State investigators are looking into new misconduct allegations against former Hartford charter school executive Michael Sharpe

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State investigators are looking into more allegations of inappropriate conduct with women involving Michael M. Sharpe, the former Hartford charter school executive now awaiting trial on charges involving the gunpoint rapes of four women in the 1980s, law enforcement officials said.

The allegations date to the mid-1990s and involve complaints that while employed by the state Department of Children and Families, Sharpe was involved in inappropriate relationships with the mothers of at-risk children he was assigned to supervise. A DCF spokesman said Sharpe was fired after an internal investigation.

“This individual was employed at the Department of Children and Families as a social worker from 7/21/95 through 1/16/97,” the spokesman said. “He was terminated from state service due to inappropriate personal relationships.”

The DCF complaints add another element to an unfolding, 40-year history of suspicious or criminal behavior by Sharpe, whose Jumoke Academy and Family Urban Schools of Excellence, or FUSE, management company were politically popular and viewed briefly, before failing a decade ago, as an answer to underperforming urban schools. The DCF allegation now raises another question about how, in spite of his record, Sharpe was able to obtain state work with at-risk children and, later, collect collect tens of millions of dollars in state grants for his charter school network.

State officials have said some records pertaining to Sharpe were dated and destroyed, while others, such as those in the custody of DCF, are confidential.

Sharpe’s first criminal conviction was for forgery in 1985 for falsifying documents he used to obtain a $415,000 loan from the city of Hartford to redevelop an apartment building.

He moved to the West Coast afterward, where he was hired as real estate manager for the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in San Francisco and was ensnared in a federal corruption investigation that resulted in his conviction in 1989 for embezzling more than $100,000. He served 2 1/2 years in prison, was released, and returned to prison in the early 1990s for a probation violation.

He was back in Connecticut in 1995 and worked for a year and a half before being fired as a case worker for the Department of Children and Families. A former colleague said he worked at least part of the time at a satellite office, then in Rockville, and was dismissed on complaints that he was dating at least two of the mothers of children on his caseload.

Two years later, Sharpe was a paraprofessional at Jumoke Academy, the then-highly regarded charter school founded and operated by his mother, education reformer Thelma Ellis Dickerson. By 2003, Sharpe was Jumoke CEO. A decade later, with $53 million in state grants, he had expanded the school into a network of schools and was pitching his program in Bridgeport, New Haven and elsewhere in the country.

Sharpe’s career in education unraveled in 2014, when The Courant reported that his resume appeared contrived. Sharpe was addressed as “Doctor” and referred to himself as having a doctorate in education, which he did not. He also underreported his criminal history. Jumoke and FUSE failed soon after. A state investigation found an array of problems with the management of the school network, which was found to be near insolvency due to questionable real estate transactions.

Investigators with the cold case squad in the state Division of Criminal Justice are looking into the Department of Children and Families complaint, an official said. That inquiry has begun only months after Sharpe pleaded not guilty in August to rape charges that date from home invasions and gunpoint attacks in 1984.

The victims were single women, between the ages of 25 and 30, focused on careers and living in condominiums or apartments in suburban Bloomfield, Windsor, Rocky Hill and Middletown.

All four gave police similar accounts: It was late and dark. Their attacker got into their homes through sliding glass doors and appeared at their beds with a gun. He told them all he had just shot someone and would shoot them too unless they cooperated. The attacker blindfolded them and assaulted them.

The serial rapes created panic among metro-Hartford police agencies, which pooled resources to capture the attacker. Detectives developed hundreds of suspects and interviewed hundreds of others. They searched for patterns. They focused on salesmen. They made lists of regular travelers on the stretches of I-91 and Route 9 that ran close by the victims’ homes. But all they had to work from was what four terrified young women could recall of their attacker’s voice. The investigation went nowhere — until a breakthrough in forensic genetic technology pointed to Sharpe a year ago.

People with knowledge of the investigation said a distant Sharpe relative, working on an academic project, purchased a DNA profile kit from a company that sells genetic analyses. The relative put her profile into an open source database consulted by people doing a similar research.

There was a match between biological evidence collected from the rapes and the distant Sharpe relative. Further research narrowed the pool to four targets — Sharpe and three other blood relatives. Sharpe’s garbage, taken from the home where he lives with his daughter, provided a definitive match, prosecutors said.

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