Many readers of this post have wondered what happened that made Chad Laveglia turn on me, as seen below. Let me tell you my thoughts.
In October 2022 when I was quoted in the media about the “fake vaccination cards” case, Chad blew up, saying that HE was the only one who could speak for the Petitioners, “his” clients, and paralegals – i.e. me – cannot practice law, as I was doing by speaking about the case. Here is what he wrote in an email to a reporter: ” I AM THE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING 30 TEACHERS. Paralegals cannot practice law…please do not attribute comments to my clients without speaking with me. I am the only one authorized to speak for them.” Huh? That came out of the blue. He never made that a term of engagement. Moreover, he never spoke with any of the Petitioners, but I did, 24/7, whenever they called me to ask about writing an email to the UFT, getting benefits while off salary, etc.
Chad then followed up with another email: “Betsy is amazing. And is more knowledgeable about disciplinary matters than almost anyone….I am to criminal law what Betsy is to education law.”
Thanks Chad!!! Then, in February 2023 after thanking Chad for using the papers I ghostwrote for a teacher appealing his case to the Court of Appeals, I received the emails posted below.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, my position in Chad’s eyes as a lowly paralegal who knew nothing about due process rights – or had no right to know – threatened his “I am much better than you” level. My goal was then and is now to assist people in getting their due process, and making sure that everyone can enjoy their rights to life, liberty and justice. That’s it.
People who assist or judge individuals based on their perceived social-financial status level is not my way or the right way.
Here is my reply:
I debated not answering your venom-filled email sent to me and your new “Chief Executive/client” Monique Parsons (Index No. 206973/2022) – who I don’t know, and never spoke to – but I see no other way to protect your future clients from the confusion and distress you have caused in the case I worked with you on, the “fake vaccination card” case. I believe no hate-filled bully such as you should be allowed to spread lies about anyone, at any time, and I will do whatever I can to stop your destruction of people’s trust and lives.
The email you sent your client Mrs. Parsons and me on February 16, 2023 is posted in full below.
Everything I write in this Op-Ed is my opinion, and I am not an attorney, as you very well know. I could have been one. My dad, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York for 20+ years under AG Louis Lefkowitz, the people you hate, wanted me to go to law school and he would have paid for it. But I became an investigative reporter instead. Life happens.
In June 2022 when I asked if you would work with me (at Petitioners’ request) on the case of teachers who were erroneously and unlawfully accused of defrauding the City of New York and the NYC Department of Education by allegedly “buying” a COVID vaccination card instead of getting the shot, you told me that you knew nothing about Education Law. I said this is a due process case, and I could contribute information on Education Law 3020-a, the tenure law protecting teachers’ rights. I told you about my experience as a non-Attorney participating in 3020-a arbitration since 2003. We also discussed the untenured teachers’ rights to due process. You agreed to work on the case and told me to keep the Petitioners aware of the case but not to contact you, and keep the Petitioners away as well. If needed, I would email you. I did exactly as you requested. Indeed, before February 11 2023 you told me that I did a great job.
I know you HATED the fact that I was quoted in the media, and you believe that YOU should be the only person quoted. I chose to ignore your incredibly absurd outburst. And when we won the case, I emailed you that I was very happy that you used a paper I wrote for a Plaintiff who presented it to the Court of Appeals. All was good.
On December 30, 2022 Judge Gina Abadi in Kings County Supreme Court granted the Petition, giving the Petitioners their jobs back, and backpay.
Then on Feb. 6, 2023, the City appealed point #4 in Abadi’s order, that they must never again place “tenured Petitioners on leave without pay or reassigning them to reassignment centers without the DOE first commencing disciplinary procedures pursuant to EL 3020 and 3020-a”
Neither I nor any of the Petitioners heard from you about whether you were going to submit an Opposition to the Reargument, so I and a Petitioner wrote you on February 11, asking whether you were doing the argument, because you had told me that you do not do appeals.
Your answer on Feb. 13:
Good to hear from you! And thank you for the kind words. I briefly read their motion. It’s pretty silly.
I had intended on reaching out. As an aside, I’ve been back and forth with corp counsel. I can respond, and have no problem doing so, just need to work out the logistics i.e., payment”
Then we asked the substance of the communication with the Corporation Counsel. I guess that was our mistake. You despise questions.
You answered on Feb 14, 2023:
Our conversations revolve around getting the administrative mess between DOE and UFT settled.
Their motion has nothing to do with backpay or reinstatement. they’re really misinterpreting the 4th grant of relief.
I don’t have time to speak. I also insist on an agreement upon which I am compensated before performing any further work.
My Chief Executive is cc’d on this email. Please address further correspondence to her.
We emailed you and Mrs. Parsons asking if you were helping get backpay (we have no information on your help with this), and how much you would charge for the Reargument and Appeal. We were never trying to get any of your time for free. But dont you have to tell your clients how much you want to be paid?
I’m going to explain something quick as a courtesy. This isn’t personal but take it as you like.
