Education

West Orange Board of Education to Convene and Address Allegations of Misconduct

e4b79f64a0dd0c3d7d9a_13392257_1352765468073327_627416922294325412_o.jpg
e4b79f64a0dd0c3d7d9a_13392257_1352765468073327_627416922294325412_o.jpg

WEST ORANGE - The West Orange Board of Education said it will convene for a special session to consider an outside investigation to respond to multiple allegations made by a member of the public at a recent school board meeting.

A citizen who attended the meeting on May 21 brought forth allegations of alleged improper use of funds by a district employee and an alleged cover-up by the superintendent. The accuser later posted a statement along with pictures of various public records to support her statement onto the popular Facebook group, West Orange 411.

The records show that in 2016 an administrative assistant at Gregory Elementary School used school funds to pay her personal property taxes to the Millburn township. Later, Superintendent Jeff Rutzky penned a letter to the Millburn’s chief financial officer requesting that a refund of $2,764.40 be made to the school district because of the “error.”

Sign Up for E-News

The money was refunded, records show.

It is unclear if Rutzky informed the Board of Education regarding the error or his effort to recoup the money, which is part of the allegation made by the public, according to the Facebook posts.

On Saturday, the BOE released a lengthy statement after seeing what it described as “inflammatory and possibly defamatory comments concerning various district employees and professionals, at public meetings and on various social media sites, attempting to vilify certain individuals.”

The WOBOE “does not condone this conduct and is gravely concerned by its negative impact” on the district staff and reputation.

“As the public and staff are well aware, the WOBOE and its administration are legally precluded from discussing personnel actions in public, or responding to inquiries regarding personnel. Many personnel matters are appropriately addressed through the District’s Administration.

“When it is necessary for the WOBOE to take appropriate personnel actions, it always does so within the parameters of the law, while remaining mindful of the need to protect the privacy rights of our staff. While private citizens enjoy a First Amendment right to speak at public meetings and/or post information on social media, the WOBOE wants to remind everyone that we should all be working together to ensure that our district embodies the same values of kindness, respect and propriety that we all endeavor to impart to our children.

“If a particular matter requires an investigation, the WOBOE immediately directs the appropriate staff and/or its professionals to investigate the matter, and report the findings to the full board of education, so that proper remedial measures can be taken.

“In response to allegations and documents presented to the board earlier this year, the board previously reported in open public meeting, that it was conducting an investigation. Furthermore, in the coming week, the board will convene a special executive session to explore engaging a third-party, independent investigator to investigate all allegations.

“Rest assured that the WOBOE members, who were duly elected by the citizenry of West Orange, work tirelessly to make the West Orange School District the best possible learning environment for our students and working environment for our staff. We call upon all West Orange residents to do the same.

“Thank you for your patience, partnership and understanding, in these matters. We thank our veterans for their sacrifices, and wish you and your families a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Deegan Dental Implant Special!

June 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - OUR NEW DENTAL IMPLANT SPECIAL OFFER WILL GIVE YOU REASON TO SMILE!

Deegan Dental is happy to announce our New Dental Implant Special Offer that will give you a reason to smile! Our New Special Offer, that expires 11/30/2018, covers a single Complete Tooth Replacement (including the Implant, Stock Abutment and E-max Crown) for only $2,200 per Implant; a Great Value ...

CycleBar Livingston Offers 4 Rides for $39

LIVINGSTON, NJ - CycleBar Livingston -- Premium Indoor Cycling -- is offering four rides for $39 for new riders only.

New customers can take advantage of this deal at CycleBar Livingston at 277 Eisenhower Parkway. Call them at 973-261-5647. Visit livingston.cyclebar.com.

Millburn's Peter Serruto Drafted by Cincinnati Reds

June 6, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - Peter Serruto, who just completed his senior season at Millburn High School, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22d round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday.

Serruto was the 649th pick overall.

The 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed batter has been a defensive standout since he first suited up in a Millburn uniform as a freshman.

"Defensively, ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back

Wed, June 20, 6:30 PM

Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange

Taste & Toast Gala

Giving Back

Fri, June 22, 5:30 PM

Ginny Duenkel Pool, West Orange

West Orange Community Sports & Games Night

Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation Donates New Scoreboard to the West Orange PAL Baseball Field

On Sunday, April 15, the West Orange PAL baseball teams began their opening ceremonies of the spring season with a heartfelt dedication of a new scoreboard, donated by the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation.  The foundation was created to honor the life of Michael, a lifelong West Orange resident, who tragically died in a car accident on the day after his 19th birthday, Aug.

Mt. Olive Memorial Weekend Tournament: Bringing Baseball Back to West Orange!

“I’ve got to find the right spot”

“Two out rally!”

“Protect the ball”

“You fired up? I’m fired up! I can’t hear you!”

“Breathe!” “Deep breath, reset”

“Whoa..where are you going?? You can’t move”

Just a few of the statements you may have heard this past weekend at the ...

Winners of 19th Annual Gaelen Juried Art Show & Sale Announced

June 20, 2018

WHIPPANY, NJ - Winners of the 19th annual Gaelen Juried Art Show & Sale were announced at the Opening Reception on Sunday, June 10.   The show will run through Sunday, July 29 at the Gaelen Gallery West, Aidekman Family Campus, 901 Route 10 East, Whippany.

Awards were presented at the Opening Reception for Best in Show and Best /Honorable Mention in the following categories: ...