Home Police, Fire & Courts Grand Jury Re-Indicts Suspended Brick Schools Super Uszenski

Grand Jury Re-Indicts Suspended Brick Schools Super Uszenski

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

Nearly four months after an Ocean County Superior Court judge threw out an indictment against suspended Brick schools superintendent Walter Uszenski, prosecutors have successfully obtained a new indictment from a new grand jury, officials confirmed.

Uszenski had been charged with official misconduct and theft after prosecutors said he provided his grandson with after-school services to which he was not entitled. Defense attorneys have argued that the child was enrolled in the after-school program before his grandfather ever worked in Brick, and was re-enrolled only after he was not doing well in regular classes. Judge Patricia Roe said the defense’s claims were not included in an initial grand jury presentation, which prompted her to dismiss the charges against Uszenski and his daughter.

Prosecutors could have appealed Roe’s decision, however such a process could have taken a substantial amount of time. Instead, they chose to re-present the case to a new grand jury.

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“We believed that the best and most expedient way to handle the matter would have been to take [Roe’s] concerns into consideration, re-present with her concerns – and the jury came back with a true bill, a new indictment,” Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato told Shorebeat.

Uszenski, under state law, will be offered a plea deal after arraignment.

“It’s going to now follow the procedure,” Coronato said of the case.

The latest indictment restores the charges against Uszenski, his daughter, Jacqueline Halsey as well as Andrew J. Morgan, the former Interim Director of Special Services for Brick public schools and his wife Lorraine Morgan, who served as Academic Officer for the district. 

“It is the intention of my office to pursue this case,” Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said in a statement. “This case represents a serious breach of the public trust. We have carefully reviewed the Court’s decision, which resulted in the dismissal of a prior indictment. We are mindful of our legal responsibilities and obligations. The matter has been presented to another grand jury, which after evaluation of the evidence presented, returned this new indictment.”

Through Roe’s previous decision, it was revealed that Brick Mayor John Ducey reported allegations against Uszenski to the prosecutor’s office after a bus driver who had been terminated for leaving a child on a bus came to his office. Both Ducey, the bus driver as well as the school district and township are named in a $60 million lawsuit Uszenski has indicated he will file.

It also came to light recently that all of the Board of Education members who served while Uszenski was superintendent were called to provide testimony before the grand jury.

The indictment charges Uszenski, Andrew Morgan and Jacqueline Halsey with official misconduct, a second degree crime, for “engaging in a course of conduct that resulted in the creation and implementation of a fraudulent purported Individualized Education Program for Mrs. Halsey’s then pre-school aged child,” the provision of “illegal and improper in-home counseling services for the child at public expense” and transportation expenses. The defendants are also charged with theft by deception.

Lorraine Morgan is charged with official misconduct, a third degree crime, in connection with the approval of payment to a school district employee for providing in-home counseling services to the superintendent’s grandson, in her official capacity as the district’s Academic Officer.

The indictment also charges Uszenski with official misconduct, a crime of the second degree, for failing, as superintendent, to properly investigate Andrew J. Morgan’s prior employment history before recommending Andrew Morgan to the Brick Board of Education for employment as the Interim Manager of Special Education. It was revealed that Morgan had previously been convicted of a drug offense, although he was legally allowed to hold a teaching license in New Jersey after completing an amnesty program the state formerly offered. He was granted a waiver and cleared background checks, officials have said.

The indictment charges Andrew Morgan with two separate counts of false swearing: one, for denying he had been previously convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance and two, for certifying on his “Brick Township Public Schools Online Application” that he had never been arrested, charged or convicted of a criminal offense; and that he had never failed to be rehired, or never had been asked to resign a position, or had never resigned to avoid termination, or never had been terminated from previous employment. 

False swearing is a fourth degree crime.

Uszenski and Andrew Morgan are also charged with theft by deception, a crime of the third degree, between the dates of June 18, 2013 and December 31, 2013, for “creating the false impression that Andrew Morgan had truthfully set forth his employment and criminal histories on his employment application” and was qualified to be appointed to the position of Interim Manager and/or Director of Special Services.

Uszenski and Andrew Morgan were also charged with “engaging in a pattern” of official misconduct.


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  • Janet

    🙂

  • Mac

    The only serious breach of the public trust in this case is the serious lack of ability of an overly pompous Ocean County prosecutor. You can get a grand jury to indict a flea for assault for simply biting a dog. Shopping for a third jury in an effort to still try and seal a political witch-hunt that two prior courts have already rejected your claims in is nothing more than an expensive taxpayer-funded ego trip.

    • Christy Lynn

      clearly you do not work in the district. This was a serious breach of ethics.

