Bill;
...

The Facilities Committee met this evening to discuss the required modifications
necessary to prepare the Theater Arts Classroom/Black Box Theater at Abrookin for
usage as a classroom for 49 people or less.

The approximate cost for the required modifications is $10K. District staff will
proceed with the work and the goal is to make the classroom ready for usage on the
first day of the school year.

Bill will provide much more detailed information in Monday's SBU.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

104 | P a g e
Exhibit 25 - - NYSED regarding formal Commissioners
appeal

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 11:14 PM
To: 'Emily DeSantis'; 'Commissioner'
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Hi Emily,

Could you send me a copy of the reengineering report from the Black Box Theater
at Abrookin, which was prepared by Carl Thurnau from SED.

Thank you in advance.

Kenny

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Thursday, September 1, 2016 3:47 PM
To: 'Emily DeSantis'; 'Commissioner'
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Thank you Emily Have a great Labor Day weekend!

From: Emily DeSantis [mailto:Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov]


Sent: Thursday, September 1, 2016 3:22 PM
To: Kenneth M. Bruce; Commissioner
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Hi Kenneth I forwarded it on to other staff as this is outside of my expertise.

Regards,

Emily DeSantis
Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
NYS Dept. of Education
518-474-1201
Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2016 3:21 PM
To: Commissioner
Cc: Emily DeSantis

105 | P a g e
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Hi Emily,

I just want to check in and assure that you received this correspondence. I am
looking for guidance around appropriate next steps.

Kenny

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 3:27 PM
To: 'MaryEllen Elia'
Cc: 'Emily DeSantis'
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Dear Commissioner Elia,

I hope that you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer.

I contacted you in early June based on the inaction of the City School District of
Albany (CSDA), Board of Education and I am contacting you today based upon the
potentially illegal actions of the same six board members.

The six members formally met with counsel at some point in early July. They did
not notify me of the meeting and purposefully excluded me from participation. In
this meeting the Board reached several very important school district decisions
and they directed staff, counsel, and professional service firms to act on these
decisions.

I believe that conducting district business without a duly elected member of the
Board of Education must be a violation of NYS State Open Meeting Law or some
other State Education or Municipal statutes.

On Thursday, July 7th, in a private meeting between the CSDA district counsel and
me, he informed me of the decisions and actions of the majority of the board.
Counsel expressed that they decided to conduct an internal audit supported by a
parallel legal investigation related to the construction of the Black Box Theater in
Abrookin Career and Technical Center, which is part of Albany High School. They
decided on a method, selected an auditor, selected an independent counsel,
selected an district staffer as the point person, decided district counsels role in
the investigation, and provided the auditor with directives and parameters, etc.
During this meeting with Counsel, I objected to several of the groups decisions
and I expressed my displeasure of being excluded from the these very important
deliberations. He expressed that these decisions were already made and that
there was nothing that I could do about it. I also expressed to Counsel my belief
that excluding a duly elected member of the Board of Education and the board
elected president may be illegal.

106 | P a g e
I believe that the division of this board and their actions are related to my
insistence, since seeing the Black Box Theater space in March, that this situation
warranted immediate action. In April, May and June the board deliberated on
several occasions and all six members voted at least three times not to pursue an
investigation and instead voted to conduct a standard internal audit and determine
next steps after the audit was complete. I expressed, to the board, that if the
board would not conduct its own investigation then I would personally notify the
governing authorities which, as you know, I did do. This June meeting of six
board members and counsel immediately followed the NYS Education Department
(SED) decision to prevent further use of the space while SED engineer, Carl
Thurnau, supervised a reverse engineering of the space.

Another outcome of this June meeting of the six board members and district
counsel was a send me a letter recommending my resignation from the Board of
Education, based on the fact that I acted independently in expressing my
concerns to SED and that I didnt abide by the decisions of the majority.

My fiduciary responsibility first and foremost is to serve the students and citizens
of Albany.

Please advise if I should direct my concerns to someone other than you.

Sincerely,

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 3:08 PM
To: 'Emily DeSantis'
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Emily - Thank you Kenny

From: Emily DeSantis [mailto:Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov]


Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 2:40 PM
To: Kenneth M. Bruce
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

Hi Kenneth,

I have referred this to the appropriate program office at SED.

107 | P a g e
Regards,

Emily DeSantis
Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
NYS Dept. of Education
518-474-1201
Emily.DeSantis@nysed.gov

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 8:26 PM
To: Emily DeSantis
Subject: RE: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany
High School

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Monday, June 6, 2016 7:32 PM
To: 'emily.desantis@ny.sed.gov'; MaryEllen Elia (commissioner@nysed.gov)
Subject: The Black Box Theater at the Abrookin Career And Technical Center - Albany High
School

Dear Commissioner,

I learned on March 5, 2016 when I went to the high schools annual creative arts
performance that a Black Box Theater was built in the Abrookin Career And
Technical Center, the second of two buildings which comprise Albany High School,
which is of course in a two year receivership. This capital project was designed and
executed without requesting approval of the Board of Education and without even
informing us of the project. As near as I can determine our previous Superintendent
Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard directed district staff to build the theater and it
was built last summer with a mixture of district staff and outside contractors.

During the second week of March at a public meeting of the facilities committee I
asked for more information on the construction and also asked for background on
the approval process. The Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs was aware
of the project and was generally aware that the project did not receive board
approval.

Almost three months later, I have received several iterations of a full summary,
Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, which escalated the cost and
increased the involvement of outside contractors. None of the work was RFPed.
There was no discussion about resource usage employees, funds and space in an
overcrowded school. I am not sure if the construction would qualify for any state
aid. End of the year transfers moved the necessary monies to a general account,
which covered the costs of the contractual services.

I recommended that the board hire an external legal firm to conduct an


investigation and further recommended that we perform a general investigation

108 | P a g e
over a longer time period. Based upon several less-than-fully related reasons, the
board voted 1-6 not to continue an investigation. I informed the board that I was
disappointed and felt that I had to inform our governing entities and consequently I
am notifying you. The board verbally suggested that if I continued down this path
that they would remove me as president.

The district has provided escalating estimates and the last estimate of the total was
$131K. My personal estimate is that the theater construction cost was about
$200K.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Wilkins was never really involved as I brought it
to the facilities committee which includes the Assistant Superintendent of Business
Affairs and my initial request for more information was directed to him.

So far, our legal counsel has remained relatively neutral.

Please advise on how I should direct my concerns if you are in fact you are not the
appropriate party.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

109 | P a g e
Exhibit 26 - - More Communication related to the Facilities
Committee approval of the Black Box Classroom, Change
Orders and Public Report on the Black Box Classroom

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 9/1/2016 2:01 PM
To: Smith, Vickie; Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Hogan, Bill; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...

Vickie - Duly noted... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Smith, Vickie
Thu 9/1/2016 1:36 PM
To: Bruce, Kenneth; Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Hogan, Bill; jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com;
...
You replied on 9/1/2016 2:01 PM.

Kenny,

I do take exception to and respectfully disagree with the following statement which
is your opinion and not a fact:

"...the Board of Education has continually turned a blind eye to the creation of an
unsafe and unauthorized space, without board oversight and without regulatory
supervision - the former Black Box Theater at Abrookin.."

Vickie A. Smith
City of School District of Albany
Board of Education
vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us
518-210-8446

110 | P a g e
Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 9/1/2016 12:58 PM
Show all 9 recipients
To: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Hogan, Bill;
...

Sue -

My appeal to the superintendent was based on my belief that there is significant


lack of information and understanding within the board related to these two issues.
And my correspondence was meant to inform her of my concern. It was not meant
to pressure her in any way.

I would appreciate if you would limit your correspondence to the facts, instead
of primarily focusing on conjecture as you do in this correspondence.

To clarify, my issue is that the Board of Education has continually turned a blind
eye to the creation of an unsafe and unauthorized space, without board oversight
and without regulatory supervision - the former Black Box Theater at Abrookin.

If there was some confusion around discussions related to the change orders then I
apologize. Rich Peckham, CS Arch presented the idea at a facilities committee
meeting. I must have been mistaken in assuming that Rich's statement have the
express written consent of Bill Hogan. Kim and I discussed her interest in having
this on the board agenda, though there is the possibility that I was speaking of one
thing and she was talking about another.

I have a BOE member item and I will do what any BOE member must.

Kim,

Thanks for providing an Black Box Theatre update. Six months after I brought this
to the attention of the facilities committee and the board, we will finally have a
discussion. Am I correct in that you would like to focus the discussion on the
construction aspects related to the theater?

Kenny

Wilkins, Kim
Wed 8/31/2016 1:10 PM
Show all 9 recipients
To: Bruce, Kenneth;

111 | P a g e
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Hogan, Bill;
...
You replied on 9/1/2016 12:58 PM.
Bing Maps
Action Items

Kenny,

I am recommending that the discussion on the change order conversation be


deferred since there does not appear to be a consensus of the majority of the board
as to when and how to have this discussion. You will recall that you requested the
addition of this item at an prior agenda meeting. It is not a topic that me or Bill
requested be added, although we are willing to present on this topic. We need to
have a majority of the BOE determine when and how this conversation moves
forward. We also need to have some clarity as to what is expected for such a
presentation.
A brief discussion by Bill regarding the current status of the theater instructional
room at Abrookin for use this year will be under the Facility Committee Report.

