Providence principal worked for two districts at once during pandemic

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A former Providence principal admits he worked full time as the head of E-Cubed Academy while also serving as the assistant principal of a school in Washington, D.C.

The state-controlled Providence school district was aware that Michael Redmond had held the dual jobs for at least five months before he eventually left the school system, according to a spokesperson.

According to a notice of violation posted by the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, Redmond worked nearly identical hours in both jobs over the course of a 17-week period in 2020, appearing in-person in Providence while telecommuting to the position in Washington.

The 17 weeks occurred from July to November of 2020, but the notice of violation shedding light on the overlap wasn’t made public until this month.

The violation said Redmond earned an annual salary of $125,434 as assistant principal for the Kramer Middle School in D.C., earning $41,000 during the 17-week period in question. The violation said he worked weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Kramer, while working weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at E-Cubed.

Redmond is accused of violating D.C.’s code of conduct by engaging in outside employment that “conflicted with [his] official government duties” and was “reasonably likely to interfere with [his] ability to perform his or her job.”

He’s also accused of using government time and resources for something other than official business, and receiving compensation for teaching activities during his regular working hours without using time off.

Redmond was hired by former Superintendent Harrison Peters in 2020 in an effort to improve outcomes at Providence’s struggling high schools. He was announced in July 2020 along with three other new principals. Redmond replaced Jonathan Mendelsohn, who was removed as principal during a slew of layoffs and later went to work for East Greenwich Schools.

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Reached by phone Monday, Redmond acknowledged he held both jobs for the time period described, but said he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong.

“Upon learning I was not able to work both jobs, I immediately resigned from Kramer,” he said.

Redmond said he was able to fulfill all the duties of both jobs and earned highly effective ratings.

“I performed both of them at my highest standard,” he said. He added that he has responded to the violation. A hearing in D.C. is expected to be held at a later date.

Redmond is no longer the principal at E-Cubed Academy. The school hired a new principal this past summer.

Victor Morente, a spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Education, which currently controls Providence Public Schools, said the district was notified of the dual job situation on November 30, 2020, the same time Redmond resigned from his D.C. position.

“An investigation was conducted and disciplinary action was taken,” Morente wrote in an email.

Morente declined to say what the disciplinary action was or comment further. He said Redmond “separated from the district” roughly five months later on April 5, 2021.

Redmond said he left the district on his own for a new job.

A spokesperson for D.C. Public Schools told 12 News in a statement, “DCPS was alerted to this concern in the fall of 2020. Consistent with our protocols, we immediately began an investigation and reported the allegation to DC’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability for investigation.”

12 News reached out to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability for further comment, but did not immediately hear back.

Target 12 Investigator Steph Machado contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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