      • Mac

        Ethics, in NJ? And a serious breach of ethics to boot? Surely, you jest. But thanks for the belly laugh. If there were any ethics in Ocean County governments on any level,we would have a county prosecutor that could stand up on his own without having to depend on a gross of rubber strings to control his actions that he sooooo overspent to have attached to him. I mean, if you were a competent attorney, would you want to be known for being a Gilmore daisy chain charm?

      • Christy Lynn

        I have no idea what you are referencing with rubber strings and Gilmore daisy chain. Mocking an attempt to hold someone accountable for unethical behavior is not going to help make things better. This was a breach of ethics and Dr. U and his cronies are being held accountable. Period.

      • Mac

        So, when are you taking the family to Storybook Land again?

      • Christy Lynn

        you are a being a little rude to me. Holding on to ideals in a world where they are being decimated does not mean I live in fantasy land. Intelligent conversation can be had without trying to de-legitimize the person with whom you are conversing.

      • Mac

        Ideals are wonderful, and I support your right to display them. However, they can cloud the big picture with their righteousness. A breach of ethics in Ocean County is standard operating procedure (actually the backbone of the system,) but not necessarily criminal, even if it should be.

        What we have here are two professional political cronies gaming the system so all the politically-connected can turn some more big bucks out of the taxpayers while others gain political fame perhaps. And as your annual tax bill indicates, business as usual.

        If you don’t know anything about the rubber strings and Gilmore daisy chain, then you don’t know enough about the arena to understand that accountability often depends on the whim of the moment, or the order of the day, not what is right or wrong, or in the best interest of the public.

      • Christy Lynn

        What I take from what you are saying is that unethical behaviors go on all the time and that in this instance it is being used as a political tool and not serving the needs of the public. Is that correct?

      • Mac

        Exactly.

      • Andy Pat

        So where and when should one be held accountable for unethical or illegal behavior since those behaviors “go on all the time”? Maybe this could be a starting point?

      • Mac

        I never said no one shouldn’t be held accountable regardless of whether is goes on all the time or not. What I said was this case was a witch hunt being conducted by a county prosecutor with less substance, ability and character than the accused. When a county prosecutor has established that he can’t be believed by a jury before he even walks into the court room, then everything becomes reasonable doubt.

        As for a starting point in Ocean County to clean up corruption and unethical conduct, it has to begin in the voting booth. Otherwise, it’s just more of the same, like appointing a Chris Christie racketeer to improve the image of the FBI.

      • thevacumn

        Just curious isn’t this the same prosecutor that let a Freeholder’s daughter off the hook for stealing $ 40,000.00 from I think Stafford. township.,where she worked.She received something like probation and a 700.00 dollar fine.There is simularities here with this case as it stands.Eacept Dr u is NOT GUILITY.

      • Mac

        It was in LEH. And no, Coronato was the lifetime zero-substance appointment of America’s foremost zero-substance governor, Chris Christie, whose appointments were, and continue to be, made for his own personal gain without an worthy abilities required, at least for the public’s benefit and well-being.

        However, for the citizens of Ocean County, Coronato was an extremely sub-standard appointment even from the former prosecutor Ford’s service, who set the standards that inspired Appleby to make the ‘necessary commitments’ to become a Superior Court judge (for a day or two before being bounced back to reality.) Of course, Ford ended up selling out to become a Republican and Appleby switched to a Democrat firm (thus reducing their political status even less,) but I guess that’s what the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office tunnel visions and toutings are all about, aside from protecting the Ocean County Republican Racketeering Empire along with the US Attorney’s Office of tarnished Chris Christie fame and continued practices.

        No matter how one looks at government operations in Ocean County, it’s not a pretty picture, albeit an expensive one.

      • Christy Lynn

        ok I hear you….

      • john talty

        Your opinion, not based on factual information. As for Grand Jury they only get to hear one side of the story. This prosecutor has in my opinion a serious problem with the truth as expounded by the Judge who threw the original case out of court for violations that violate the law.

      • Christy Lynn

        The grand jury hears the facts to determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial. In the trial the defense presents its side and a jury makes the decision. How is that not factual?

      • Hbadger

        I adore the fact you have so much faith in your government. Hopefully your positive attitude will spread. But facts are dr. U upset those in power. Standard method, hit media with absurd reports, try to ruin his family and make him run out of money. Then settle at a later time when things cool down and voters dont care. It’s not dolphin and rainbows out there so stay safe!

      • Christy Lynn

        I don’t understand why hoping for right to win out is considered dolphins and rainbows…I am a full fledged realistic adult who has worked in this district for a very long time. Dr. U was not a good presence in the district and his unethical behavior was icing on the cake. We are better off with him gone and it he ever had the ability to return I would leave immediately. If we continually treat people who hold ideals closely as unrealistic we will never have an ideal world. I am a realist….but continue to hope for a better reality.