I recommend that any discussion of the Black Box Theatre should wait for the
receipt of the results of the audit requested by the Board.

Kimberly Young Wilkins, Ed.D.

Adler, Sue
Wed 8/31/2016 10:53 AM
Show all 9 recipients
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Hogan, Bill;
...

Kenny,

This is inappropriate procedure. Our BOE process is that the BOE has member items
added as per majority vote. Your appeal to the Superintendent is an attempt to do
an end run around that. Your appeal also is impliedly pressuring a Supt to assert
authority over a BOE meeting Agenda that a Supt arguably does not have. This is
your umpteenth attempt to make public your personal issues with the prior Supt's
decision regarding the Abrookin space.

If in fact you want District staff to do a presentation on Change Orders, this is not
the way to go about it. The proper way is not to just add it to this week's Agenda --
as you have done -- even though a majority of the officers did not agree. The proper
way is not to pressure a Supt to do a presentation now -- even though there has

112 | P a g e
been no BOE member item voted on by a majority. You know the proper procedure,
but you refuse to follow it, acting as if the Presidency gives you power it does not in
fact have. If you want a BOE member item, then do what any BOE member must.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 8/31/2016 10:00 AM
Show all 9 recipients
To: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Lange, Jennifer; Roach,
Ellen; Smith, Vickie; Hogan, Bill;
...

Dear Dr. Wilkins,

I am writing to request that the established procedures, the general timeline and
the underlying principles related to construction change orders procedures remain
an agenda item for discussion during the next board meeting, this Thursday, Sept
1st. Additionally, I request that a presentation on the NY State Education
Department findings related to the Black Box Theater at Abrookin be added to the
agenda for this same meeting. The Facilities Committee previously discussed these
two topics during public facilities committee meetings on July 19 th and on August 2nd,
respectively. Both of these topics were referred by the facilities committee to the
full board for discussion.

The first topic, change orders procedures, should also include information related
to how, when and under what circumstances district staff can make immediate
decisions and/or the facilities committee can make a recommendation to the board,
which then leads to particular actions by staff and/or professional service providers
and can also lead to district expenditures - prior to full board approval. This
summer the school district was involved in phase two of the set of projects, which
the community approved during a referendum in May 2015 and the roof phase of
the AHS Rebuild project which was approved during a referendum in February 2016.
At the August 18th board meeting the board approved several change orders, which
involved district actions and expenditures beyond the contracted amount of these
projects. This work had already been performed when the board granted approval.
It is extremely important that each and every board member understand the
established procedures and process under which these actions and expenditures
take place, when they are evaluating and reaching a determination on future
change order requests. It is similarly important that board understands and is
generally aligned around how work gets done at the recommendation of staff and
committees.

The second topic, NY State Education Department findings related to the Black Box
Theater at Abrookin, is an example of a recommendation by the Facilities
Committee, which led to actions by staff and/or professional service providers and a
district expenditure, prior to full board approval. This is a very contentious topic

113 | P a g e
and it is imperative that we not allow another board meeting to pass without a
formal board vote to publically determine the future use of this space.

I am bringing this request directly to you, as the interim superintendent of schools.


There was a lack of consensus among the three board members during the last
agenda setting meeting, and we decided that the board, during executive session
on August 18th, would decide when to hear a presentation on the first topic. That
evening, we had an abbreviated executive session, and one member of the Facilities
committee was not present and we did not discuss this topic. The developments
around the Black Box Theater at Abrookin are new since the last agenda setting
meeting.

Both these topics have already been presented less formally to the Facilities
Committee and my request is that you have the appropriate staff or a
representative from the districts architectural firm prepared to present these topics
at the Sept 1st meeting. The board will have an opportunity to decide during
executive session, prior to the meeting, if they feel as strongly as I do about the
need for transparency and a board vote as soon as possible after any committee
recommendation which leads to work and expenditures.

I recognize that this is a last minute request during a very busy time but I believe
that a lack of public discussion around these issues have had an extremely
detrimental impact on district governance and leadership.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 9/1/2016 1:15 PM
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...

More conjecture - Sue without the facts.

114 | P a g e
I have tried to be reasonable respectful to you through this process. I see that my
effort was in vain.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Wed 8/31/2016 11:06 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Rose Brandon <rbrandon@nycap.rr.com>; Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen; Smith, Vickie;
...
You replied on 9/1/2016 1:15 PM.

Kenny,

I am circulating to everyone you copied on your email this morning about change
orders. I think it important that everyone have the context on your inserting this
into the Agenda.

I also want everyone to see that you stated that "Kim and Bill really want to have
this presentation". It seems to me that statement was a lie.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 8/31/2016 8:59 AM
To: Savage, Anne;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue;
...

This is not a change order but the process and procedures are similar in that
facilities committee recommendations, change orders and some immediate and
necessary district staff decisions lead to work and expenditures prior to full board
approval. I fully agree with you that we should have a board discussion
and determine whether we believe we should establish new procedures.

115 | P a g e
The established procedure for as long as I have been on the facilities committee and
while you were on the committee is that the committee makes these
recommendations and refers it's recommendation to the board. Sometimes work
begins before the board grants approval.

And I also agree that the Black Box Theater is a public and contentious issue and it
warrants a full public discussion and a decision by the board. In recognition of this
fact, I immediately emailed the board the evening of the meeting to share that the
facilities committee recommendation and to notify the board of the next steps.

We need to separate how to proceed with the space from the investigation related
to how the space was created.

The relevant facts and the ease of the reaching a recommendation were not obvious
in the one page that Bill provided to the Board.

To recreate the space as a theater involved creating an architectural design, a


public referendum at a cost of at least $110K and a timeline of at least a year. To
recreate the space as a classroom possibly by the first day of school required a
dismantling of shoddy work, addressing several safety issues and an expenditure of
$10-20K. The $10-20K investment was necessary for to proceed with either
alternative. The space could sit unused for a year or we could do necessary work
and use it while deciding if the board is willing to commit the resources to create
a safe theater.

These should be board discussions instead of long ass emails!

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Savage, Anne
Wed 8/31/2016 4:00 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue;
...
You replied on 8/31/2016 8:59 AM.

Ken -

116 | P a g e
I will try to call you tonight - Wednesday night. This is not a change order. It is a
decision about direction on an issue that is public and contentious -- do we continue
with the black box as a theater space or return it to a classroom space. I stand by
my position that the board should have been consulted and the committee was not
free to make that determination on it's own.

-A

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/30/2016 2:13 PM
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...

7C is "change orders".

I left the last agenda setting meeting before this agenda was concluded but I was
happy to see it listed on the agenda. I personally support it's inclusion. I assume
that you continue to prefer less transparency and that you do not support it. If
Anne agrees with you and wants it removed then we can remove it from the
agenda.

I know that Kim and Bill really want to have this presentation.

If you and Anne decide to remove it then I'll request it in board member items and I
will highlight the challenge that district leadership is having towards getting this
very important and timely discussion on the agenda.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Tue 8/30/2016 11:06 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne;
...

117 | P a g e
You replied on 8/30/2016 2:13 PM.

Kenny,

The Agenda just went up. I see 7C under the the Facilities item is "change orders".
Please clarify what this is. Thanks.

Adler, Sue
Tue 8/30/2016 10:26 AM
To:
Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc:
Savage, Anne;
...
Action Items

Kenny,

I cannot find the Agenda for Thursday on line. Are you saying that the change order
topic that you wanted on an Agenda in Sept or Oct is in the Sept 1 Agenda? At the
last Agenda- setting meeting, I wanted that topic to be put on in November or later.
At first Anne agreed, then she moved to a more neutral position. I stated that the
topic would then need to be discussed at Exec for a full BOE vote since there was
not a majority of Officers affirmatively wanting it on a Sept or Oct Agenda. Please
clarify. Thanks.

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 8/30/2016 1:25 AM
To: Savage, Anne;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue;
...

Anne,

You were on the facilities committee, so this shouldn't be completely new to you.
Your questions get to the heart of the "change orders" discussion and why we
need established procedures or a policy in place.

The facilities committee routinely make recommendations regarding change


orders, and accepts staff recommendations regarding immediate facilities needs,
with the understanding that the board will accept the recommendation, after the
fact, and vote on the action at the next board meeting. District staff proceeds
based upon the committee recommendation. In some instances the superintendent

118 | P a g e
or district staff make these same recommendations though for lesser dollar
amounts, even prior to the facilities committee hearing of the need.

Each of the change orders presented at the last meeting had already been
completed (not sure actually if every one was completed but most were)... There
was a old curb that collapsed at ASH during paving based on deterioration under
the curb that was not visible until the paving process removed the old top layer.
The committee received the change order but the work may have been done that
day, as soon as the problem was known, and while the machinery was right there.
Each of these change orders (last board meeting) were not covered
by contingencies in their particular project so they all involved additional
expenditures beyond the particular contract
(http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/albany/Board.nsf/files/ACRM8E59FC04/$file/Change
%20Order%20Resolution%20for%202016-08-18.pdf).

I stressed as part of our previous agenda committee change order discussion my


belief that board members are not aware of the current procedures in place. They
are not aware.

