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BOE Members Reprimanded for Discussing Superint. While Wives Worked in District

The wives of FRHSD Board Members William Bruno and Ronald Lawson were employeed two years ago while they participated in two executive sessions about Superintendent J. Wasser's future in the district.

Two Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education members agreed to accept reprimands for having their wives employed by the board while also participating in discussions about the superintendent of schools.

The New Jersey Department of Education, School Ethics Commission (SEC) and Board Members Ronald Lawson and William Bruno settled cases where they were found to be in violation of a New Jersey statute prohibiting school officials to have their immediate family members engage in any business that is in conflict with the board members’ public interest.

Both Lawson and Bruno agreed to accept the penalty of reprimands from  Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher D. Cerf, as recommended by the SEC.

Lawson’s wife was employed by the Board as a Secretary in the Buildings and Grounds Department and Bruno’s wife was employed by the Board as the Supervisor of Extracurricular Activites at while they were both members of the Board of Education from August 2009 through October 2009, according to their affidavits.

During the time period both Lawson and Bruno had their wives employed in the district, the issue of then-Superintendent James Wasser’s unaccredited  Breyer State University dominated each Board meeting.

“It is impossible to overstate the tension and, often, outright hostility associated with each and every board meeting as long as Superintendent Wasser remained employed,” both Lawson and Bruno said in their affidavits.

According to Lawson and Bruno’s affidavits, the Board counsel recommended that they not participate in the and they were coming in and out of executive sessions each month.

Both were present at the August 2009 and the September 2009 executive session where discussions about accepting Wasser’s resignation and creating a new position for him as “Administrator of Special Projects” took place.

While this position was never created, both Board Members spouses would not have been supervised under Wasser if it had. Both Board Members also did not participate in any discussion concerning the terms of the Wasser’s position as Superintendent, according to their affidavits.

tom thornton May 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM
That's because nobody really wants to step up. They would rather sit back and complain.
cynicinmarlboro May 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM
These conflicts of interest have been brought up many times - even during elections - and still Howell votes for people who cannot represent them on certain issues. That's Howell's problem for the most part as well as a problem for the other communities when they do not vote. That is why board members should not have anyone working in the district. Now we also find out that the law firm who is STILL employed by the FRHSD did not give the board the proper information (yet again). In the end the FRHSD is still looking silly over Wasser and he is laughing all the way to the bank on his retirement while we are still trying to dig out of the hole he and others created while still employing some of these same culprits (one of them an asst. supt.). This still remains a black mark on the district.
marcia May 24, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Grow up people...name a place where "Who You Know" doesn't happen? How do you think a community organizer now runs our country?
Curious George May 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM
What the hell does that have to do with anything? Don't turn this into a national political rant that is too far removed from this topic...There's a time and a place for that crap.
anonymous May 24, 2012 at 05:10 PM
This law firm has given the FRHSD Board of Education so much COSTLY erroneous advice over the years. The Board should fire this firm right away! When a legal firm says its ok to have a phony doctorate degree and receive extra compensation, red flags should have been raised. Can't wait to see the bill for the Simon fiasco--after he wins. Then just wait for the second bill when Simon sues the district.

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