Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Disgraced Pinal County, AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu ran MA boarding school with history of abuse

From 1999-2001, Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, now in hot water for texting indecent cell phone pictures, for maintaining a semi-nude profile picture on a internet gay hookup site and for allegedly instigating deportation threats against a Mexican ex-boyfriend who may not have been in the US legally at the time, faces new scrutiny about his tenure at a controversial Massachussetts boarding school for troubled teens. BaBeu's own sister says he had a 17-year-old boyfriend then who was an alumnus of the school.

1980 People magazine Desisto photo
The founder of the Desisto School, Michael Desisto, who died in 2003, apparently had a history of academic fraud according to Wikipedia:
In 1988 The Orlando Sentinel reported that the DeSisto School's claim of accreditation by the National Association of Independent Schools was false. Michael DeSisto responded that, "low-level staff members were responsible". Mike DeSisto's résumé also stated he had been a faculty member at Elmira College, in Elmira, N.Y., and at Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y., when he had never had been a faculty member at either institution. DeSisto also claimed he had worked as a consultant for the Free University of New York at Stony Brook. According to Jeremy Weis, an official with the New York Bureau of Academic Information and Reports, the state agency with which all universities must register, "I've never heard of this university". Elmira payroll supervisor Mary Fetyko said, "DeSisto never worked there." At Adelphi, administrator Margaret Elaine Wittman said, "there are no records of DeSisto having been a faculty member, the man is completely foreign to us, the fact that he would say this on his vita is incredible."

     ...On November 15, 1988, The Boston Globe reported that Michael DeSisto, and The DeSisto School had been sued 23 times for breach of contract and fraud.
     ...In 1991, DeSisto authored his only book: Decoding Your Teenager(How to understand each other during the turbulent years). After its publication, some journalists published articles questioning whether DeSisto held a master's degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, as he claimed. In fact the University of Massachusetts doesn't even offer a master's degree in psychology, and only has a doctorate program. DeSisto later admitted to not possessing the Master's degree, and said the error was due to a "low-level assistant", who had mistakenly placed it on his résumé.
     ...In the book Death In Paradise (2001), by Robert B. Parker, the DeSisto School is mentioned briefly several times. In the first mention, Parker names Michael DeSisto as an attendee at a party given by an obnoxious pedophile. Then, he has the pedophile's wife say DeSisto is a good friend of theirs. Later, Parker mentions Michael DeSisto’s school in Stockbridge.

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