You know what Rafael Fajardo is doing right now? He's serving on the New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force. What do they do?In his civil complaint, Davison said he "yielded to the pressure" and purchased tickets. He ultimately was promoted to become a tenured administrator. But when he stopped paying for the political tickets, he said he lost a plum assignment and was later suspended."The unwritten rule in this culture of political cronyism is that non-participation in the purchase and sale of tickets to fundraising events can be hazardous to one’s job security," he said in his court papers.The power behind all of that, he charged, was Rafael Fajardo."Mr. Fajardo has used the board as a source of campaign volunteers and pay-to-play contributors that allow him to exert a web of influence throughout the community," claimed Davison, whose attorney declined to comment for this story.
Again: Fajardo, according to the largest newspaper in the state, ran a huge patronage machine:The Task Force report presents recommendations for improving student achievement in New Jersey by revamping our educator evaluation system.
This is the guy who is overseeing how teachers are evaluated in NJ.But a four-month investigation by The Star-Ledger, drawing on interviews, lawsuits and internal documents, shows it can also be a relentless political machine fueled by nepotism, patronage, money and favors, using its nearly 4,000 employees as a ready-made fundraising base.Internal documents show friends and relatives of board members scattered through the payroll.Teachers and other employees, who kick in tens of thousands of dollars in donations, say they feel pressured by supervisors and board members to buy tickets to fundraisers. They say they are reminded that attending campaign events is in their best career interest.Testimonial dinners are held to honor the superintendent and president of the board of education — not to raise money for scholarships or education, but to funnel more into campaign coffers.Campaign finance records also show lucrative contracts go to vendors who support the board at election time. [...]Former board president Rafael Fajardo has at least six family members on the payroll. Among them is a sister the board sought state approval to pay more than $50,000 a year to serve as a truancy officer for preschoolers, who are not required to attend school.
Everybody fine with that?