Christina Kishimoto’s Legal Problems from Hartford Linger, Two Years Later

Who would have thought that when Gilbert Public Schools hired Christina Kishimoto as superintendent two years ago, her legal problems from her time as superintendent in Hartford, Connecticut would escalate after she fled to Arizona? Reasonable people would believe that those legal problems most likely distract Kishimoto’s attention from educating students here and now. But Kishimoto’s Three Votes don’t care.

There’s legal (actually, criminal) trouble that recently popped up in Hartford, Connecticut, relating to a person Christina Kishimoto had promoted after some major controversy and disciplinary action: 

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who police say received sexual text messages from a longtime Hartford school administrator is suing the school system, top school officials and the city of Hartford over alleged negligence in the case.  A major allegation in the complaint is that the city and the school system allowed Genao, a career educator who worked for the district since 2005, to prey on the girl despite years-old claims that he sent inappropriate electronic messages to a female student and an employee when he was principal of Sport and Medical Sciences Academy. “The city knew or should have known that they had a very dangerous person in their mix,” Spinella said Thursday. “They didn’t red flag him, they promoted him.”

Why does this matter to Gilbert Public Schools, where Christina Kishimoto is superintendent? We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available, but under Christina Kishimoto’s *leadership,* GPS settled a federal lawsuit filed after a student was raped by a teacher, who also used electronic messages to engage in criminal conduct. Apparently, GPS dug in its legal heels for a long time after THAT rape undeniably occurred. Maybe it’s just that it takes raping a student to get Christina Kishimoto’s attention; you would think this topic is something that citizens of Gilbert, Arizona would care about, especially if they knew about other students being raped in situations where GPS was supposed to protect those student(s). But we digress.

Background of the Hartford criminal issue: 

Former city school official Eduardo “Eddie” Genao, who abruptly resigned last week after being accused of sending inappropriate text messages to a 13-year-old girl, was charged with a felony Wednesday, city police said. Among the records in his personnel file is a written reprimand from January 2008, during his tenure as principal of the magnet school, in which the school system rebuked Genao for using “exceedingly poor judgment in engaging in social interactions with a student electronically.” After the school year ended, Genao became executive director of Hartford’s adult education center in summer 2008, and advanced to several other central office roles over the years.

Why Genao’s arrest is important to citizens in Gilbert, Arizona is that he apparently was an *apple of Christina Kishimoto’s eye* who was promoted way above his level of competency. That brings to mind the circumstances surrounding Kishimioto’s *alleged* inappropriate relationship with Sleazy Steve Smith, whose technology projects are continuing to harm Gilbert Public Schools. But we digress again. It’s important to know that Christina Kishimoto’s successor, Superintendent Beth Narvaez, DEMOTED this guy Genao shortly after Narvaez took over the dysfunctional Hartford school district offices:

Genao became the executive director of the district’s adult education center in July 2008 and advanced to a few other high-level central office jobs in the Hartford school systemIt was during his role as principal of the magnet middle and high school that he was reprimanded for using “exceedingly poor judgment in engaging in social interactions with a student electronically,” according to a January 2008 letter. The reprimand, which does not detail the “inappropriate” communications, stated that Genao was “expected to cease and desist from social exchanges with students, electronically and otherwise. Further, while there is no finding of inappropriate physical contact, we will hold you to your promise to avoid any unnecessary physical contact with students and staff alike.”

Former schools chief Christina Kishimoto promoted him to assistant superintendent of early literacy and parent engagement in 2012. Genao, whose salary this year was $176,274, was demoted to his compliance job in late 2014, several months after Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez began her tenure. It was unclear Friday evening whether Narvaez was aware of Genao’s reprimand before Hartford police launched its criminal probe earlier this week, executing search warrants and seizing evidence.

GPS employees, your blood will boil when you read about how Hartford administrators, under Christina Kishimoto’s *leadership,* manipulated processes and certification records to achieve a result they couldn’t get through ethical or legal means in order to fire a teacher. Notice this is a teacher; Genao was an administrator. That might have been the consideration when Genao got promoted but the teacher got fired through Kishimoto’s evil and convoluted machinations.

Here’s the story, taken from court filings. We’ll update when new information is available. This will be a NASTY proceeding!

Meyers v Kishimoto, filed JULY 7, 2015. In 2013 Meyers taught physical education  After intervening to prevent a fight between students, the student then punched Meyers numerous times, including in the head, while Meyers tried to restrain and control him.  The student was not injured during the incident. An investigation by the principal, who interviewed students at the scene confirmed that the student was disruptive, violent and that he had assaulted Meyers. Later, an anonymous complaint was filed against Meyers with the State of Connecticut, Department of Families & Children (“DCF”) and an investigation followed. DCF’s investigator made a determination that Meyers had committed “physical abuse” and “neglect” against the disruptive/assaultive student. Following appeal of the DCF Investigator determination, the DCF anonymous complaint against Meyers was dismissed with a finding by DCF’s own adjudication attorney that: “[T]he Department’s decisions are not supported by the record, and are REVERSED.”

