Home Police, Fire & Courts BREAKING: Charges Against Brick Schools Superintendent Uszenski Dismissed

BREAKING: Charges Against Brick Schools Superintendent Uszenski Dismissed

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Suspended Brick schools superintendent Walter Uszenski. (File Photos)
Suspended Brick schools superintendent Walter Uszenski. (File Photos)

Nearly two years after he was taken into custody by detectives at the township Board of Education office, suspended from his position as Brick schools superintendent and had his image splashed on the front pages of newspaper across the state, Walter Uszenski is no longer facing criminal charges.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Roe dismissed an indictment against Uszenski just weeks after his attorney, Joseph J. Benedict, said prosecutors left out facts in their grand jury presentation that could have exonerated his client. The indictment against Uszenski’s daughter, Jackqueline Halsey, was also dismissed. Two charges related to former Director of Special Services Andrew Morgan’s alleged omission of the fact that he had previously faced criminal charges in a drug case were allowed to stand. Morgan, however, had been granted a waiver in 1997 allowing him to work in New Jersey schools.

Uszenski had been charged with allowing his grandson to attend an out-of-district preschool prosecutors claimed he was not entitled to attend, but Benedict said during a hearing last month that the child had already attended the school in the past, and that it was among a number of schools recommended for him by the state before his grandfather was ever hired in Brick. The child was returned to the out-of-district school, Ocean Early Childhood Center, after he experienced problems adjusting to a self-contained program within the district, the attorney said. Those facts were never presented in full to the two grand juries that considered the indictment, the defense claimed.

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On Tuesday, Roe delivered a written opinion on the matter, throwing out the superseding indictment in the case. She had 60 days to rule on the defense’s motion following the Jan. 31 hearing on the matter.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the charges and pursued the case, was reviewing the ruling Tuesday morning and “assessing our options,” spokesman Al Della Fave said.

“A determination will be made whether to appeal or represent the case to the Grand Jury,” said Della Fave. “It is the firm belief of OCPO that there has been a violation of the law and we will aggressively move forward in our efforts to continue prosecution.”

“I’ve felt all along that, at trial, this case was immensely defensible,” Benedict told Shorebeat. “But I’m heartened by the fact that we don’t even have to go that far.”

Since being presented to the grand jury, Benedict said, even more exculpatory evidence has emerged, including reports from a therapist acknowledging that Uszenski’s grandson was making progress in the out-of-district preschool program, and reports from Board of Education members signaling the need for a change in leadership in the district’s special education department that had no connection with Uszenski nor his grandson.

After last month’s hearing, Benedict told Shorebeat the prosecutor’s office was contact by the Brick mayor’s office, who apparently forwarded a complaint from a disgruntled bus driver who was driving the superintendent’s grandchild to the special school. Benedict said prosecutor’s made assumptions in the case before speaking to Uszenski or his daughter, who was also charged.

“They had this theory of what happened, but as I said to the judge, they came up with this theory before ever talking to anybody,” Benedict said after the hearing. “If they would have simply talked to the mother, they would have understood what happened here.”

It is unclear whether Uszenski will return to his position as schools superintendent in Brick. In a similar case in Lacey Township two years ago, a superintendent returned to her position after an indictment was dismissed.

This is a breaking story. Shorebeat has requested the full text of Roe’s decision and will update this story as new facts become available.


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  • J W

    He’ll either go back to work or cost the town a ton in his buyout/settlement for unlawful termination.

    • Beach N8iv

      If you want to live in the most corrupt state north of the Mason/Dixon Line it’s gonna cost you.

      • J W

        Surveys usually point to the Dakotas as having that dubious honor if I’m not mistaken.

  • Frank Rizzo

    I thought this is why we elected Christie,,,,County Prosecutors rarely win cases unless they are slam dunks…never submit easily to them. They are not that good at what they do,

  • Surfrider

    shows the ineptness of these attorneys who get these jobs because of being connected, rather than being good….another fish gets away to really clean-up and steal some more…….