At one point during DR. V's tenure we decreased the amount of any expenditure
that she could execute without prior board approval to $10K. I don't remember
what it was prior. I don't remember where this is spelled out.

From a practical standpoint the committee and district staff have to make and
execute some decisions prior to a board meeting. When there is a large immediate
and necessary expenditure, district staff calls a facilities committee meeting and not
a board meeting.

The expenditure to prepare the Black Box Theater as the Theatrical Classroom at
Abrookin by the start of school was somewhere between $10K and $20K. The
committee voted to recommend that the board approve the expenditure and the
work proceeded. The expectation is that the space will be ready for use on Sept.
6th. This "recommended" expenditure did not come before the board last meeting
and at the moment it is not on the agenda for this meeting. I was not surprised, as
you suggested, but I was stressing that committee recommendations from the
previous facilities committee meeting that were already acted on should come
before the board ASAP. I was further suggesting that at tonight's, or last night's
now, meeting there was a chance that the past work was already completed and
there was the possibility that there might be further recommendations that would
also require a board vote at some point. I was suggesting that we don't want to fall
too far behind.

At today's facilities meeting there were in fact several construction transfers


totaling about $22K. All were already done. All were covered by contingencies in
their particular project so there were no expenditures beyond the contract.

Last time the facilities committee recommended that the district architect evaluate
the necessary improvements to make 50 N. Lark a viable middle school. There was
a presentation to the board and we voted to proceed. That work had almost

119 | P a g e
definitely already begun prior to the board meeting but at least the board approval
was in very close proximity to the committee recommendation.

Bill recognized the contentious nature and the lack of board understanding, lack of
board agreement, lack of stated policy, etc. on the issue and that's why he wanted
to clarify the "change order" issue, though it's a larger issue - how much latitude
does the district staff have to act, make decisions, act upon committee
recommendations, etc. which are within the established budget... This topic,
"change orders," is on the agenda for Thursday.

Sue's example comparing committee actions was an excellent example. One


involved no expenditures and very little devoted district resources and the other
involved an extremely contentious issue where the committee recommended the
less expensive of two choices one for $10-20K which will repurpose the theater as a
safe classroom, and the other which would have maintained the theater but would
require a referendum and at the very least a $110K expense and would have left
the space un-usable until the improvements were done. And the last alternative
was to do nothing until the full board votes.

The board should receive the Black Box report from the district architect and not
from me or Bill as a committee report.

No need to reach a resolution on the broad topic beforehand - it's an agenda item.

Thanks for responding.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Savage, Anne
Tue 8/30/2016 12:08 AM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue;
...
You replied on 8/30/2016 1:25 AM.

120 | P a g e
Ken - (dropped all others but Sue)

This topic deserves a phone call, rather than an email. I always prefer to deal with
contentious issues by phone, and had hoped to speak with you and/or Ellen about
this. It's been on my mind to do so since I saw it in the 8/8 SBU while I was still on
vacation. And unfortunately, I'm away again for a few days and as I'm traveling
and hiking in the high peaks where service is patchy at best, it's pretty hard to find
a time to talk.

The heart of my concern is that the 8/8 SBU memo from Bill indicated "District staff
will proceed with the work ... ". It appeared to me based on that SBU that facilities
committee had made and implemented a decision that directed district resources,
which of course a committee can not do, only the full board can. I see in your
email this afternoon (below) that you say "Facilities discussed it in a public meeting
and already made a recommendation that was acted upon by staff. The
recommendation by the committee should have been referred to the board. We
meet tonight and we will hear if all the work was done." That was my first
indication that (apparently) you were somewhat surprised by that SBU as well.

Are you suggesting that the staff acted on the committee's recommendation, while
the committee expected the recommendation to go to the full board before action
was taken? Especially given the highly public and contentious nature of this topic,
and the underlying issue about allowing the board to play its proper role, I'd hope
that all involved would be particularly careful about procedures on this.

As for the minor question of whether this should be it's own topic or discussed
under committee reports, I can't formulate a meaningful opinion on that until I get
clear on the larger issue of how this decision and action came to be made without
the knowledge of the board.

Again, I think a phone call on this would be better, and I'll try to reach both you and
Ellen by phone on Wednesday afternoon if I possibly can so I can get clear on
exactly what happened at the facilities meeting. If you choose to respond by email,
that's fine, but I'm not expecting us to reach a resolution by email, I just felt I
needed to respond based on your pointed remark about my having not responded
yet.

- Anne

Adler, Sue
Mon 8/29/2016 4:54 PM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Savage, Anne; Hogan, Bill; Tibbitts, Paula;
...

Thanks for providing the info. I do prefer to have it reported by the Facilities
Committee during Committee Reports. That is how I view our procedure.

121 | P a g e
During that part of the meeting, I also want to mention the intent to have the Govt
Relations Committee take steps necessary to move BOE elections to May during the
budget vote. I don't need this issue broken out on the agenda.

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 8/29/2016 3:56 PM
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Savage, Anne; Hogan, Bill; Tibbitts, Paula;
...

Facilities discussed it in a public meeting and already made a recommendation that


was acted upon by staff. The recommendation by the committee should have been
referred to the board. We meet tonight and we will hear if all the work was done.

I'm fine talking about it under committee reports if you two strongly prefer for some
reason not to put this business on the agenda.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Adler, Sue
Mon 8/29/2016 1:23 PM
To: Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Wilkins, Kim; Savage, Anne; Hogan, Bill; Tibbitts, Paula;
...
You replied on 8/29/2016 3:56 PM.

I'd like Facilities to first address it and then have it brought to the BOE. If Facilities is
basically done w/it. I am ok with it going to the BOE.

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 8/29/2016 12:58 PM

122 | P a g e
To: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Hogan, Bill; Tibbitts, Paula;
...

Paula -

We need to add Ray's contract extension and resolution on the agenda immediately
following the superintendent's contract - new #7 (5 minutes).

And we need an agenda item, "Superintendent Search Update" to formally vote to


issue an RFP and select an option that requires an expenditure instead of BOCES
free alternative - new #8 (5 minutes).

Anne & Sue -

You have not responded to my two previous emails related to the required
discussion regarding the facilities committee's recommendation to proceed with the
work to prepare the Black Box Theater as a classroom. Should I assume that you do
not want it on the agenda and would prefer to cover it under committee meetings?

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 8/28/2016 1:46 PM
To: Wilkins, Kim;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Bryan, Mary; Hogan, Bill;
...
You replied on 8/29/2016 12:58 PM.

The Facilities Committee Report/Business Office Report was included in


the administrative (private) folder of the August 8th SBU. As was explained in the
SBU, the facilities committee directed district leadership to proceed to prepare the
space formerly known as the Black Box Theater for use as the Black Box Classroom.

123 | P a g e
This action, somewhat similar to a change order, should require board action or
board notification.

We should either include this on the agenda or address in under committee


meetings. My preference is that we include it on the agenda so that the architect is
available to provide the presentation. Also, we may receive more information
at tomorrow's facilities committee meeting.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:21 PM
To: Bryan, Mary; Savage, Anne
Cc: Tibbitts, Paula; Wilkins, Kim; Adler, Sue
Subject: Re: 8/8 SBU

Also in the 8/8 SBU the Facilities Committee Report/Business Office Report is as you
mention in the in the administrative (private) folder, when all this information was
presented publically during the August 2nd Facilities Committee meeting?

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

124 | P a g e
Exhibit 27 - - Asbestos Test in the Black Box Classroom is
Negative on October 18, 2016
asbestos test in the Black Box Classroom
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 10/23/2016 3:39 PM
Inbox
To:
Wilkins, Kim;
...

Please include the asbestos test results in an upcoming board update.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 10/23/2016 1:42 PM
Inbox

Ellen,

Your email is accurate except for your suggestion that my prior email is inaccurate.

In fact, you did suggest at our September 28 facilities committee meeting, that
asbestos tests be done at the black box theatre site. The three committee
members, including Dr. Brandon and me, were present and agreed. Brian Dengler
confirmed that asbestos testing was reasonably priced and therefore feasible, and
committed to doing the tests at that time.

After my numerous requests since March to both the facilities committee and to the
board to conduct this test, including my Sept. 12th email to the board, I requested
that the superintendent recognize that this wasn't just a facilities committee

125 | P a g e
decision or even a board decision and in her role as superintendent she should not
be prevented from taking an action that involved student health concerns because
of board disagreement on a very contentious issue. My request and her
commitment to act occurred during my president's superintendent's meeting on
Friday Sept. 23rd. She has tried to stay above the fray but in this instance she
appreciated my health concerns. She expressed that the asbestos test would be
conducted as soon as the state mandated lead tests were completed.

When you brought it up to the facilities committee, I did not inform the committee
that the superintendent had already committed to the test, because
the committee's decision, even six months after my original recommendation and
request, is a good thing. And the facilities committee actually should make
this recommendation.

Despite the lengthy process to get these tests conducted, I am sure that we are all
relieved that there was no asbestos in the former theatre space!

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Lange, Jennifer
Tue 10/18/2016 8:50 AM
Inbox

I was at a meeting as well that suggested asbestos strips be used. It was Ellen that
suggested this process.