Kishimoto and her fellow defendants were aware of the appeal, as well as Meyers’ rights to an unbiased review; Kishimoto and her fellow defendants knew about the lack of evidence to support the DCF’s initial determination that had been overturned. In a letter dated September 12, 2013 Meyers’ union counsel received from Kishimoto notification that termination proceedings were being initiated against Meyers. After Meyers notified Kishimoto and her fellow defendants that he was not subject to termination until a final determination of the DCF investigators “findings” they abandoned that termination proceeding. Knowing that termination of Meyers pursuant to the baseless DCF complaint was closed, Kishimoto and her fellow defendants conspired and worked to terminate Meyers based upon his certification with the Connecticut Department of Education (“CSDE”).

Kishimoto and her fellow defendants bypassed the provisions of law by terminating Meyers’ contract of employment based on the false basis that he was not certified by the CSDE. Kishimoto’s September 19, 2013 letter stated that:

Termination of your employment is under consideration for the following reasons:
1. Insubordination, and/or
2. Moral Misconduct, and/or
3. Other due and sufficient cause.*

Meyers’ union counsel notified Defendants and in particular Kishimoto that they requested a private hearing before an impartial hearing officer. On or about August 26, 2013, Meyers completed and turned in to the State Department of Education a Form ED 179, “Application For Continuation Of Professional Educator Certificate.” On September 11, 2013 Kishimoto, Hodgman or her designee, signed State Department of Education Form ED126 verifying Meyers’ service at Defendants’ schools. The above referenced form, signed September 11, 2013 was not received by the CSDE until more than 45 days later, on October 25, 2013, the day Meyers was terminated for failure to be certified. The lack of Form ED 126 was the basis for the CSDE “notifying” Defendants that his certification application was incomplete. Nonetheless, Meyers’ Professional Educator certification was signed by Department of Education Commissioner and valid with a time period from October 25, 2013 to October 24, 2018. Defendant McCaskill stated to Meyers that the conduct of Kishimoto and her fellow defendants was “retaliation” and “wrong” yet did nothing to abate the denial of Meyers’ rights.

Kishimoto and her fellow defendants knew that the original basis spelled out in Kishimoto’s September 19, 2013 letter for termination was untenable and that termination based upon “expired” certification would not afford Meyers procedural rights that were in progress regarding the September 19, 2013 proceeding. An email to plaintiff from the State of Connecticut, Department of Education, Standards and Certification Department, Education Consultant Robert Szczpanski, dated October 31, 2013 stated:

Dear Mr. Meyers,
Your application for the continuation of the professional educator
certificate was received on October 31, 2013. You are not at risk for a
lapse of certification. Please allow 2-3 weeks from the dated of
submission for an evaluation…

Kishimoto and her fellow defendants falsely and maliciously made material misstatements and omitted material facts from their reports, terminating Meyers under the banner of false and malicious statement about his conduct as a professional teacher. Kishimoto and her fellow defendants failed to have polices and/or procedures in place concerning the certification renewal process. Kishimoto and her fellow defendants knew that their attempt to terminate Meyers for the “abuse” incident was untenable and conspired to terminate Meyers through the certification process, knowing that it would deny him procedural protections.

Kishimoto and her fellow defendants acting within that duty had by various acts of omission and commission fostered and encouraged an atmosphere of lawlessness, repression and a repetitive policy, custom and practice of abusive and discriminatory behavior and procedures toward Meyers which represented the policy, practice, custom, usage and procedure of the City of Hartford. Kishimoto and her subordinates continued against Meyers in furtherance of the practice, custom and procedure of the City of Hartford. Further, Kishimoto and her fellow defendants coerced CSDE certification personnel, by failing to correct and advance documents that would have ensured Meyers’ continued certification. Despite CSDE notifying Kishimoto and her fellow defendants that Meyers’s certification was valid they refused to reinstate him immediately.

Other legal problems have followed Christina Kishimoto to Gilbert, Arizona. One is an injury lawsuit filed in 2014 that reached back to snare Christina Kishimoto about the time she was celebrating  after her 2015 divorce from her mentally disabled husband. Another is an injury lawsuit filed in 2016, in which a student was gravely injured. Apparently, while she was superintendent in Hartford, Christina Kishimoto had a habit of turning a blind eye to serious safety issues. Some call that negligence, as the two active lawsuits in Connecticut allege. Another example:

Some of the older school buildings are in serious need of repair. For example, a section of a ceiling collapsed in a classroom at the McDonough Expeditionary Learning School two weeks ago, sending a student and a teaching intern to the hospital with minor injuries. This could have been a lot more serious, and board members feel Ms. Kishimoto has not been as attentive to the condition of the buildings as they’d like.

Do you notice Kishimoto’s pattern of behavior in these lawsuits? Sheeeesh!

* Big Fat Asterisk: What a hoot, *due cause*!! Especially considering that Kishimoto’s conduct as superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools includes such moral aberrations as false testimony in court and her *alleged* inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. No wonder Julie Smith wanted the board to discuss the paragraph about dismissal for just cause in Kishimoto’s new contract! Double standards? You bet! But Kishimoto’s Three Votes don’t care. Sheeeeeeeesh.

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