About That Letter

No, not the one from Carmelo Garcia. And not the one Shakespeare Occhipinti read at the City Council.

Remember the QSAC letter that former Hoboken resident Theresa Burns distributed at the August 16th Board of Education meeting?

Here's the letter:
click to read

Well, a little brouhaha arose on Patch on August 17th; It seems that Ms. Burns had handed out one color-copy  on white paper to former BoE member Jean Marie Mitchell, the rest distributed were black print on blue paper.

The question of whether this was an original copy and how it got in the hands of Ms. Burns was bandied about.

Ms. Burns provided an OPRA document link for folks to obtain our own, full-color electronic copies of the QSAC letter.  I tried it but got an "internal server error message".

The Patch exchange continued into the next day, August 18th.

I confess  things got a little heated; Ms. Burns suggested someone had an accident in my Cheerios and I got persnickity too.  But then we emailed offline, and it was a nice, civil exchange.  I said I admired her moxie- true. And she forwarded a full-color .pdf of the OPRA'd  QSAC letter.  On August 18th.

Well, the question of how the letter came into the hands of Ms. Burns on August 16 seemed to be solved; it was OPRAed  sometime between July 8th and August 16th.


GA was curious about who OPRA'd the QSAC letter, because Ms. Burns never said she'd done it, just that the document was procured via OPRA request.

So I put in 2 OPRA requests: one asked for ALL QSAC letter requestors  in July, the other for August.

Well... the July results came back first, on August 24:
Dear Ms. Pincus,
I am writing to let you know that no responsive records were found for your OPRA request #W60776.  The attached records receipt shows that your request is now filled and closed.
Thank you.
Maria Casale
Acting OPRA Custodian

From my request receipt:

So no one had OPRA'd the QSAC letter in July.  What about August?

The answer came the next day. There was a single OPRA request for the QSAC letter.

It was made on August 17th. AFTER the BoE meeting.

The requestor lives at 15 Church Towers, I digitized the other identifying information.  

Has this cleared up how the document was copied and distributed at the BoE on August 16th?

Not exactly.

(Update, 6:40 pm)
GA just checked Patch  to find a lively discussion on today's topic.

And this post by tburns caught my eye because it ends this way: " If all were peachy keen- I would not need to protect my sources.  But I do."

Which can be interpreted as tburns admitting the document was improperly obtained (in a "not-peachy keen way") so she "needs" to protect her sources from any legal consequences.

GA thinks Burns is one smart gal.  I  do think she slipped up here. Her last line contains a consciousness-of-wrongdoing.

But you know, this is Hoboken. I am not betting on legal consequences.


  1. Seems pretty clear to me. Busted!

  2. Of the 5 categories we scored 93% or higher on 4. Instructions and programs was at 69%. We need to work on that area, but Operations (93%), Fiscal Management (95%),Personnel and Governance hit 100%. Great progress overall.

  3. There are only 4 categories. And in one (Governance) , the penalty for the ethics violation expired. Therefore, that score rose from 80% to 100. There is absolutely no cause for self-congratulation, especially since in the area of instruction the district is doing so poorly.

  4. Why - and on whose behalf - does Burns continue to insinuate herself into Hoboken school issues? Claire Moses & Patch have proven themselves to be nothing more than another mouthpiece for the continuance of all things corrupt in Hoboken and they give amplification to the destructive work of the Ma$on - Russo cabal. Journalism it ain't. What Patch is is a H8411 blog for the stroller set and the mis-informed. Nice work, Moses.

  5. DD:
    1) Instruction & program
    2)Fiscal Mgt
    3) Operations
    5) Governance
    My suggestion:
    Go back to school and learn how to count properly.

  6. Regardless of DD's typo, Instruction and Program is definitely the most important category considering this is a review of a *School District*. The best fiscal management/operations/personnel/governance in the world doesn't mean much if you're failing to satisfactorily educate your students.


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