Kenny I'm sorry but you are incorrect in your conclusion about the board stating no
need for an asbestos test.

Savage, Anne
Re: asbestos test in the Black Box Classroom
Tue 10/18/2016 8:08 AM
Thank you for clarifying Ellen. Glad to hear the facilities committee handled this as
expected. Sent from my iPhone

126 | P a g e
Mark as unread

Roach, Ellen
Tue 10/18/2016 7:46 AM
Inbox

Kenny,

Your email is inaccurate. I suggested asbestos tests be done at the black box
theatre site during our September 28 facilities committee meeting, and the other
committee members present (can't remember if Dr. Brandon was present or just
you) agreed. Brian Dengler confirmed that asbestos testing was reasonably priced
and therefore feasible, and committed to doing the tests at that time.

Ellen

Sent from my iPhone

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 10/18/2016 1:03 AM
Inbox

After several months of not being able to convince the facilities committee or the
Board of Education of the need for an asbestos test in the Black Box Classroom, I
was able to convince Dr. Wilkins. She directed staff to conduct the testing
immediately following the completion of the first set of lead content in the water
tests

The space was found not to have any asbestos exposure.

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.
Exhibit 28 - - Mr. Honeywells letter, dated October 13,
2016 to dissuade Mr. Bruce from further action

127 | P a g e
Letter

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 10/25/2016 1:59 PM

Thanks Jeff,

It is very obvious that we disagree on much more than the characterization of


correspondence.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Tue 10/25/2016 7:48 AM
To:
Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc:
Savage, Anne;
Roach, Ellen;
Lange, Jennifer;
Rose Brandon (rbrandon@nycap.rr.com);
Adler, Sue;
Smith, Vickie;
...
You replied on 10/25/2016 1:59 PM.
Kenny, I continue to disagree with the way you characterize my communications
and those if other board members.

128 | P a g e
Jeff

Sent from my iPhone

Jeffrey Honeywell

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 10/24/2016 10:32 PM
Hi Jeff,

This is about the sixth communication to me from either you or the board warning,
requesting, reminding, etc. that I keep quiet about the Black Box Theatre
construction and cover-up.

The board could simply solve this issue by providing the transparency
and accountability to our community, which I desire. Many mistakes were made
and it's time to admit these mistakes and move on accordingly.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 10/23/2016 6:12 PM
Hi Jeff,

Thank you for the explanation. This was very helpful.

Our students, families and employees were put in harms way based upon the
decisions of our district and school leaders and contractors, when these
leaders ignored established policies and procedures, and violated various statutes
and laws. When I brought this to the attention of this board they voted to ignore the

129 | P a g e
prevailing issues, held an illegal meeting and proceeded with an inadequate
investigation.

In the midst of all this I wonder why keeping the board's executive session
discussions private rose to the top of the heap to be addressed, leading to one more
request that I keep quiet with regards to all that transpired?

The school district hires professionals to share their expertise and to provide
guidance in matters where we require more and specific expertise. Let me remind
you that your role as district counsel is much more than executing the will of the
majority of the board.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Tue 10/18/2016 10:59 AM

Download all
Kenny, first please understand that no one on the board asked me to write the letter
I sent you. I did so as counsel to the District to address a potential issue.

Regarding your comments on privilege, you are partially but not entirely correct.
Many consequences flow from a determination that a communication or
information is covered by the attorney-client privilege. For example, the
communication is not FOILable, subject to subpoena, or subject to discovery in a
legal action. Also, as you imply, an attorney, subject to a very few exceptions, is
ethically not permitted to share a privileged communication absent client
permission. This most often applies to a communication from a client to an attorney
(e.g. the criminal client telling his counsel he committed the crime). However, the
point made in my letter to you was that the privilege in whatever form is owned
by the client. In the case of a corporate client, such as a municipal corporation as in
public school districts, whether a privilege can be waived is determined by the
highest governing body. In the districts case that is the board of education. Thus,

130 | P a g e
one board member may not and does not have the individual authority to waive the
privilege, only the board does.

All of my guidance has been to protect the District (my client) not board members,
individually or collectively. Thus, my intent in writing to you was to inform, advise,
and counsel you on potential illegal actions. Whether you accept that is your
choice.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Tue 10/18/2016 12:58 AM

Download all
Hi Jeff, Sue and the five other board members:

I have had a bit more time to review your letter.

Putting confidential on an email and copying legal counsel doesn't make something
confidential. It's not confidential because Jeff or Sue Adler says that something is
confidential.

My understanding is that attorney-client privilege actually limits the attorney not


the client. "Nah I ain't passed the bar but I know a little bit."

I am very comfortable letting the NYS Commissioner of Education decide who has
violated what law. And if she determines that it is me then I will live with it.

131 | P a g e
My oath was not to protect the members of the board of education. Nor was it to
protect the employees or contractors of the school district. Nor was it to protect the
confidentiality of executive session to the detriment of our students. When you
informed me of the majority of the board's actions in early July, I told you that I
would not lie any more for anyone else. I will not support a sham investigation that
offers lies instead of facts. Safety of our students and employees should not have
been ignored. It's the people's money and they have a right to know how it was
spent. Laws that require voter referendums and competitive bidding were put in
place for situations just like this one.

As a leader, you start down a path. A true leader factors in the latest information to
determine if they should continue on their path or if the newly available information
suggests a different path. I would not sit idle and ignore my concerns and I was
right about a lot of it and most importantly that the students studied, performed
and worked in an unsafe environment for six months to a year. Anne, Rose, Jenn,
Ellen and Vickie, rather than continue to try and stifle the truth, now is the time to
come forward and admit your mistakes accept your responsibility. And let's get
back to the business of fixing this school district.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 10/13/2016 4:47 PM

Jeff - Thank you. I am in receipt of your letter. The board is consistent... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
President, The Board of Education
City School District of Albany
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

132 | P a g e
Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal
address to contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Thu 10/13/2016 10:27 AM
1 attachment
LtBruce (10~.pdf
835 KB Open in browser
Download all
Dear President Bruce, please find enclosed a letter to you from me as Board Counsel
offering some advice. While the letter is coming to you via regular mail, I wanted
you to have a copy as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have any
questions for me.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

133 | P a g e
134 | P a g e
135 | P a g e
Exhibit 29 - - Mr. Bruces letter, dated September 29, 2016
providing his feedback on the investigation

From: Bruce, Kenneth


Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 1:39 PM
To: rbrandon@nycap.rr.com; Adler, Sue
Cc: Savage, Anne; Jeffrey Honeywell; Smith, Vickie; Roach, Ellen; Lange, Jennifer
Subject: Re: Questions on Audit

Although the investigation was originally my idea, the Majority of the Board
excluded me from being a part of the process. Consequently, I was not actually
involved in any of the critical decisions related to the direction, the parameters, and
selection of the individuals to lead the investigation. And as a result, I cant
effectively question or evaluate an investigation that seemingly generated the
result desired by the Majority of the Board mistakes were made but no one
should be held accountable.

The lawyer got many of the names wrong and didnt provide any hard facts or share
any real information like invoices, contracts, etc. The internal auditors created a
timeline that was not based upon reality and I wonder where they got this
information.

Consequently, there is almost no new information gleaned from this investigation.


_______ asked on a communication thread, which included Brian Dengler, if this
project had Board approval and she was ignored or at least not answered in this
particular email string. We know with certainty that ________ is passionate about
theater and passionate about opportunities for his students, which we generally
already knew. We also see that he needs leaders around him who can help him
understand limitations, legal requirements and established district policies.

The school leaders involved are not required to know all the issues related to a
capital project.

We hire and pay our district leaders to lead. They are tasked with using their
discretion, expertise, knowledge of the legal requirements, and understanding of
district policy to make decisions on behalf of the City School District of Albany. They
are consistently placed in challenging situations that require balance opposing
needs, wants and requirements. They must have the ability and wherewithal to our
very passionate teachers and staff, no, not now or not until we follow the require
guidelines. Our leaders, the Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs and the
Director of Facilities, failed us in this situation. The investigation never linked the
previous superintendent to these actions, beyond the annunciations of those
involved.

We pay our skilled experts to act in a similar capacity and no one involved knows
more about the legal requirements of a project than our district contracted
architect.

136 | P a g e
As this project expanded in scope and reach, no one stepped forward to stop it.
They turned a blind eye to what was happening right in front of them.

The poor decisions of our leaders and our paid experts first and foremost put our
students in harms way, by allowing the creation of an unsafe environment as
determined by the NYS Education Department.

By not properly executing this project we missed out a $100K in State Aid and more
importantly the potential legal liability associated with this project is immeasurable
after the fact. We were lucky.

Acting as fiduciary of this school district it is our responsibility to hold those involved
accountable. It is not our role to assure that things continue to run smoothly and to
avoid asking the tough questions and making real decisions.

When the Majority of this Board learned of this situation it responded in a similar
form and fashion to our district leaders. As more information became available to
us, as it became evident that there wasnt just a big issue but there was also a
cover-up, the majority remained steadfast in their opinion that nothing should really
be done. The Majority of this Board has consistently stalled and extended the
process as every good lawyer should. But it is our role to do whats best for our
students, whats best for the school district and whats best for the families who live
in this city. And avoiding embarrassment should not be our defining goal.