  • Hbadger

    I think the fish is Team ducey. Somehow a mayor tipped off ocpo after his friend got demoted for losing 750k of public funds! Politics as usual at the cost of tax payers!

  • Make America Greater

    Asbury Park Press has big article today about Ducey being behind this whole thing.

  • Jonathan

    So let’s get this straight.. Ducey initially calls the paper and demands a retraction and says.. the official opinion or ruling made by a JUDGE is baseless and untrue. (This guy is a lawyer.. correct??) Subsequently, he does a 180 and says, “I did speak the OCPO” BUT he only admitted to this after documents surfaced that confirmed what actually transpired. What is clearly evident, Ducey got caught in a 100% lie. He than proceeded to say.. I did speak with the OCPO but I didn’t speak to the prosecutor’s office about Dr. Uszenski’s grandson. He claims, I only spoke to them about a “relative” to Dr. Uszenski (Come on dude!!) and further stated in the paper… “it was a combination of facts” that he discussed with the OCPO. First off, what the heck does that mean….Seriously? A combination of facts?? However the Ocean County Prosecutors Investigative Report and the brief composed by the OCPO clearly state that the only reason this investigation was ever launched was due to Mayor Ducey alleging that the Superintendents grandson was being transported on a public bus to a private school. Bottom line, the facts demonstrate that this is exactly why Ducey contacted the OCPO. So I ask.. why does this appear odd? Let’s be honest, if a mayor feels that something illegal is happening, anybody would be behind surfacing the issue with the proper authorities regardless of who it was. What is clearly evident based on Ducey’s recent statements/claims is that he is not telling the truth and he appears reluctant to do just that. The question that we all need to ask is… WHY?? Why?? WHY??

    Hold on… what is extremely interesting is that upon Dr. Uszenski’s arrest there was a rampant smearing campaign directed against Dr. Uszenski within the local community. It turns out that right around this time, it was also school board election time baby!!! Interestingly, some claim that advertisements came in almost daily to the residents of Brick NJ picturing Dr. Uszenski behind bars and in jail which had a certain political affiliation. My question, what political party was behind these advertisements and moreso… why? Did Ducey gain (HINT: HE DID) control of the school board with the folks that won the election? If so, what did Ducey gain from this? Some suggest, over a 100 Million dollar annual tax budget and control of the school board. Very interesting…. what a large amount of $$$ to play with…right??? So it appears logical to ask, did the OCPO do Ducey (the mayor) a FAVOR and if so, what did Ducey need to promise in return?

  • Make America Greater

    http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2017/03/01/ducey-concedes-role-supers-probe/98604486/

    Hey Dan, isn’t this Brick Township story newsworthy for a local site?

  • Jonathan

    Ducey initially says.. I was not involved, no way, I demand a retraction!! After he is provided with substantial evidence, he does a a 180 and essentially says, ok, MY BAD, I did speak with them but “it was a combination of facts” (what? what?? Oh..Ducey, Ducey, Ducey!! ), People…ask yourself why would he not want to be upfront in the first place? THE TRUTH IS COMING… Good luck with your re-election efforts Ducey!

    • john talty

      I think the proper thing for Ducey to have done was tell the bus driver if they have a complaint to bring it to the Superintendent himself. What the hell does Ducey have with the School District.
      On another issue I have not seen any persons who railed against this Superintendent apologize, for their comments. The unfairness done to this man was just plain unjust. They did not see or hear the whole story and when one heard the judge ask the prosecutor many questions, you saw a prosecutor who could not answer any of her questions. In addition the prosecutor did not give the jury all the information needed for the jury to make a just decision. Now that they have ruined the Superintendent life, I Hope Dr. Uszenski does sue for all legal fees and anything else his attorney feel would be Fair to the Uszenski Family.

    • Make America Greater

      Ducey and his girlfriend Jim Fozman also led the taxpayers to believe that they would not take cadillac health benefits for their part time jobs if elected.
      Theyre taking them at a cost of about $35,000 a year each.
      They also insinuated they would roll back Acropolis 25% tax increase.
      They didnt. They even raised it again a couple of times.