PATERSON, NJ – The Municipal Court last week dismissed criminal charges that had been filed against veteran city teacher Charles Spinella stemming from a dress code dispute he had with the principal at Eastside High complex.
The case went to trial on Sept. 28 and Spinella was found not guilty, according to his attorney, Ronald Ricci.
Spinella, who has since retired, had been charged with a disorderly persons offense in incident that happened back in January.
Ricci has said that Spinella was upset about receiving a written reprimand, saying he was allowing dress code violations by allowing students to wear sweatshirts in class in to stay warm. Ricci said Spinella tossed the envelope containing the reprimand aside. That prompted a dispute between the teacher and principal Zatiti Moody that resulted in the disorderly persons charge, officials said.
“He just wanted to be vindicated,’’ said Ricci.
The police report on the incident said Spinella went into the principal’s office and “began to yell and scream in a loud manner.’’ The police report said Spinella demanded to see Moody, and after being told the principal was busy, “grabbed a book and threw it against the wall.’’
The report said Spinella’s “tumultuous behavior caused the secretaries in said office to be alarmed and inconvenienced.’’ At that point, an off-duty police officer working security at the school placed Spinella under arrest, the report said.