Schoolgate

Andy Greene claims School Board of Broward County officials conspired to smear him and then covered it up. He's out for revenge.

Seven years after Greene first told Adams he wished his aunt were dead, the Herald published a lengthy profile of Greene, quoting from a school board investigative report in which Greene told David Steele, with the school system's Special Investigative Unit, about the comments he had made to Adams. The article also quoted Adams, who was interviewed by Steele back in 1989, as saying that Greene had not only discussed his wish to kill his aunt but had actually devised a plan to bash in her skull with a baseball bat and had made one trial run at her condo to see if the plan might work. Greene says he had never devised such a plan and never discussed making a trial run with anyone. He claims that his aunt lived in a high-rise condominium in Hallandale with 24-hour security and that killing her there would have been unfeasible.

Steele's investigation of Greene arose out of an internal inquiry into a series of anonymous letters smearing school employees that began circulating within the school system in 1989. Grace Stadelmyer, a secretary who worked with Nancy Adams, later testified that Adams had admitted to her that she had written a number of anonymous letters. Greene says he believes Adams may have made up the story about the plot to kill Aunt Sylvia in order to divert blame for the letters onto him. Greene was never formally implicated in the letter-writing, but he contends that during the investigation Steele made numerous attempts to damage his reputation, largely, Greene believes, because Steele suspected he was gay. (He is.) Steele says there is no basis to any of Greene's allegations, though he would not discuss them in any detail.

Jerry Cook, a Broward principal who went on to become Greene's campaign manager, says Steele contacted him one day and told him to watch out for Greene, that he "didn't get along with women" and "shouldn't be allowed around children." Cook made his own check into Greene's competence as a teacher and was impressed enough to offer him a full-time job teaching adult-education courses. After the election debacle, Cook, who now lives in upstate New York, says he too was forced into early retirement. "There was a lot of pressure from the superintendent's office," he says. "They were trying to find something to pin on me."

Since losing the election, Greene, who has hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid legal bills, has spent most of his waking hours sifting through legal documents and plotting the professional demise of those responsible for ruining his reputation and his career. He has also sent out hundreds of resumes to schools in South Florida and elsewhere but has not gotten a single job offer. "Nobody will touch me," Greene says, his face flush with exasperation. "Who wants a guy who has caused so much trouble for a school system?

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