A management consultant and hypnotherapist got paid $374,000 from the Education Department to help save money by improving managers' morale and boosting productivity. William Howatt Ph.D. had previously served as a consultant for Bear Stearns, and then the firm went under. Luckily for him, a former Bear Stearns manager got hired by Chancellor Joel Klein after the firm crashed, and he gave Howatt a job helping managers "adapt to change."

Howatt was paid about $68,000 from November 2008 through January 2009, then the DOE wired him an additional $306,000 through a fast-track contract. His Bear Stearns buddy, George Raab, seems to have circumvented the bidding process by listing Howatt as an employee of a company that provides the DOE with computer techs. Raab left the DOE last month, and the Education Department's CFO swiftly terminated Howatt's contract.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause, tells the Daily News, "There needs to be a performance evaluation. Did the dollars buy the results? We can then see if that was an appropriate use of public money. Right now, we know nothing." Well, we do know Howatt's got the whole "adapting to change" thing down pat.