NYC Teacher Submits Fake Jury Summons Full of Typos to Play Hooky

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on January 12, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Manhattan teacher deserves an A for effort for trying to get out of work -- but an F for forging a fake jury summons that was filled with elementary spelling errors.

Mona Lisa Tello, 61, has agreed to retire from Manhattan's High School of Graphic Communication Arts after an internal investigation uncovered her fraud, the New York Daily News reports. She also faces criminal charges.

Prosecutors allege Tello forged a jury summons to get excused from 15 days of work in 2010 and 2011. Tello collected more than $3,300 in salary while playing hooky, the Daily News reports.

To justify her time off, Mona Lisa Tello turned in a fake jury summons, purportedly from a New Jersey courthouse. The summons apparently was never spell-checked.

Instead of a "trial," Tello's fake jury summons said she was needed at a "trail," according to the Daily News.

The forged summons also used the word "sited" instead of "cited," and "manger" instead of "manager." What's more, Tello's fake summons also listed the wrong address and phone number for the New Jersey court.

In her defense, Tello told the website DNAinfo she was "forced to produce" the fake jury summons after she allegedly fell down an escalator at her school and her principal refused to accept her accident report.

But as most of us learned in kindergarten, lying is wrong -- even if you're trying to right another wrong. It seems Tello may be learning this lesson the hard way.

Mona Lisa Tello has agreed to repay the school for her unexcused days off. She now faces three counts of criminal fraud in connection with her fake jury summons.

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