Neighbors close blinds as peeping janitor is identifiedOctober 30, 2014
Haunted women by hidden from a janitor routinely spied on them from the school roof — by closing their curtains tight.
I’m really upset. My window faces that side. It’s really disturbing,
said a female resident of the East 33rd Street building who covered every inch of her windows.
Her neighbor Jeena Shrestha also drew the shades.
The unidentified janitor grins as he leaves the school roof.
“That’s scary,” she said of the horndog handyman, who has been seen leering at them while they undress for at least the last two weeks. “It’s bad.”
Department of Education sources identified the peeping Tom as Francis Tracey, 49, a $117,000-a-year custodian who was on temporary assignment at the Murray Hill school, sources said.
Tracey was banned from school property and reassigned while the Special Commissioner of Investigation conducts a probe.
“We removed him immediately, and we’re doing a full investigation,
” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Wednesday. “And the reality is there cannot be anyone in any of our schools that is not a model for kids. So if the infraction is found to be true, there will be a different way we deal with it.”
Two NYPD cops showed up at the Murray Hill school around 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday to interview workers about Tracey. “We’re here to look into it,” one officer said, gesturing to a copy of The Post tucked under his arm with the front-page headline “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. But by Wednesday night, police sources said there is no criminal investigation. Meanwhile, officials at PS 116 scrambled to assure panicked parents that their kids are safe at the school.
‘WE REMOVED HIM IMMEDIATELY, AND WE’RE DOING A FULL INVESTIGATION.’
– Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña
“As you may be aware, a recent news article published serious allegations about one of our custodial staff members,” said a letter sent home with the students on Wednesday.
“As a result of the allegations, the matter has been reported to the authorities and is currently under investigation. The employee has been removed from the school pending a full investigation.”
The school’s usual custodian, Don Stella, has been on a leave of absence since a few weeks ago, parents and staff said, and Tracey was a fill-in.
“What I know about Don, he would have thrown this guy off the roof,” said parent Scott Fintz, 48.
“We don’t know who that is in a building all day with our kids,” Fintz’s wife, Blake, added. “That’s a scary thing. You think they would have a screening process.”
The school held a PTA meeting on Wednesday morning — but parents were not satisfied with the answers. “They really had no comment other than it’s being investigated,” Javier Genoa, 34, said.
“I’m concerned. My daughters have to grow up in this world. Being the father of two daughters is daunting. This is scary.”
Most of the windows within the apartment building next to PS 116 had their blinds down after The Post’s report.
Tracey is normally assigned to PS 77, a gifted-and-talented school on the Upper East Side.
Parents there were also disturbed to hear how their janitor gets his jollies.
“If he’s looking at women getting dressed, who knows what he’s doing around his own kids,” George Arroyo, 28, said while picking up his two daughters.”
PS 77 students were given flyers saying Tracey wasn’t at the school that day and won’t be coming back.
Tracey, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment, has worked for the DOE since 2006 and has earned $109,234 so far this year, records show. Last year, he made $117,110.
Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday promised swift punishment if the probe reveals that Tracey violated DOE regulations.
“If we find someone has committed an offense, there will certainly be consequences,” he said.