I have to do a timeline anyway for my Appeal to the NYS Education Commissioner


and I focused my response around the timeline to help its accuracy. Below are my
timeline comments and I have attached a file of supporting information. Its a work
in progress so I have not yet linked the appendixes to the timeline statements.

I know that this goes without saying, but feel free to include any or none of this
additional information in the timeline. But please assure that the investigation
timeline is accurate especially anything that is related to my actions.

The information contained in the investigation is almost identical to what


was provided in the two sheets provided by district staff.

My primary question is where is the real information?


Invoices related to the work
Contract extension related to the Kasselman contract
Actual start date of the work
Accounting detail in the account used to pay out contractors
Emails related to former superintendents authorization investigation seemingly
leaves Bill and Brian out on the line
How much of the Dramatics Clubs $50K+ expenditure for 2015-2016 was used
towards this work?

Independent Legal Counsel determined that no one specific was at fault


yet:

137 | P a g e
Not properly categorized as a capital project
Constructed without voter approval
Constructed without an architectural plan
No building permits
Inappropriately used annual district maintenance/service contracts, which did not
include the scope of this work?
Didnt show that contract that expired on June 30, 2015 was extended
Contractors and materials were not obtained through the appropriate competitive
bidding and procurement process
No Board or SED oversight through building process
Detailed negotiations with a contractor which did not involve a competitive bid that
was then run through Kasselman, seemingly to circumvent the competitive process
Didnt highlight the opportunity cost loss of about $100K in State Aid
Never really provides any documentation to prove exact sources or uses of funds
beyond two transfers
Never answered my question regarding insurance impact/liability associated with a
capital construction project without the appropriate approvals or oversights
No inquiries about individuals reasoning around not informing the board Jodi
OConnor asked on two occasions with Mr. Dengler on the thread about board
approval
Never addresses the fact that NYSED determined that the space was unsafe as
constructed we had upward of 200 occupants in the space, including students,
family and community
Never addresses student workers - Endangered AHS carpentry students by using
them to construct aspects of this without proper oversight
Did not question district architect, a paid expert, as to why he didnt step in
As the project continued to grow, why didnt someone speak up?
At what level would this counsel, determine that someone was accountable for
something?

..

138 | P a g e
Exhibit 30 - - New York Freedom of Information Law,
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request for Sue
Adler's correspondence

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 5:58 PM
To: William F. Hogan (bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us)
Cc: Stephanie Primero (sprimero@albany.k12.ny.us); Sue H. R. Adler Esq.
(sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us); Anne Savage (asavage@albany.k12.ny.us); Vickie Smith
(vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us); Lange, Jennifer (jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us); Ellen Roach, Esq.
(eroach@albany.k12.ny.us); Sridar V. Chittur (schittur@albany.k12.ny.us); Dr. Rose Brandon
(rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Kimberly Young Wilkins Ed.D. (kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us); Jeffrey
D. Honeywell Esq. (jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com)
Subject: New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request
for Sue Adler's correspondence

Dear Records Access Officer,

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the
Public Officers Law, I hereby request a copy of all correspondence between City
School District of Albany Board of Education Member Sue Adler and any of the
following parties, when the correspondence did not include me, Albany Board of
Education Member Kenneth M. Bruce.

Ms. Adlers correspondence with any of the following parties:


Anne Savage, Member Albany Board of Education;
Rose Brandon, Member Albany Board of Education;
Jenn Lange, Member Albany Board of Education;
Ellen Roach, Member Albany Board of Education;
Vickie Smith, Member Albany Board of Education;
Sridar Chittur, Member Albany Board of Education;
William Hogan, CSDA, Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs;
Dale Getto, CSDA, Acting Principal at Albany High School;
Jeffrey Honeywell, CSDA, School District Counsel;
Rich Peckham and any employee or representative of CS Arch.

This request covers the period from March 5, 2016 to present.

If my request appears to be too extensive or it fails to reasonably describe the


records request, then please contact me in writing or by phone at (201) 320-6257. I
understand there is a fee of $0.25 per page for duplication of the records requested
and request that any records be sent via email attachment or some other digital
storage method, if possible, as to avoid duplication costs and negative
environmental effects.

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that the school district
respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request. Therefore, I
would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from
you shortly.

139 | P a g e
If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the
reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or
body to whom an appeal should be directed.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Bruce

Ps. I have copied the other members of the School Board, the Interim
Superintendent and the Districts Counsel as a curtesy. It is not necessary to
include them in any correspondence in response to my request.

140 | P a g e
Exhibit 31 - - New York Freedom of Information Law,
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request for Bill
Hogans correspondence

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:00 PM
To: William F. Hogan (bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us)
Cc: Stephanie Primero (sprimero@albany.k12.ny.us); Sue H. R. Adler Esq.
(sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us); Anne Savage (asavage@albany.k12.ny.us); Vickie Smith
(vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us); Lange, Jennifer (jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us); Ellen Roach, Esq.
(eroach@albany.k12.ny.us); Sridar V. Chittur (schittur@albany.k12.ny.us); Dr. Rose Brandon
(rbrandon@nycap.rr.com); Kimberly Young Wilkins Ed.D. (kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us); Jeffrey
D. Honeywell Esq. (jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com)
Subject: RE: New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law -
Request for Bill Hogan's correspondence

Dear Records Access Officer,

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the
Public Officers Law, I hereby request a copy of all correspondence related to
construction at Albany High School between City School District of Albany, Assistant
Superintendent for Business Affairs, William Hogan addressed to any of the
following parties:
Brian Dengler, , CSDA, Director of Facilities
Dale Getto, CSDA, Acting Principal at Albany High School;
Ward Dales, CSDA, Teacher at Albany High School
Jeffrey Honeywell, CSDA, School District Counsel;
Rich Peckham, CS Arch and any employee or representative of CS Arch.

This request covers the period from May 1, 2015 to present.

If my request appears to be too extensive or it fails to reasonably describe the


records request, then please contact me in writing or by phone at (201) 320-6257. I
understand there is a fee of $0.25 per page for duplication of the records requested
and request that any records be sent via email attachment or some other digital
storage method, if possible, as to avoid duplication costs and negative
environmental effects.

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that the school district
respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request. Therefore, I
would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from
you shortly.

If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the
reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or
body to whom an appeal should be directed.

Sincerely,

141 | P a g e
Kenneth M. Bruce

Ps. I have copied the other members of the School Board, the Interim
Superintendent and the Districts Counsel as a curtesy. It is not necessary to
include them in any correspondence in response to my request.

142 | P a g e
Exhibit 32 - - New York Freedom of Information Law,
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request for City
School District of Albany (district-wide) Operations and
Maintenance Account

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:04 PM
To: William F. Hogan (bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us)
Cc: Stephanie Primero (sprimero@albany.k12.ny.us); Sue H. R. Adler Esq.
(sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us); Anne Savage (asavage@albany.k12.ny.us); Vickie Smith
(vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us); Lange, Jennifer (jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us); Ellen Roach, Esq.
(eroach@albany.k12.ny.us); Sridar V. Chittur (schittur@albany.k12.ny.us); Kimberly Young
Wilkins Ed.D. (kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us); Jeffrey D. Honeywell Esq.
(jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com); Ken Bruce (kbruce2@albany.k12.ny.us)
Subject: RE: New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law -
Request for City School District of Albany (district-wide) Operations and Maintenance
Account

Dear Records Access Officer,

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the
Public Officers Law, I hereby request a complete copy of all transaction in the City
School District of Albany (district-wide) Operations and Maintenance Account for the
full 2015-2016 fiscal year and for the last three months (April, May and June) of the
2014-2015 fiscal year.

This request covers the period from April, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

If my request appears to be too extensive or it fails to reasonably describe the


records request, then please contact me in writing or by phone at (201) 320-6257. I
understand there is a fee of $0.25 per page for duplication of the records requested
and request that any records be sent via email attachment or some other digital
storage method, if possible, as to avoid duplication costs and negative
environmental effects.

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that the school district
respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request. Therefore, I
would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from
you shortly.

If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the
reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or
body to whom an appeal should be directed.

Sincerely,

143 | P a g e
Kenneth M. Bruce

Ps. I have copied the other members of the School Board, the Interim
Superintendent and the Districts Counsel as a curtesy. It is not necessary to
include them in any correspondence in response to my request.

144 | P a g e
Exhibit 33 - - New York Freedom of Information Law,
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request for City
School District of Albany Contracts with Dr. Betty Webb

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:07 PM
To: William F. Hogan (bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us)
Cc: Stephanie Primero (sprimero@albany.k12.ny.us); Sue H. R. Adler Esq.
(sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us); Anne Savage (asavage@albany.k12.ny.us); Vickie Smith
(vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us); Lange, Jennifer (jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us); Ellen Roach, Esq.
(eroach@albany.k12.ny.us); Sridar V. Chittur (schittur@albany.k12.ny.us); Kimberly Young
Wilkins Ed.D. (kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us); Jeffrey D. Honeywell Esq.
(jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com); Ken Bruce (kbruce2@albany.k12.ny.us)
Subject: RE: New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law -
Request for City School District of Albany Contracts with Dr. Betty Webb

Dear Records Access Officer,

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the
Public Officers Law, I hereby request a copy of all contracts between Dr. Betty Webb
and the City School District of Albany from September 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016.
Dr. Webb contracted with the CSDA through various entities and I would like a copy
of all contracts where she is the principal member. I would also like a copy of all
Requests For Proposal and any related RFP Evaluation Documents for any awarded
contract.

