Five education staffers fined for lavish credit card expenses

Five current and former Department of Education staffers have been slapped with fines by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board for using their DOE credit cards to pay for lavish staff meals and personal snacks, the board announced Monday.

The officials agreed to fork over fines of $500 to $2,500 for misusing their cards, which have $8-per-person limits for specific types of staff meetings and can’t be used for personal expenses.

“[They] acknowledged that they misused city resources in violation of the city’s conflicts-of-interest law by using DOE funds without a city purpose for expenses expressly prohibited by DOE regulations,” the Conflicts of Interest Board said in a press release.

The staffers were all working for the Children First Networks, which supported city schools and were replaced by Field Support Centers in 2015.

A Post report from last January detailed their extravagant purchases, including taxpayer-funded dinners at swanky restaurants.

Matthew Manner, who was a CFN director of operations, dropped $4,110 in June 2012 on an end-of-the-year party at Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant for 36 DOE employees. It included a “live jazz performance and lecture on jazz.”

He was fined $750. His boss, Daniel Feigelson, had to pay $1,000 for approving the event.

CFN Network Leader Derek Jones not only spent about $80 on unauthorized Starbucks runs and Asian food, he also threw down $3,655 for a “celebratory” Morton’s steak house dinner in June 2011 for 27 principals and assistant principals. He was fined $1,500.

Former CFN Deputy Cluster Leader Patrick Fagan agreed to pay a $2,500 penalty for buying nearly $500 worth of food and drinks from several eateries, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and La Bagel Delight, between January 2011 and June 2012.

Another director of operations, Sharon Rachelson, used her card to pay $1,858 for a meal at the Park Side Restaurant in Corona, Queens, with 35 DOE employees. She was slapped with a $500 fine for the 2010 event, which was planned by her superiors, the Conflicts of Interest Board said.

The DOE has since created a committee to monitor use of the credit cards, called procurement cards, officials said.

“There are procedures in place so that employees receive the necessary training and oversight to use procurement cards appropriately,” DOE spokesman Will Mantell said.

Jones and Feigelson are no longer working for the DOE.

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