Home Police, Fire & Courts Brick School Officials: State Didn’t Notify Us of Ex-Administrator’s Drug Dealing Past

Brick School Officials: State Didn’t Notify Us of Ex-Administrator’s Drug Dealing Past

Andrew Morgan (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Andrew Morgan (Photo: Ocean County Jail)

Brick school officials say the district’s former interim director of special services – whose background includes a conviction on felony drug charges in New York – checked “no” to a question on his job application with the district that asks whether he had ever been convicted of a crime.

Andrew Morgan’s history of drug-related charges were apparently known by the state Department of Education, but the state did not notify the Brick school district when a background check was performed before he was hired, school board president Sharon Cantillo said at a meeting Thursday night.

Morgan was arrested alongside former Superintendent Walter Uszenski earlier this month on charges stemming from an allegation that the two conspired to provide $40,000 in taxpayer-funded daycare to Uszenski’s grandson to which he was not entitled. After his arrest May 7, Morgan’s criminal history of drug dealing came to light, including an allegation that he once agreed to fly to Thailand in order to buy heroin for undercover agents posing as drug dealers. In another incident, Morgan was arrested after another New York City school district employee sold him cocaine in a car parked on Ocean Boulevard in Brooklyn, packaged in an official Board of Education envelope.


Morgan’s past was the subject of two New York Times articles.

When he was recommended for the job in Brick by Uszenski, Morgan underwent the standard background check and fingerprinting that all employees must submit to, Cantillo said. The investigative arm of the state Department of Education runs the information through both the FBI and New Jersey State Police databases and reports back to the district. In the case of Morgan, the background check came back clean even though the state agency apparently knew of his past.

“They have the criminal record of this gentleman in their database, and for some reason, there was a pardon of some sort,” said Cantillo, who said a state investigator would not reveal to her the exact nature of the mechanism by which Morgan was allowed to work in New Jersey schools.

Apparently, said Cantillo, such pardons are not currently allowed, but a decision in the 1980s meant Morgan was grandfathered in and cleared to work in public schools.

“They told me it would never be done today,” said Cantillo.

No one from the state Department of Education was available for comment since the details of the case were revealed by Cantillo early Friday morning during a six hour-long school board meeting that began Thursday night.

Morgan had left the district by the time he was arrested earlier this month. His wife, Lorraine Morgan, was still serving as the district’s Academic Officer.

Lorraine Morgan’s days working in the district are now numbered, according to officials. Her contract, which expires June 30, has not been renewed.

“She was not recommended for a renewal,” said interim Superintendent Richard Caldes.

  • Glenn

    The Department of Education needs to step up to the plate with more info. This is totally unacceptable. A known drug dealer cleared for a job in the Board of Ed!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Marynary

    So NJ Dept of ED knew he had a drug conviction and never told Brick. Some police agency needs to follow up on this. If the children can’t be protected we are in trouble.

    • sunray444

      This is a disgusting lapse in judgement or just plain stupidity for this LOS (lump of s**t) to be working in Brick. Somebody must have gotten something to look the other way…

  • Frank Rizzo

    If this is true,,and I do not believe it to be…Then god only knows who else is working for our schools statewide with this level of incompetence.

  • KMC

    Many parents went to Bd. of Education meetings and told the board about this man. All you have to do is google his name and you would have the whole story. So for the board to say they knew nothing about this. I have to question that. I remember being at a board meeting when parents spoke up about this.

  • Mac

    Standard Rule of Thumb in NJ: There is no such thing as a government operation that doesn’t have a wide path of corruption available for basically anyone to obtain their goals. In Ocean County, the sole purpose of government is to make sure nothing interferes with the self-regulated flow of corruption. And quite frankly, this is what our New Jersey residents want, plain and simple. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t even consider to keep reelecting by wide margins elected officials that have nothing else to offer but more corruption. The shortest list in the world are elected NJ politicians that have something positive to offer society. It is possible that such a list could exist, right?

  • jane

    The BOE was alerted about Mr. Morgan’s criminal past by concerned taxpayers several months before Mr. Morgan “resigned.” Why wasn’t he “terminated” for lying on his application? This is not new news.