Commissioner of Education Affirms Court Decision Supporting Monteiro

Credits: Fran Sullivan

ELIZABETH, NJ -- Commissioner Tony Monteiro’s right to continue serving on the Elizabeth Board of Education has been upheld by the Commissioner of Education David Hespe in the matter of Patricia Gallante v. Board of Education on April 23.

Hespe affirmed the decision of Administrative Law Judge Joan Bedrin Murray, concurring that the judge was right in denying any emergent relief to Gallante and her supporters. The decision by Hespe concurs that the petitioner, Patricia Gallante, “failed to demonstrate entitlement to emergent relief.”

Gallante, a city resident and a retired Elizabeth teacher, argued that it was illegal for Monteiro to withdraw his resignation and rejoin the board during a series of meetings in January.

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The Administrative Law Judge said that she did not find that “the legal right underlying petitioner’s claim is wholly settled.” She also said “Petitioner has failed to meet the requirements set forth in NJAC 6a:3-1.6(b) warranting a stay or emergency relief.”

 Monteiro Calls for Resolution to Condemn “Circus-like” Behavior

In a recent action, Monteiro called for a resolution to be voted upon that he says will help bring civility back to local public meetings.

"I believe that we need the commitment of everyone in the community to ensure that people adhere to some levels of common decency and civil norms of behavior at our meetings." stated Monteiro.

Monteiro stated that he will join with fellow Board member Elcy Castillo-Ospina to help pass a resolution at the Board of Education calling for 'no bully zone' at public meetings, “where people throughout Elizabeth can feel free to either accept leadership roles or be involved in community activities without fear of retribution.”

He went on to add, "I believe that what we have seen taking place at our board meetings is an organized effort by some to try to detract from the much needed agenda of providing a quality education for the children at an affordable price for the taxpayers of Elizabeth."

Monteiro and Castillo-Ospina are calling on the City of Elizabeth city council to pass a similar resolution.

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