MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island woman is facing charges for allegedly teaching lifesaving skills without a license.
Investigators say Sophia Clarke’s nursing license was revoked in 2012, but she presented forged credentials to teach at two area schools.
According to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Clarke was scheduled to teach at Adelphi University and Borough of Manhattan Community College during the upcoming semester.
“Because of their lifesaving role in our healthcare system, it’s essential that only licensed professionals be allowed teach nursing to students,” Singas said in a statement. “This defendant allegedly presented forged credentials to the colleges where she taught after her nursing license was revoked by state authorities. I’m grateful to the New York State Board of Education, BMCC and Adelphi University for their assistance with this investigation.”
Singas said Clarke has been put on leave by BMCC and was terminated from Adelphi University. She said nursing licenses are requirements to teach at both schools, which are accredited institutions.
“BMCC is working with the law enforcement… on this matter and will now be following up internally. Ms. Clarke has been placed on administrative assignment and will not be assigned to teaching duties as the matter is pursued internally,” BMCC said in a statement.
“Adelphi University became aware in late March that an adjunct nursing faculty member had presented credentials that were subsequently revoked without notice to the University. The faculty member was immediately terminated. The University reported the situation to the appropriate state licensing organization,” Adelphi University said in a statement of its own.
Clarke was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud. She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court in September.
The schools have not said whether there will be any impact on students.
“It could be an issue and, as I said, it’s not fair to the institution, when somebody lies to the institution, it’s not fair to the students,” said Assistant Nassau County District Attorney Diane Peress.
The district attorney urged all schools to regularly check the credentials of their staff — the integrity of the institution is at stake.
Clarke was also charged in 2008 with falsifying documents to medicaid for a disabled child, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported. She was found guilty of professional misconduct and had her license revoked.