This request covers the period from April, 2012 to June 30, 2016.

If my request appears to be too extensive or it fails to reasonably describe the


records request, then please contact me in writing or by phone at (201) 320-6257. I
understand there is a fee of $0.25 per page for duplication of the records requested
and request that any records be sent via email attachment or some other digital
storage method, if possible, as to avoid duplication costs and negative
environmental effects.

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that the school district
respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request. Therefore, I
would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from
you shortly.

If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the
reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or
body to whom an appeal should be directed.

Sincerely,

Kenneth M. Bruce

145 | P a g e
Ps. I have copied the other members of the School Board, the Interim
Superintendent and the Districts Counsel as a curtesy. It is not necessary to
include them in any correspondence in response to my request.

146 | P a g e
Exhibit 34 - - New York Freedom of Information Law,
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law - Request for Ann
Savage and Vickie Smith's correspondence

From: Kenneth M. Bruce [mailto:kennethmbruce@gmail.com]


Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:10 PM
To: William F. Hogan (bhogan@albany.k12.ny.us)
Cc: Stephanie Primero (sprimero@albany.k12.ny.us); Sue H. R. Adler Esq.
(sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us); Anne Savage (asavage@albany.k12.ny.us); Vickie Smith
(vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us); Lange, Jennifer (jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us); Ellen Roach, Esq.
(eroach@albany.k12.ny.us); Sridar V. Chittur (schittur@albany.k12.ny.us); Kimberly Young
Wilkins Ed.D. (kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us); Jeffrey D. Honeywell Esq.
(jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com); Ken Bruce (kbruce2@albany.k12.ny.us)
Subject: RE: New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the Public Officers Law -
Request for Ann Savage and Vickie Smith's correspondence

Dear Records Access Officer,

Under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law, Article 6 of the
Public Officers Law, I hereby request a copy of all correspondence between City
School District of Albany Board of Education Member Anne Savage and Board of
Education Member Vickie Smith addressed to any of the following parties, when the
correspondence did not include Albany Board of Education Member Kenneth M.
Bruce:
Rose Brandon, member Albany Board of Education;
Jenn Lange, member Albany Board of Education;
Ellen Roach, member Albany Board of Education;
Sridar Chittur, member Albany Board of Education.

This request covers the period from June 1, 2016 to present.

If my request appears to be too extensive or it fails to reasonably describe the


records request, then please contact me in writing or by phone at (201) 320-6257. I
understand there is a fee of $0.25 per page for duplication of the records requested
and request that any records be sent via email attachment or some other digital
storage method, if possible, as to avoid duplication costs and negative
environmental effects.

As you know, the Freedom of Information Law requires that the school district
respond to a request within five business days of receipt of a request. Therefore, I
would appreciate a response as soon as possible and look forward to hearing from
you shortly.

If for any reason any portion of my request is denied, please inform me of the
reasons for the denial in writing and provide the name and address of the person or
body to whom an appeal should be directed.
Sincerely,

147 | P a g e
Kenneth M. Bruce

Ps. I have copied the other members of the School Board, the Interim
Superintendent and the Districts Counsel as a curtesy. It is not necessary to
include them in any correspondence in response to my request.

148 | P a g e
Exhibit 35 - - Another Warning Letter from Mr. Honeywell

Corrected letter
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 3/2/2017 12:04 PM
To:
Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>;
...
Cc:
Adler, Sue;
Savage, Anne;
Smith, Vickie;
Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen;
Chittur, Sridar;
Wilkins, Kim;
...

Mr. Honeywell,

I failed to address your reference to the previous superintendent's departure


and I would like to address it. I was extremely concerned about the fact that
a previous board as part of her review process reached a mutual agreement
and signed a document granting her a contract extension through 2016-
2017. The fact that the board never executed this commitment was the
most challenging aspect of her departure.

I understood and accepted your role through the process. I requested your
assistance based upon your experience and your expertise and you provided
it. I found this to be extremely helpful and aligned with my understanding of
your contractual duties.

In this particular conversation you are offering your guidance add assistance
seemingly without a board request. And that feels unusual for two reasons, I
wondered why now and why in this specific situation if there was no board
request for your intervention?

Kenny

149 | P a g e
Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Corrected letter

Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>

Wed 3/1/2017 5:01 PM

Mr. Bruce, again, I serve at the direction of the Board. Thus, if the Board wishes me
to conduct any further review beyond that already conducted, I will certainly do so.

I will gather and redact bills. This will take a few days.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

Mark as unread

150 | P a g e
Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 3/1/2017 4:56 PM

Download all

Mr. Honeywell,

Thank you for a prompt response and for sharing a copy of your contract.

In reviewing your legal services retainer, I see nothing in your list of


contracted services that suggests that you should act on your own accord to
provide a directive or unrequested guidance to a board member.
Your services can be overly simplistically defined as legal support, advice,
counsel and guidance for the governance and leadership teams.
Consequently I do not believe that your last two letters to me were
appropriate within your defined role.

And I would like to reiterate that, I believe that it is more appropriate for you
to share any of your concerns related to my actions with the board
leadership and/or district leadership. And if the president and the majority of
the board agree with your concerns then the president can address the
boards concerns directly to me.

In your letter you offered to answer one question related to criminality


associated with the Black Box Theatre construction. I responded and asked
two related questions: (1) Were district funds, used to construct the Block
Box Theatre, properly transferred and encumbered from 2014-2015 to 2015-
2016? (2) Was there an actual electrical maintenance service contract,
associated with the primary contractor executed for 2015-2016?

Please explain the basis for your "decisions" that these questions don't
warrant answers. The Assistant Superintendent expressed on several
occasions that funds for construction were derived from the 2014-2015
Budget - if in fact this is not the case then this is a serious misrepresentation
of fact. The school district paying a entity as a contractor without an active
contract is another serious issue. Or are you suggesting that one board
members criminality concern can only be investigated if it supported by the
majority of the board?

I requested a billing summary for all services that you and members of your
firm have provided from January 1, 2016 through today. I am primarily
interested in the amounts, with a generalized description that would serve as

151 | P a g e
an appropriate public summary of the cost of your services. Please redact
any and all personal information.

Thank you.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Wed 3/1/2017 11:30 AM
1 attachment
Albany CSD ~.pdf
1 MB Open in browser
Download all

Mr. Bruce, I do not believe a long response is necessary to your email. There are
several misstatements that I simply will choose to ignore and clearly disagree with.
However, there are three points that should be made:

1. I believe based on your response, semantics aside, that you have no evidence of
any criminal acts. Thus, my duty to inquire has been satisfied.

2. As you know from prior conversations and correspondence, my actual client is


the City School District of Albany. It is that legal entity to whom my professional
obligations are owed. Obviously a corporate body can only act through human
beings, thus the highest governing authority (i.e. the BOE) is the body from which I
receive the vast amount of my direction on legal issues. It acts by a majority. As
such, I take direction from the Board, or a majority thereof. While overly simplistic
to say it this way, so long as the direction I am provided is not illegal or unethical, it
is a direction I will follow. You know from experience that I always will provide
options and my assessment of the pros and cons of various options. During the first
half of your presidency when you were seeking direction on the removal of the then
superintendent, you seemed to understand and accept the role I perform in this
regard.

152 | P a g e
3. You requested my retainer. It is attached as it is a public document. You then
requested all bills from January 2016 to present. I must first ask a question before I
can respond. If your request is as a member of the board and for use only in that
confidential capacity (meaning they will not be shared outside the Board, I believe
you are entitled to have them and will provide them. However, if you intend or
expect to share them, since they reflect some confidential and privileged matters
(e.g. names of employees being disciplined), I would treat it as a request under FOIL
and first redact any such information. Upon receiving guidance from you, I will be
happy to comply.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Fri 2/24/2017 2:33 AM

Dear Mr. Honeywell,

This is a response to your letter date February 16, 2017.

I have recently made public comments related to the misappropriation of


district resources related to the construction of the Black Box Theatre at
Abrookin.

153 | P a g e
I believe that your reference to a particular definition of the word
misappropriation relates to its usage in a formal legal proceeding.
Misappropriate has several meanings according to Websters dictionary
and one of these meanings is to appropriate (something) wrongly. My
comments were not made as part of a legal proceedings and I continue to
believe that this term appropriately captures what transpired. If you in fact
have a more appropriate term to describe this particular situation then
please share it with me as I am open to suggestion.

This is actually the first request that I provide proof or evidence to support
the legal definition of misappropriate.

In your letter, you state that in your capacity as counsel to the Board and the
School District... - you offer to answer questions which I have not asked. I
would prefer that in your capacity as counsel to the Board and the School
District that you actually answer the questions which I have asked, which are
(1) Were district funds, used to construct the Block Box Theatre, properly
transferred and encumbered from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016? (2) Was there
an actual electrical maintenance service contract, associated with the
primary contractor executed for 2015-2016?

