Stringer Calls for Moratorium on New Schools Contracts

By DNAinfo Staff on May 25, 2011 5:17pm

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CITY HALL — Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for a moratorium on non-essential Department of Education contracts Wednesday following a string of recent alleged scandals.

"New Yorkers are fed up with these abuses," Stringer said in a statement.

He argued a top-to-botom review of the DOE is "more urgent than ever" given Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to eliminate more than 6,000 teaching jobs as part of another round of sweeping budget cuts.

Stringer also called on the DOE to give City Comptroller John Liu more oversight power and share more information at public hearings.

The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The call comes after the Special Commissioner of Investigation released a report Tuesday alleging that former DOE Chief Financial Officer George Raab had "an inappropriate financial relationship" with three consultants who helped him set up a new job while he was still in office.

The scandal is one of several to hit the DOE in recent weeks.

DOE spending on consultants has increased by 331 percent since 2004, according to Stringer’s office.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the city’s use of contracts in the past, saying it makes financial sense to put experts on the city’s payroll only when they’re needed.