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The woman chosen by school Chancellor David Banks to replace a top deputy is under investigation for her involvement in selling expensive conferences, books, and online courses through a side business. Miatheresa Pate, a former superintendent, has been named “interim executive chief” after the removal of Carolyne Quintana. Pate’s new role involves leading a restructuring of the Department of Education’s teaching and learning division, overseeing Banks’ reading initiative. She formed a for-profit company called ETAPS, offering leadership conferences and workshops that charged admission fees.

Pate hosted various events through her business, including a leadership conference, personal relationship workshop, and book launch. She did not have a waiver from the city Conflicts of Interest Board to operate an outside business, which raised concerns regarding conflicting rules. A complaint sent to the DOE’s ethics officer alleged that Pate violated conflict rules by charging fees to city employees and using her DOE title to benefit her business. The complaint prompted an investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation, questioning the decision-making process within the DOE.

Despite the controversy surrounding Pate’s business activities, the DOE defended her appointment, citing her leadership abilities and experience. The DOE claimed Pate had received unspecified guidance from the COIB and endorsed her promotion. However, concerns about potential conflicts of interest were raised due to Pate using her official DOE title to promote her business and offer services to DOE employees at their own cost. The DOE approved of Pate’s business, but questions remain about the appropriateness of her actions.

Pate’s sister, Tammy Pate, also holds a position within the DOE and is responsible for recruiting businesses owned by women and minorities to work with city schools. The family connection within the DOE adds another layer of scrutiny to Pate’s situation, as it raises questions about nepotism and potential conflicts of interest within the organization. The controversy surrounding Pate’s business dealings and her role within the DOE highlights the importance of transparency and ethical conduct in educational leadership positions.

Despite the controversy surrounding Pate’s business activities and potential conflicts of interest, the DOE has stood by their decision to appoint her as interim executive chief. Pate’s leadership abilities and experience were cited as reasons for her promotion, and the DOE claimed to have provided her with guidance from the COIB. However, the ongoing investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation and the concerns raised by the public and education activists demonstrate the need for accountability and ethical behavior in educational leadership roles. It remains to be seen how this situation will be resolved and what impact it may have on the DOE’s reputation and operations.

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