I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Perth Amboy

It never ends in Perth Amboy:
The large crowd of parents and teachers at Perth Amboy High School erupted in applause when the Perth Amboy Board of Education placed Superintendent Janine Caffrey on administrative leave last Saturday. 
After an hour-long private session, the Board passed a resolution to not only place Caffrey on leave but also name Assistant Superintendent Vivian Rodriguez as active Superintendent. The board also unanimously voted to not bring Caffrey back as Superintendent once her current deal expires 
“Many of you are aware that an administrative law judge issued a decision to uphold our vote last May to place Dr. Caffrey on administrative leave,” Board President Samuel Lebreault said. “That decision is under review by the Commissioner of Education, but the final ruling isn’t expected until late October. Our attorneys have advised us that nothing prevents us from taking new action in the meanwhile if we think it is warranted.”
Yeah, there's nothing better for a school district than continually firing then rehiring your superintendent. Kudos to NJ Education Commissioner Cerf for making that happen...

Caffrey has been waging her war with the board in public; looks like they've decided to join her in a media skirmish:
Two weeks ago, an administrative law judge made an initial decision as to whether or not the Board of Education acted legally when on May 7 it suspended her. She presented many arguments to the administrative law judge in an attempt to misdirect the judge’s legal analysis of the case. The administrative law judge was not persuaded by Dr. Caffrey’s arguments. Thus, the judge ruled (on all counts) in favor of the Board of Education. 
She has belittled that decision in another attempt to misdirect attention from her wrongdoings and incompetence and has instead misled the public by stating that an important decision was yet to come; namely that the Ethics Commission would rule on the merits of allegations made by her. When Dr. Caffrey made this statement, she already knew that many of her ethics charges against several board members would be dismissed, while others would most likely continue onward to the next phase of the process. Thus, she attempted to dupe the public into thinking that the decision that went against her was meaningless. Dr. Caffrey wrongly and inaccurately used the Commission’s decisions as her vindication. 
The Ethics Commission decisions plainly indicate the following: The preliminary determinations are not decisions on the merits. The Commission conducted an initial review to determine if probable cause existed, should the allegations be proven later. It is important to note that the Commission already dismissed many of Dr. Caffrey’s claims in their entirety. The allegations have yet to be proven by the facts and evidence that she must produce before an administrative law judge. We are certain Dr, Caffrey will not be able to prove her allegations in any court of law.
Who knows - maybe she will, maybe she won't. But, once again, the staff and students of Perth Amboy's school have to wait while the process plays out. Resolving this quickly for their sakes seems to be the furthest thing from anyone's mind.

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