NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The New Providence Board of Education unanimously agreed to send a letter to the New Providence Republican Committee to complain about one of its member’s legal actions against the board and its members. Board Vice-President William Dibble was absent at the Thursday, March 31 meeting when the decision was made.
Board member Adam Smith, who drafted the letter, read a written statement depicting the legal actions against the board by Gail Libertucci: “Ms. Libertucci has engaged in the filing of a series of frivolous litigations against the BOE that have taken staff time and thousands of taxpayer dollars that could have been used to support our students,” Smith stated.
The litigation was a result of an alleged anonymous disclosure of personal information that was published in a blog. Libertucci had asked the district administration to investigate the alleged leak. In 2012, she filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court of New Jersey based on the allegation that “the BOE had failed to safeguard confidential records.” The case was dismissed.
Libertucci appealed to the Commissioner of Education. In January 2015, the commissioner concluded that “there was nothing in the record that establishes a link between the information contained in the blog and the board’s procedures for safeguarding records.” Libertucci brought the case back to the Superior Court but voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit in July 2015 according to the statement.
The case was then referred to the Union County Prosecutors Office. The investigation has included interviews with the BOE members. According to Smith, the Prosecutor's Office has closed the case. However, Libertucci told TAPinto that the investigation is still ongoing.
Libertucci stated that “we are taken aback by Mr. Smith’s comments.” She said that she is exercising her legal right to find out who posted the personal information on the undisclosed victim on the blog five years ago. The blog has since been removed from the community forum.
The BOE’s letter will be directed to Councilman Robert Muñoz, chairman of the Republican Committee, who was in attendance at the latest BOE meeting. He advised the board that the Republican Party is not involved in any way in this legal endeavor.
"This issue has nothing to do with the New Providence Republican Committee," Muñoz said. "Whatever Ms. Libertucci has done in the past, she did so as a private citizen in New Providence not in her capacity as a member of the Republican Committee," Muñoz told TAPinto. "Whatever she did was not endorsed by or sanctioned by or at the behest of the committee — she did it as a private citizen."