Since you have failed to provide this information through the Black Box
Theatre investigation, I requested this information on January 18, 2016
through the Freedom of Information Law. To this point I have still not
received either piece of information.

Please take the appropriate actions in your capacity as Counsel to the board
to determine if the funds were properly encumbered and if there was an
actual executed contract in place for the disbursed payments. Please assure
me that funds werent misappropriated.

We all know that the Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs claimed
that all payments were made with encumbered funds from 2014-2015 and at
this point I want to see if any of the 2014-2015 funds were actually
encumbered as he stated.

If the actual electrical maintenance service contract, which was signed in


2013-2014 was followed then a contract extension was available and
executed for 2014-2015 but was unavailable for 2015-2016. There is the
distinct possibility that the primary contractor, who was used inappropriately
to do work that was never included in any contract with the school district,
may have been paid for work in 2015-2016 when an actual contract did not
exist. Subcontractors, who were also inappropriately paid through this
contract and the primary contractor, collected a vig on each of these
payments.

154 | P a g e
I am very glad to see you take an interest in resolving some of these
outstanding legal questions and I hope that you can provide answers in short
order.

I believe that it is more appropriate for you to share any of your concerns
related to my actions with the board leadership and/or district leadership.
And if the president and the majority of the board agree with your concerns
then the president can address the boards concerns directly to me.

Your role is not just to execute the will of the majority of the board. You are
also hired for your expertise and with the expectation that you will provide
appropriate legal guidance even when is goes against the wishes of the
majority of the board. You have failed to fulfill this role over the last year or
so.

You failed to advise the board that it was not sensible to prioritize a
disparagement clause in a severance agreement based upon prospective
legal action over the immediate need to address the health and safety of our
students, our employees and this community. When this board voted to
ignore this situation and then voted to only do an internal audit you should
have explained to the majority of the board that there was unquantifiable
liability exposure based upon an illegal construction, outside of all required
policies, procedures, laws and statues that govern this school district,
because this probably voided our liability insurance coverage over this
space.

You watched and failed to intervene and more appropriately you supported
the board as they shifted this situation, which began based upon my safety
concerns, into a personal attack on the previous superintendent. While I
continue to believe that certain steps should have been explored by this
governing body in our role as the citys fiduciaries, this was never personal.
It was always about the business at hand and our fiduciary responsibilities.

Your failure to recommend that the board create a document, last July, which
outlined the parameters established by the six members of the board related
to the Block Box Theatre construction investigation created a flawed
investigative process from the beginning with no reference document to
measure and determine if the investigation was executed properly.

You failed to recommend an independent counsel to the board to lead a


proper investigation and instead it is my understanding that you
recommended a lawyer from a firm with a district contract and consequently
a direct conflict of interest.

You failed to recommend an independent auditor to assist in the


investigation and related to the Block Box Theatre construction and instead

155 | P a g e
you recommended that we use our internal auditors who also have a district
contract and consequently a direct conflict of interest.

You allowed the six members of the board to request an internal audit, to
support the investigation, which ONLY VERIFIED that the funds the business
office said were spent were actually. Despite the fact that the Assistant
Superintendent of Business Affairs lied on several occasions about
expenditures, who did the work, etc. and despite the fact that the transferred
funds were comingled within a multi-million dollar account, there was no
inquiry or verification regarding whether additional public funds were spent.

As another point of reference, our internal auditor must be available for


individual questions from each and every fiduciary and member of this
board. Yet you have worked diligently to prevent me from a direct
conversation with our internal auditors regarding an internal audit. This is a
violation of general accepted accounting practices and I am following up with
the Comptrollers office for clarification.

You have inappropriately stepped in to serve as the point person towards the
end of this investigation and you failed to remind the board that you yourself
have a contract with the school district which creates a conflict of interest.

To prevent further confusion please provide me with a copy of your contract


with the district so that I can better understand your specified role as district
and board counsel.

Please also provide a billing summary for all services that you and members
of your firm have provided from January 1, 2016 through today.

Ms. Adler, the board president, the rest of the board, and the interim
superintendent were copied on your correspondence dated February 16,
2017 and they are also copied on my response.

This is the second time within a couple months that you have taken it upon
yourself to provide me with a formal letter and I do not believe that this is
within your defined role. Under separate cover, I will notify the board that I
would like to discuss your actions and your failings during the next executive
session meeting.

Sincerely,

Kenny Bruce

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education

156 | P a g e
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

[Draft] This message hasn't been sent.


Saved on: Mon 2/20/2017 9:36 PM
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Jeffrey Honeywell <jdh@honeywelllawfirm.com>


Thu 2/16/2017 3:04 PM
To:
Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc: Adler, Sue; Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Chittur, Sridar;
Wilkins, Kim;
...
You forwarded this message on 2/26/2017 11:43 PM.

1 attachment
LtBruce (2-~.pdf
571 KB Open in browser

157 | P a g e
158 | P a g e
159 | P a g e
Download all
Bing Maps
Mr. Bruce, attached is a corrected letter reflecting the correct salutation.

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq.


Managing Shareholder
III Winners Circle
Suite 200
Albany, NY 12205
P: (518) 512-4580
C: (518) 265-2566
F: (518) 512-4597

SERVICE NOT ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL


The documents contained in this electronic message transmission and its attachments
contain confidential and/or legally privileged information. The information is intended only
for the use of the individual(s) or entity(s) named on the email address line. It may contain
confidential or proprietary information and may be subject to the attorney-client privilege or
other confidentiality protections. If you are not the intended recipient, or the person
responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised you have received
this message in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying is
strictly prohibited. Thank you.

160 | P a g e
Exhibit 36 - - Committee Assignments
Committee Assignments
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 3/2/2017 12:41 PM
Sent Items
To:
Adler, Sue;
...
Cc:
Lange, Jennifer;
Savage, Anne;
Smith, Vickie;
Roach, Ellen;
Chittur, Sridar;
Wilkins, Kim;
Tibbitts, Paula;
...

Sue,

I am very clear. I don't have to reread emails. My initial concerns were


generated while in the theater and revolved around my feeling that the
theater was an unsafe environment. As board president, I never fully
expressed in writing my safety concerns, because I was fully aware of how
this expression could potentially impact our insurance coverage and expose
us to liability.

I expressed my safety concerns in meeting and to many of you individually.


And I expressed my concerns privately to SED.

Quite honestly, I hoped that I was mistaken about my safety concerns and I
never expected or guessed that the theater was constructed without
ANY oversight.

Despite my misgivings about the safety, I expressed my concerns as it


related to my fiduciary responsibility. So I asked about the money and the
authority to build the theater. I was focused on accountability and proper
next steps as a fiduciary.

161 | P a g e
Once I realized the extent of the problem, I expressed my asbestos
concerns. My concerns were legitimate and I still can't figure out why you or
anyone would postpone a $1000 test on a procedural basis and send it back
an forth to committee.

Through this process you have frequently tried to belittled my concerns and
discredit my analysis and actions by suggesting some other motivation. You
have even convinced the board of your alternative facts.

My perspective is that this job should be done right. Accountability is the


cornerstone of any organization. Honesty and integrity should be the basis
for all we do. Performance should be evaluated and rewarded. The law
should be used to determine standard operating procedure and not to
manipulate and hide the truth.

Sometimes you do something one way for so long that you forget how it
should be done properly.

And if I have pivoted then I pivoted at the appropriate time. It's time for this
board to pivot.

I too believe that the record speaks for itself. Let's now do as we should as
the governing entity of a municipal corporation subject to open meeting
laws. Let's tell the people what happened.

I won't debate this behind the scenes anymore in emails.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Adler, Sue
Thu 3/2/2017 12:04 PM

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Kenny,

I suggest you go back over your emails and letters to/from the BOE, counsel, and SED. the past
year. Your underlying motives were clear as you focused on the prior Supt, penal law, and
money.. Only recently have you pivoted to one about safety, evidencing your blatant
disingenuousness and opportunism. And, as the emblematic asbestos test showed, that "concern"
was prerextual. The record speaks for itself. And I can certainly live with it.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Thu 3/2/2017 11:49 AM
Sent Items
Facilities ~.docx
Open in browser
The "Majority of the Board" decided to conduct an investigation only after
NYSED was notified and had "locked down the theatre space."

Now let's provide the people with the transparency that they deserve and tell
them what happened. Let's explain to them - how their children were
schooled and performed in a unsafe environment; that tax dollars were
surreptitiously spent and state building aid was forfeited; how members of
the leadership and governance teams and paid professionals lied through
this process.

Then let's tell them that this same team remains in place watching their
money and building their school and that no one was held accountable.

With complete honesty and full transparency, let's provide full disclosure to
the citizens of Albany!

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

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Lange, Jennifer
Thu 3/2/2017 7:48 AM
Sent Items

Kenny, each member of this board believes that the safety and security of our students,
employees and community is a priority.

An audit/investigation was conducted by the BOE about this matter.

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 3/1/2017 11:16 PM
To: Adler, Sue;
...
Cc: Savage, Anne; Smith, Vickie; Lange, Jennifer; Roach, Ellen; Chittur, Sridar; Wilkins, Kim;
Tibbitts, Paula;
...