      • Hbadger

        You miss the point that you are unrealistic to assume the government is right. You may disagree with dr. U style but doesn’t mean he did wrong. Donna stump misplaced 750k and somehow she still has a job in the same position. By the way, she’s also worked a really long time in the district, of which is corrupt and power grabbing haven with a lack of integrity

      • Christy Lynn

        actually she was demoted I believe

  • Hbadger

    This is going to cost brick some real money unless they can use this as leverage to avoid a lawsuit. Politics at it’s best. Ocpo is so incompetent and corrupt that it makes me look both ways on a one way street. Humanity is done

  • Frank Rizzo

    Kind of scary to think if you are found not guilty they can try you and try you until you are found guilty.

    • Christy Lynn

      he was not found not guilty in a trial. His indictment was thrown out on a technicality. The trial has not even begun. If he had stood trial already he could not be brought up on the same charges.

      • Frank Rizzo

        So…the facts that caused the technicality have changed…are you sure…the facts are the same now as then…just a way to bankrupt the defendants and have them submit to a minor conviction to save the town and county millions in lawsuits once they take a plea. It was not a technicality of someone not signing a document. Once they plea the county and town are off the hook.

      • john talty

        Christy Lynn, I would suggest you read Judge Roe’s decision (https://www.scribd.com/document/340725582/Judge-s-decision-dismissing-charges-in-misconduct-case-against-suspended-Brick-Schools-Superintendent#from_embed) and than decide based on the evidence that the prosecutor deliberately chose not to give the grand jury, whether this would not have changed that grand juries opinion and perhaps yours.

      • Christy Lynn

        It was a hefty job, but I did read it. Based on what I read I understand your position. So how is it that a new Grand Jury re indicted ? Was the exculpatory evidence presented and they still found it worth pursuing?

  • Surfrider

    It should be scary, this guy is guilty! this is the second grand jury (remember….a group of our peers !), have seen beyond what they see as reasonable reason to do this. MY money is on the different groups of peers that see the evidence against this guy, and say c’mon, something is very suspicious here, and he DID do what they say. Do you think it is right? I do not…too too many of these school officials take too many privileges that they are not entitled to! Cheaters of the system!

    • john talty

      Remember in a grand jury, only the OCPO was in the room with the jury. He interviewed myself, and the other six BOE members, three of whom were on the two committees I served on. Dr. U’s Attorney was not allowed to speak at the grand Jury. He and the doctor spoke to the Judge, who after listening to all the evidence that was not given to the grand Jury by the Prosecutor, threw out the case and lambasted the Prosecutor for himself violating the law in not giving the Jury ALL the information. I know this to be true as I was one of two BOE members present during the case being thrown out of court.

  • Surfrider

    HOPEFULLY, we get to the real truth of all this, cause if this guy walks again, the taxes are going to double around here….and fire the DA in charge of this, must to went to the OJ school of screwing up a case!

    • Hbadger

      Facts are the kid was special needs and only a federal agent would be able to have Pulled Morgan criminal background. State cleared him to work so there seems to be other motivates here. I read the old dismissal and judge said ocpo held back essential evidence. Respect law enforcement but don’t trust OCPO.
      By the way, if you ever been in a grand jury, you would not feel comfortable about our justice system

      • thevacumn

        Just thinking Freeholder Kellys daughter stole $40,000.00 as a clerk in a town in ocean county, and the OCPO lets her go with a slap on the wrist.Something like probation and $700.00 restitution.Pure case of thief.What is so different with the Uszensk casei.It’s all all about the services the young boy needs nothing more

    • peter mcelroy

      The real truth did come out, the ocpo and mayor didn’t like the outcome.We will try again it’s not our money! It could save,them from personal lawsuits.Keep slinging mud ,it will not stick Poor tax payers of Brick and Ocean County,for letting this to Happen.

  • J W

    The school board of Bricktucky is more interesting than that Kardashian show.

    • Frank Rizzo

      How are your people doing in Chicago….That is a real city to learn from…

      • J W

        Go burn a cross.

      • KaayC

        Frank, give it a rest.

  • Surfrider

    Just pettit juror a number of times. I do not argue that for sure!

  • KaayC

    I say lets fire the whole rotten stinking crew in this administrative Board. From the top down, we want a do-over. The town needs a fresh start and some reasonable salaries in administration.

  • thevacumn

    Is this the same Stump that was demoted for incompetence. Now gets promoted to a higher salary. Is there a story here about the school board and prosecutor to have a witness change her story to save 60 million dollars. The plot thickens.