We love stories about public school teachers and sick days: There was the guy who wanted some time off to serve a jail sentence, the principal who was actually conducting an orchestra, and, our favorite, the teacher who took sick days when performing as a wrestler for the WWE. But we would never have dreamed that Lynne Stewart, the controversial lawyer who was convicted of aiding terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman while he was in prison, would even be involved in one!
The NYC schools investigator found that Stewart's daughter, Brenna who is a physical education teacher at the Bronx Leadership Academy, used a fake doctor's note as an excuse for the day she attended her mother's sentencing. The investigator also found that she used false documents for eight other sick days, some from her sister, a doctor in Florida. From the NY Times:
The investigation of Ms. Stewart began in January, when Paulette Franklin, the principal of the Bronx school, told the commissioner’s office that she had found discrepancies in the documents Ms. Stewart used to excuse her absences — specifically, that the phone number on two doctors’ notes matched Ms. Stewart’s emergency contact number; that a doctor’s note dated April 4, 2006, concerning absences that month specified the sick days as occurring in April 2005; and that the death certificate used to justify the day of bereavement leave in October 2005 had a falsified date of December 2005.
Ms. Franklin told investigators that this January’s letter aroused her suspicion because she recognized the doctor’s telephone number as being one of Ms. Stewart’s contact numbers, and because it “didn’t look professional.” She then examined Ms. Stewart’s personnel file.
We wonder if Stewart's colleagues saw her in the newspapers or on the news at various press conferences her mom had.
In 2005, Stewart used the death certificate of an aunt who died in 2002, and she also made up a doctor at NY Presbyterian for an April 2006 note. The schools investigator Richard Condon recommended that Stewart be fired. He also noted Stewart's scheme was "not terribly sophisticated." Totally - you put your friend's phone numbers on your fake sick day excuses. We imagine Stewart has never seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off.