But for 17 weeks last year, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Redmond led a professional double life, D.C. officials say — serving remotely as Kramer’s assistant principal while working in person as a principal of E-Cubed Academy in Providence, R.I.
Officials outlined that alleged double dipping in a filing with D.C.’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability in early November, asserting that Redmond violated the D.C. Code of Conduct, which prohibits city employees from holding outside jobs. Possible penalties for such a violation include thousands of dollars in fines or a year in prison.
Redmond confirmed Monday that he worked the two jobs simultaneously and said he resigned from Kramer as soon as he learned that he was unable to hold both positions. He told The Washington Post that he worked around-the-clock to fulfill his responsibilities at Kramer, leading and attending professional development sessions and regularly meeting with parents and students.
Students at Kramer, in Southeast Washington, were among those who education leaders feared would struggle the most during remote learning.
“I worked virtually as the [assistant principal] for Kramer during fall 2020 fulfilling all duties and responsibilities … with highly effective ratings while also working in-person as the principal in Providence, also receiving excellent marks,” Redmond wrote in a message to The Post.
Redmond said Richard Jackson, the head of D.C.’s Council of School Officers, told him that he was “not allowed to work both jobs,” at which point he resigned “immediately” from his position in D.C. In the ethics filing, officials said Redmond resigned from D.C. Public Schools on Nov. 30, 2020.
“DCPS was alerted to this concern in the fall of 2020,” DCPS spokesman Enrique Gutierrez said in a statement. “Consistent with our protocols, we immediately began an investigation and reported the allegation to DC’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability for investigation.”
A spokesperson for the Providence school system did not respond to a request for comment. A Rhode Island Education Department spokesman told the Providence Journal that Redmond “separated from” the Providence school district April 5, after an investigation into his dual employment.
WAMU-FM (88.5) reporter Martin Austermuhle first tweeted about the ethics filing this week.
The 22-page filing asserts that Redmond took the job as assistant principal at Kramer at the start of the 2019-2020 school year at an annual salary of $125,434. Redmond then took the job at E-Cubed Academy on July 22, 2020, according to the filing, without leaving his position at Kramer.
For the next four months, he pulled double duty, facilitated by the two school systems’ differing approaches to handling the coronavirus pandemic: While D.C. Public Schools was operating mostly remotely, Providence Public Schools had allowed children to return to classrooms.
“Respondent worked on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. at Providence Public Schools while working weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for DCPS,” government officials wrote in the filing. “Respondent reported to his Providence Public Schools position in-person and simultaneously worked virtually as Assistant Principal at Kramer.”
During the time Redmond was earning full-time wages from the Providence school system, he also pulled in “$41,000 in District government wages,” according to the filing.
Redmond thereby violated four provisions of D.C.’s Code of Conduct, the filing charges, including rules that bar D.C. employees from taking on outside employment or private business that interferes with their ability to carry out their government jobs. His behavior also went against provisions that bar government employees from using government time for “other than official business” and from receiving outside compensation during their government working hours.
When asked what penalties Redmond may face, Ashley D. Cooks, D.C.’s acting director of government ethics, pointed in an email to a section of D.C. law that lays out punishments for violations of the code. Violators can incur prison time, or fines of up to $5,000 per violation or three times the amount of money improperly received — which, in Redmond’s case, could total about $120,000. Lesser offenders, however, might get only an “informal admonition,” according to the law.
In accordance with D.C. government rules, Redmond was due to submit a response to the charges against him by Nov. 25. Next, the Board of Ethics is supposed to hold a hearing, at which Redmond can testify on his behalf and to which he can bring witnesses.
Perry Stein contributed to this report.