I am no longer spending a single second of my time performing any legal services—directly or indirectly—unless I’m getting paid; like every single other business in the world. I am now extremely stringent with my time. My services are OVER per the engagement agreement. My job is done. I already got backpay for everyone, I won the case. It’s over. It is remarkable to me that not a single Petitioner was able to work this out internally with payroll.
It is not my problem that the UFT and DOE are too stupid to figure out simple backpay. I was trying to expedite/facilitate getting the teachers backpay. I was generously giving up my time to help others for nothing in return. No more.
I specifically told you to email Mrs. Parsons, and you just ignored me. That’s just disrespectful and inconsiderate of my time. I’m not dealing with it.”
Chad, you got backpay for nobody.
Then on Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:59pm, you emailed all the Petitioners in our case, and cc to Mrs. Parsons, your client (but for some unknown reason you did NOT send it to me):
Unrelated- I am not dealing with Betsy going forward. I admire Betsy’s dedication to helping teachers, her fortitude, knowledge, and accomplishments. She has as good heart and means well. There is no drama here. I just don’t have the time, or the patience. I could always charge my hourly fee and bill for every second of mine Betsy consumes.”
The Petitioners answer to me: we appreciate you!
On February 16 a Petitioner in the case sent your email to me, reluctantly, after I asked her if she had heard from you and she told me everyone had, but were very upset with your email.
I sent you an email asking you why you did not send the email to me, and to cease and desist from writing about me without my knowing, and making up false statements such as I spoke with you too much and wasted your time. You know this is not true.
Very soon after I sent my email, you sent this to me and your client Monique Parsons:
“Betsy, you are so out of your depth here. And your timing is horrible. This is what I said-
“Unrelated- I am not dealing with Betsy going forward. I admire Betsy’s dedication to helping teachers, her fortitude, knowledge, and accomplishments. She has as good heart and means well. There is no drama here. I just don’t have the time, or the patience. I could always charge my hourly fee and bill for every second of mine Betsy consumes. “
Where is the attack on your integrity and work ethic or maligning of your name? Please point it out to me. Because those words are called compliments. Either you live in a different reality, or don’t comprehend the English language. Which one is it? And you’re so damn selfish and thin skinned that you have the audacity to come at me again—at a time when I am scrambling to help hundreds of employees? What is wrong with you? I certainly have no respect for you now, not as a person or a professional. You want to see what an ultimate insult looks like Betsy? Here we go.
This is the second time; you pulled this fake victim card. I have no tolerance for your bullshit. You talk too much and waste my time. Time, I don’t have to give. And certainly not for free. It’s that simple. You brought nothing to the table as far as the law or legal strategy. You go off on tangents. But you are extremely shortsighted and only care about yourself. Hence this second, absurd email. I let you get away with it the first time. but no more.
In fact, you seem to think you’re special. You’re not. I’d say you have balls for emailing me, but it’s stupidity. Further, I don’t give a shit what you drafted, or for who you drafted it for. You’re not a lawyer. Accept that. Stop trying to be one. And stop expecting to be treated like one. It seems like you think we’re on the same level. You’re delusional. Your administrative accolades are equivalent to me being the MVP of little league baseball. I fight every day for the plight of the little guy. But you’re not the little guy. You have a nice cushy place in NYC. You have nothing in common with the working class. You’re a phony. I could go on, but I’m bored. You’re insignificant to me. Truly, insignificant. Your cease-and-desist bit is hilarious btw . I’m going to block you now Betsy. Good riddens.
I hate to admit it, but I cried all night of the 16th. Your words really stung. But let your bully pulpit go unrecognized for what it is? Never.
You say you fight every day for the “little guy”? So do I. But I am available to anyone 24/7, i.e. every day, all day (unless I am in a 3020-a or a Court mediation) for free. Ah, I know what you say to that. I’m not an attorney, so I do not know anything, and people shouldn’t speak to me because what I say has no value. Ok, why not let them decide? Thank goodness many people do not believe you. For those who do, I wish them godspeed. They will need it. I play the victim card? Never have, never will. Is this a feeble attempt to intimidate me? I dont fall for stuff like that.
You say I live in a cushy place in NYC? How do you know? I do not believe that you have ever been here. Did you judge my location as on the Upper East Side, so everyone lives a ‘cushy’ lifestyle.? You have no idea what my life is like, but let me tell you, it is a happy place, with items left from the happy school days of my four daughters, teen purple hair, rescue puppies, blind white labrador retriever, my guinea pig sophie, beanie babies and my Winnie-the- Pooh and Paddington Bear collections.
Chad, do you see the picture at the top of this Op-Ed? Do you see the man standing next to me and two of my daughters, and in the picture at left with my mom? This person is my husband of 39 years, a nice man from Lima Peru who worked for the City of New York for 40 years, 37 years at Hunter College, as an electrician. Local Union No. 3 IBEW (“Local 3”). Is this the “little guy” I know nothing about? Isn’t my husband a working-class person with whom you say I have nothing in common? In my opinion, his respect for everyone on the planet – whether the person is black, white, purple or green, of any religion, gender, age, or financial position – makes him a better person than you. I dont know what level you are on that is so far above the level I am on, but I couldn’t care less.
One more thing –
You ended your email to me on the 16th with “Good riddens “.
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