Adam Dzialo

Adam Dzialo
Our son, Adam Dzialo, age 30

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pond Slime...Scum to Slime: Fleecing the Disabled


And now for the good new 9/25/2011:  Barranco FIRED!

The long rise and hard fall of John Barranco

He found big money in an unlikely place — a regional agency serving disabled children. And then investigators closed in. 9/18/2011 (The Boston Globe)

John Barranco

        In June, 2011, I posted the story of John Barranco, a former school superintendent in Massachusetts, the director of a special education collaborative and director of a related  non-profit education center who allegedly fleeced school districts and taxpayers for an excess of $10 million dollars. Some published estimates exceed $30 million.

       The allegations dealing with this man and his buddies come at the expense of the most vulnerable population on the face of the earth, disabled children.  Hell is reserved for people who abuse and neglect the disabled children.  Fleecing money from their services is abuse! In the words of G.K. Chesterton"...the young demand justice; the rest of us beg for mercy!"

       The story exposes outrageous salaries and bonuses of $500,000 a year, no show jobs for friends, trips with friends to the Kentucky Derby, expensive cigars, parties for directors where the average person has 8 drinks, gifts to his daughter. Of course, he hired his live-in for an outrageous salary and had his fellow buddy superintendents placed on the boards of both organizations he ran. The allegations are pages long and referenced in my June 2011 blog. The allegations boggle the mind.

      So now he has two vacation homes (Florida and New Hampshire), paid for in cash and he is unresponsive to requests for comments. His cohorts are also silent. The disabled drool, sit in wheelchairs,  and cry for a response.

     "To win the approval of the two agreements, Barranco and Clisbee relied on overlapping boards of directors at the Collaborative and the Center to push them through, Sullivan’s investigation concluded. Because of the overlap, five superintendents voted twice to approve the pacts, once on behalf of the Collaborative and again on behalf of the Center, another conflict of interest.

Moreover, Barranco later awarded three of those board members high-paying jobs at the Center: James McCormick, now the superintendent of schools in Mason, N.H.; Robert Calabrese, who is dead; and David Hawkins, who appears to be still working for the Center.

The MEC Board of Directors
The fourth of the five board members, Richard Moser, attended the Kentucky Derby with Barranco - at the Center’s expense - a year before casting his votes for the two agreements.

None of these individuals returned numerous calls from the Globe." Boston Globe, 9/18/2011

So Barranco is non-communicative. The local Superintendents who sat on the Boards? Well, some were were handsomely rewarded by jobs upon retirement from the public sector. Others were wined and dined in style. Were they simply unknowing dupes? Superintendent of Schools are usually not known for blatant stupidity ( I realize this is a generalization but I personally know several who are really stupid.). Were they collaborators in a scheme which rewarded them handsomely? Did they approve tuition rates and fiscal contracts which screwed the disabled and resulted in needless school spending resulting in higher taxes and staff layoffs. Did they know the effects of the money allegedly fleeced from or  by  them? I am sure that they will be investigated as there are multiple state and federal investigations in progress.  Do these guys even care?  What would be the honorable thing to do?

(1) Let's start with an admission of responsibility and greed?  Quickly followed by an apology!
(2) Let's have an acknowledgement of the pain endured by society's most vulnerable?
(3) Let's return the money and gifts to the disabled and the taxpayers?
(4) Let's apologize to the teachers who were laid off because of your greed?
(5) Let's divulge all the facts in truth:  who knew, who helped, who benefited?

In the long run, repeated silence and denials will only succeed in costing taxpayers more money in investigations, prosecutions, trials and already allegedly fleeced from the disabled and citizens. Of course, the Massachusetts Department of Education (DESE) deserves no kudos for its oversight of special education collaboratives, but they will defend their incompetence on budgetary bases. No one is ever responsible, only the vulnerable suffer.  For once, Mr. Barranco and conspirators, simply do the right thing.

All details, subpoenas, audit reports are referenced in my June blog with additions.


  1. Incredible story -- or maybe not. What drives me insane and pisses me off is that it's people like these who make EVERYTHING bad for the rest of us -- who provide fodder for those who believe services for the diabled and free, public education are expendable.

    Seething here, but good for you for spreading the ugly word!

  2. You know, Elizabeth, I believe there is sufficient money budgeted at state and federal levels to provide adequate services for our kids. When I see adult residential programs in MA running at 250,000.00 a client, residential special needs schools for the school aged at an average of 150,000.00, repeated instances of graft, fraud and embezzlement in Medicaid, Medicare and programs, I know why services are denied. When sped administrators get 500,000.00 and many benefits, people bill for PCA hours which are unused and pocket the money, etc. I understand why services are denied. The administration of programs and lack of oversight, much like in the Iran reconstruction, leads to multi billion dollar graft. The money there but it disappears.

  3. Good for you Phil, I agree with Elizabeth and yourself. I really hate public perception on thinking we get free services too.

    The Fat cat salaries and the bureaucratic wasteage makes me cross.

    Some people just make you feel sick and Barranco is one of them.


  4. Thanks of the support, Mel. I just cannot see why so many "important" people know that this is happening under their watch and do nothing. I also can't understand why it takes years to bring these sleezes to justice?

  5. It makes me cry. Thanks for spreading the word, Phil!

  6. I think that they drag on the sleazes so that public anger diminishes and as people move on with us, they move on with the sleazies too. The important peoeple, well most of these people are WEAK! and don't have the moral fibre to stand up and say NO! That just isn't acceptable.

    Look at the Britiish Prime Minister. they had a son with Cerebral Palsyand epilepsy who was very severe and died eventually at age 6. although I do respect David Cameron and think he's the best PM for decades for the UK. I just wish that he would do more for people with Disablility in the UK, especially having, living and breathing through it all, they loved Ivan, like we love Oatie or you Adam. So there you have a in important person, probably one of the most publically know important people in the world with severe disability frst hand, and know what we all have to deal with and go through and I think it's quite sad that he doesn't go the next step and take a stand and really stick a post in the ground and say we need to do something about this.



  7. sorry for the typos' my bluetooth keyboard was cutting out lol!


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