UNION, NJ - Corey Lowery received nearly $270,000 in salary while on paid administrative leave as Union High School principal, payroll records show.

According to records, Lowery’s gross wages from September 2018 through April 2020 were $269,499.82.  The total does not include benefit compensation.  Since being placed on paid administrative leave in September 2018, Lowery has continued to receive full pay.  Lincoln University announced last week that Lowery has accepted a position as head men’s basketball coach.

The announcement from Lincoln University does not specify the effective date of Lowery's new position.  It is unclear if Lowery has resigned his position in the Union schools.  A request by TAPinto Union for additional information from Superintendent Gregory Tatum went unanswered.

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Lowery was placed on paid administrative leave after an explosive lawsuit, from Union’s Director of Athletics Linda Ionta, was filed in Nov 2018 claiming harassment by Lowery and district administration.  The suit alleges that Lowery engaged “in a severe and pervasive pattern of conduct designed to usurp and undermine Ms. Ionta in her position as Athletic Director” and that no remedial action from the administration occurred.

Two weeks after the Ionta lawsuit was filed, Lowery filed his own suit alleging actions by then Board President Vito Nufrio and the Board “are racially motivated in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.”  Lowery’s suit claims that the defendants, through the actions of Nufrio, retaliated against his employ by placing him on administrative leave for, among other reasons, filing an Ethics Complaint against Nufrio alleging he violated the School Ethics Act. 

The Ionta and Lowery lawsuits are just two of the twenty-five open suits facing the district as referenced by school business administrator Manuel Vieira at last week’s school budget hearing.  At the meeting, Vieira and Tatum announced a budget shortfall which will necessitate the reduction of 60 district positions.