This story has been updated.
The school district's chief talent development officer was escorted from district headquarters yesterday after an investigation found that her son was hired for two jobs he was unqualified for and she took it upon herself to give a group of workers raises, sources told the Daily News.
John Downs, the district's inspector general, said that his office started investigating Estelle Matthews last month after angry recently laid off employees came forward with tales of alleged favoritism and nepotism.
"We received a number of complaints about favoritism and things of this nature," Downs said, adding that he submitted a draft of his findings to the School Reform Commission last week. "We're still investigating. We're not finished."
Several sources who asked to remain anonymous said that Matthews — who makes $185,400 a year and is considered a close confidante of exiled former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman — had given seven employees pay raises worth a combined $81,000 without SRC approval since Ackerman's exit in August.
Fernando Gallard, a district spokesman, said those raises are under review and that the district would comment further on Matthews' employment status Friday.
Three days after Matthews was hired in December 2008, her son, Marlon Garrett, 40, was hired as an improvement student adviser at a salary of $22,800.
Then, last year, he was given the position of assistant program coordinator in the district's office of transition and alternative education. With the new position, Garrett now makes $50,000, according to district records.
Sources said both jobs required a college degree and experience in education, but Garrett only graduated from high school and took some college courses. His previous jobs were at a bank and in construction, sources said.
Matthews didn't return a call for comment and a woman who answered the phone at Garrett's home refused to take a message.