Brick Township’s Board of Education will hold a special meeting Wednesday night to take action following the indictment Tuesday of suspended schools superintendent Walter Uszenski.
Uszenski has been suspended with pay pending an indictment since his arrest May 7. Board attorney Jack Sahradnik said the board, under state law, was obligated to continue paying Uszenski until an indictment was handed up. Presumably, the board meeting will include a motion to suspend Uszenski without pay.
Uszenski’s contract with the school district ends June 30, 2018. State laws dictate the circumstances under which a chief school administrator can be terminated before his contract ends. If the Uszenski is found not guilty – or the charges against him are dismissed – the contract would likely remain in force.
In the mean time, a contract with Interim Superintendent Richard Caldes lasts through Dec. 31, 2016. Besides Caldes, just two other district employees – Business Administrator James Edwards and former superintendent Walter Hrycenko – possess the necessary state credentials to serve as a chief school administrator.
Uszenski was appointed unanimously by the school board in 2012, which included current members Sharon Cantillo and Susan Suter, as well as former members Kim V. Terebush, Leonard Cuppari, Walter Campbell, John Talty and Larry Reid.
The board, on which five of its members are normally unable to vote on personnel matters due to conflicts of interest, will likely be forced to invoke the so-called Doctrine of Necessity in order to vote on any actions surrounding Uszenski. Under the doctrine, even conflicted board members are able to vote on matters due to their importance to district operations.
The board majority, since the controversial appointment of Vito Gagliardi, Sr. in August to fill the vacated seat of Talty, has effectively shifted. Board members Frank Pannucci, Jr., Michael Conti, John Barton and Gagliardi – a former state commissioner of education under Acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco – have commonly voted in a bloc.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the district’s Technology Training Center at the board office, 101 Hendrickson Avenue.