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Married DOE workers to be axed after inquiry reveals nepotism

A married couple could soon be barred from working in the Department of Education after investigators found that the husband arranged a job for his wife even though she was not qualified to hold it.

Investigators in the office of the Special Commissioner of Investigation found that Angel Namnum, a former deputy superintendent who earned $190,000 in the department’s finance division at Tweed Courthouse headquarters, had arranged for his wife, Rosa Castillo, to be given a job in a Bronx office that he supervised.

Castillo underwent an accelerated hiring process before landing a $50,000 “community coordinator” job that had not previously been vacant. Her new colleagues quickly realized that she could not handle her responsibilities:

[Seniors Grants Officer Maite] Villanueva explained that Castillo barely spoke English, although command of the English language was required for her position because she dealt with school personnel and issued permits. Villanueva said that Castillo had no computer skills and the office was at a disadvantage while Castillo was being taught basic computer skills. Villanueva added that Castillo did not understand e-mail and was unable to respond to internal or external messages.

Namnum will no longer work for the city after today and Castillo will face a disciplinary hearing next week, Department of Education officials said today.

“After reviewing the Special Commissioner’s report, it is obvious to me that Mr. Namnum abused his responsibility and privileges to secure a job for his wife, who was clearly unqualified,” said Chancellor Dennis Walcott in a statement. “No one at any level of government should be allowed to put his own self-interest ahead of his obligation to the city.”

Namnum had been fined $1,500 in 2008 for trying to help his brother land an interview for an assistant principal position, also in the Bronx.

The complete SCI report is below.