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 3/1/2017 11:16 PM

Ok, thanks.

Right we have a significant difference of opinion. I actually believe now as I


did then that the safety and security of our students, employees and
community should be our priority.

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

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Adler, Sue
Wed 3/1/2017 11:09 PM

Kenny,

Please see p5 of the BOE Operating Manual for my authority.

I am willing to reiterate what I wrote in my prior email. I exercised my discretion "based on the
person whose judgment would be guided by what is best for the District". You are entitled to
your opinion about the actions you have engaged in the past year or so. However, as the entire
BOE and District Counsel have told you repeatedly, your actions are not in the District's best
interests and you continue to make false and misleading statements about facts, circumstances,
and people.

I consider the matter of Committee assignments closed.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Wed 3/1/2017 10:55 PM

Sue,

Who decided that you would determine the chairs of the committees? Why
weren't leadership positions selected by the committee members?

And if you were to make these decisions, I am confused as to why you would
use soft subjective measurements instead of selecting the person best suited
for the role.

I continue to question the appointment of Vickie Smith as chair of the


facilities committee. She has in fact never served on the committee and
until this evening she had never attended a meeting. You may recall that
last year as a member of this committee, I highlighted and worked to
reconcile the safety issues associated with the illegally constructed Black Box
Theatre. My notification to NYSED resulted in an inspection
which determined that the space was unsafe and required deconstruction.
This is just about the best example I think of where a board member acted
in on what was best for the District. I am also the longest serving member of
the committee and the only board member with a degree in civil
engineering.

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You reference personal and/or outside interests and I have no idea what you
mean.

There is no justification for this appointment and in fact it seems to part of


your continued vendetta against me.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Adler, Sue
Mon 2/27/2017 7:10 PM

Kenny,

Here is the reply to your email. I sent it on Feb 12. Since I hit "reply all" to your email, I'm not
sure why you didn't receive it.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Adler, Sue" <sadler2@albany.k12.ny.us>


Date: February 12, 2017 at 4:34:28 PM EST
Cc: "Tibbitts, Paula" <ptibbitts@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Savage, Anne"
<asavage@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Smith, Vickie" <vsmith@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Lange, Jennifer"
<jlange2@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Roach, Ellen" <eroach@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Chittur, Sridar"
<schittur@albany.k12.ny.us>, "Wilkins, Kim" <kwilkins@albany.k12.ny.us>
Subject: Re: Committee Assignments

Kenny,

I made the choice based on the person whose judgment would be guided by what is best for the
District and not by personal and/or outside interests. In some cases, that aligned with seniority. In
others, it did not.

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Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Mon 2/27/2017 6:52 PM

Sue - I never received a responce to my inquiry?... Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

Mark as unread

Bruce, Kenneth
Sun 2/12/2017 1:43 PM
Hi Sue,

What criteria did you use to select the committee chairs.

I am not surprised that I have to remind you that I am the longest serving
and most knowledgeable member of both the facilities and the audit
committees.

Kenny

Kenneth M. Bruce
City School District of Albany, Board of Education
(201) 320-6257
kbruce2@albanyk12.ny.us

Please note that this email is for CSDA business only. Please use my personal address to
contact me on other matters. Thank you.

167 | P a g e
Mark as unread

Adler, Sue
Mon 2/6/2017 11:08 AM
Thank you!

Mark as unread

Tibbitts, Paula
Mon 2/6/2017 10:13 AM
1 attachment
Committee C~.pdf
49 KB Open in browser
I have placed a copy of the attached chart on BoardDocs as well.
REPLY REPLY ALL FORWARD
CONTINUE EDITING DISCARD
Mark as unread

Adler, Sue
Mon 2/6/2017 12:06 AM
To:
Savage, Anne;
Smith, Vickie;
Lange, Jennifer;
Roach, Ellen;
Chittur, Sridar;
Bruce, Kenneth;
...
Cc:
Tibbitts, Paula;
Wilkins, Kim;
...
This year's Committee Assignments are:

Audit: Ellen, Committee Chair


Vickie
Kenny

Facilities: Vickie, Committee Chair


Ellen
Kenny

Policy: Anne, Committee Chair

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Jenn
Sridar

Government Relations: Jenn, Committee Chair


Sue
Sridar

AFE: Sue

Wellness: Ellen

Agenda Setting: Sue


Anne
Vickie

BOE members wanted to stay on their Committees, which I wanted to


respect, so generally assignments are seniority-based.

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Exhibit 37 - - Boards Statement regarding New
procedures for small

New procedures for small facilities projects

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 7, 2017) -- The City School District of Albany is putting in place
additional procedures for evaluation and implementation of small facilities projects
following an independent audit of a classroom renovation.

The audit determined that the district inadvertently classified a theater classroom project
at Albany High Schools Abrookin Career and Technical Center as routine maintenance
rather than a formal capital project.

The project involved the upgrade of an unused classroom at Abrookin into instructional
space. The project began in June 2015 and was completed in early 2016.

During that time the scope expanded to include new electrical wiring, panels, stage
lights, and student-constructed stage and seating risers. As a result, the project cost
increased to approximately $131,000. The auditors found no evidence that any district
funds were missing or misappropriated.

It is important to note that the independent audit found that all district
employees involved in the process were credible and forthright with their
explanations of what occurred, and were acting in good faith to meet a long-
standing student instructional need that had been identified as a priority by
leadership of the district and Albany High School, the board said in a
statement on the auditors review.

Click here to download the boards entire statement.

The auditors noted that the district has completed significant capital work
more than $250 million throughout the district over the past decade within
the law and without issues. The audit determined that the district leadership
and facilities-management team is competent and capable.

The issue in this one specific project was its initial classification as routine
maintenance not subject to SED review as a capital project, and a lack of
effective communication and centralized decision and control during the
process to alert decision-makers at the senior administrative and board

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levels that the project had grown beyond its initial intent so that a
reassessment could be made, the board said.

The district closed the space in June 2016 pending State Education Department review.
State Ed inspected the space in July 2016 and directed that the district correct code
violations before the space could be used.

The district completed that work during the summer and the space reopened as a
theater classroom at the start of the current school year, with State Ed approval.

The Board is working with the interim superintendent and assistant


superintendent for business affairs to implement the recommendations of
the audit, and to review and improve procedures to prevent any such lapses
from occurring again.

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all
students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse
community. The district serves more than 9,600 students in 17 elementary, middle and
high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet
schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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Exhibit 38 - - Next Act follows theater miscue

Next act follows theater miscue


Albany city school board's procedures being revamped
By Bethany Bump

Published 11:48 pm, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Albany
The Albany City School District is revamping its construction and maintenance
procedures one year after the Board of Education learned a 150-seat theater had been
built in a classroom without the proper approvals.

The theater was built by students in the high school's Abrookin Career and Technical
Center during the summer of 2015 and early 2016, only to be shut down by the state
last June over safety concerns. An inspection by the state Education Department found
a number of code and safety violations, including insufficient exits, cramped aisles and
low-hanging wires.

Department officials concluded that the theater project should have been treated as a
capital project subject to approval by the school board, voters and the state
because it cost more than $10,000 and involved remodeling the space.

But according to an audit ordered by the school board, the project never cleared these
hurdles because the district had "inadvertently classified" it as routine maintenance.
Improved theater space had long been on the high school theater department's wish list,
district officials said, and when funds became available, district leaders including
then-Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard signed off on it. Vanden
Wyngaard resigned in January 2016 following longstanding tensions with the school
board.

"At the time, staff believed this was maintenance renovation work that would cost about
$60,000 and did not constitute capital project work, as that term is used by the State
Education Department," the board wrote in a statement released Wednesday.
But the project scope and cost quickly escalated. By the time new electrical wiring,
panels and stage lights had been installed, and students had constructed an eight-inch
platform and seating risers, the project cost $131,000.

School board member Kenny Bruce, who was serving as president at the time, was
surprised by the size and scope of the work when he saw a performance of the high
school's spring musical there last March. According to Bruce, he received few answers
from district officials about the theater's construction and no support from fellow board
members when he suggested an investigation of the project. Board members, including
current president Sue Adler, dispute this.

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The board voted last June to hire an independent auditor to investigate the issue, and
hired James Evans, of the law firm Barclay Damon, LLP.

His audit found no wrongdoing by district officials, and recommended the district better
train staff in state rules and regulations when it comes to facility projects. In addition, he
urged the board to consider adopting a policy requiring district officials to consult with
design professionals and district attorneys any time they consider a construction project
over $5,000.

"As a board, we're really focused now on what we can do to ensure that small projects
that may turn into larger projects down the road don't slip through the cracks again this
way," Adler said Wednesday.

"One thing we learned from this is the importance of people consulting with each other
as often as possible," she continued. "Often districts only involve SED when they have
to, but we are going to work from here on out to involve SED, to involve our lawyers, to
involve design professionals early on to say hey, we're thinking of doing this, what do
you think?"

Training of staff members in these new procedures is under way, she said.
Bruce said Wednesday that he's supportive of the new protocols, but that he's skeptical
of the outcomes of the audit, as it was conducted by an attorney from the same firm that
handles the district's bond issues.

bbump@timesunion.com 518-454-5387 @bethanybump

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