Home School News Brick Schools to Pay $275K Whistleblower Settlement to Former Vice Principal

Brick Schools to Pay $275K Whistleblower Settlement to Former Vice Principal

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Brick Township Memorial High School (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick Township Memorial High School (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Brick Township school district will settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former vice principal for $275,000, according to documents obtained by Shorebeat through an Open Public Records Act request.

Brenda Coyle, a former vice principal at Brick Memorial High School, filed the lawsuit last year, claiming Richard Caldes, the current BMHS principal and former interim superintendent, put the wheels in motion for her to be fired after she refused to change his stepson’s grade in the district’s computer system.

The district, in settlement papers, denied any wrongdoing on the part of any of its employees and continued to “deny the validity of the … disputed claims” Coyle made in her lawsuit. Coyle and the district signed both a non-disparagement and non-disclosure agreement, however the state’s public records law supersedes such civil contractual agreements.

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Coyle was denied tenure by the district, prompting the lawsuit.

The complaint, filed in Ocean County Superior Court in January 2016 by Coyle, the former administrator, states that Caldes contacted her on Jan. 4, 2016, four months before he became interim superintendent, to request Coyle log into Apex, an online course program, and change his stepson’s grade. According to the lawsuit, Caldes told Coyle his son “did not have a high enough score to progress through the program.”

Coyle refused, stating in court papers that it would have been illegal for her to access the Apex account needed to change the grade because the student’s teachers had not authorized her to do so.

Coyle states in the lawsuit that her non-tenure was retaliation over her refusal to change the grade. Caldes, she alleges, told her the reason for his decision was based on “evaluations and observations,” but Coyle claims both her evaluations and observations were “uniformly positive.”

Alan H. Schorr, Coyle’s attorney, told Shorebeat in 2006 that Coyle became “persona non grata” with the district and was unable to find another job.

Both parties are now barred from commenting publicly on the settlement.


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  • 205167117

    How is this guy still the BMHS principal? If they’re confident enough to pay her the money then how is he still employed?

    I can understand a private person or company coming to an agreement outside court but not a public school. By keeping it out of court they’re keeping someone employed that’s technically costing us a lot of money for their mistake.

    If you pay you must think she has a case. If you think she has a case then you think the person in charge of a HS might not be fit to have that responsibility.

    • Virginia Amberger-Delconzo

      Not necessarily, sometimes its cheaper to settle than to pay the lawyers for court appearances etc.

      • 205167117

        I understand but paying a settlement is like saying uncle. If they’re confident enough to pay the accuser then at the very least the accused needs to be investigated.

        That’s the problem with a settlement is the investigation and discovery don’t occur.

        You don’t get that amount of money and an order not to discuss it unless there’s specifics that you don’t want in the public.

        There’s no reason for the details to be sealed. They should disclose what they know.

      • Hbadger

        It’s election time for douchery, so he didn’t want this to become an issue. Well done Shorebeat to expose the truth! It’s interesting that the mayor lied and pledged his civic duty to question Dr.U integrity but all these other events go unrecognized. Seems to me, that the real hardworking people of brick need to rid themselves of these leeches. A real clean slate!

      • Surfrider

        Yup!!

      • Virginia Amberger-Delconzo

        I agree, especially since we are the ones paying it

      • Surfrider

        absolutely! That is very logical what you present and NOThING should be kept from public record!

      • KaayC

        Well stated.

    • KaayC

      Agreed! Absolutely.

    • KaayC

      Please go to the township Board of Ed. website and ask them. I did. If more people would, they might be held accountable for this travesty.

      • Surfrider

        good point…..Its the only way one can get government to work for them a little and hold accountable many of these people who “serve us” ha

      • KaayC

        Sometimes people get the government they deserve.

  • Hbadger

    Let me get this right Clean slate:
    State aid reduce= BA, Edwards gets a raise because he knows how to keep slush fund
    Clades cost district 275k from criminal and unethical request =gets district job working less
    Stump mismanaged 750k= gets nice AC office with high pay

    Good to be friends with the mayor! Education should have no place for politics

    • KaayC

      And lets not forget qualified people who are not thieves get passed over for friends and family. You hire my nephew in Jackson and I’ll hire your daughter in Brick wink, wink. They are all a bunch of poopie draws in administration. Pheww.

  • dave lasky

    This is done all the time. The schools insurance company will always make an offer for less than what it would cost to fight alll the way to the end and possibly lose. So still innocent till found guilty. Thats why hes still in power.

    • 205167117

      There is no insurance for integrity and honesty for you HS principal.

      An insurance company has nothing to do with this. The township looks at what they know and they’re given a recommendation whether they should proceed in court or settle.

      The settlement is paid by the township, not an insurance company.

      Insurance is for accidents.

      • KaayC

        If this buttplug is still employed… Why? I wrote an unanswered letter to administration two weeks ago. People PLEASE do the same. It’s called accountability. We should be petitioning gir his immediate dismissal. Not a witch hunt, but ethics.

    • Hbadger

      It was was about keeping it quiet, not being financial savvy. I don’t see the patch reporting this? Hmmmm

      • KaayC

        Exactly.

  • Surfrider

    This town is so corrupt it is disgusting! These articles of occurring BS with the school is shameful and they all should go to jail. People getting tax dollars unethically over frivolous things has got to stop! With all the unethical happenings in these schools, they are no better than a bunch of crooks with all the cronyism! Not too many of these people could ever rate getting a job on the outside of their butt kissing relatives and friends. Too bad we cannot get Trump to drain the “BIG SWAMP” in this town!

    • Andy Pat

      Trump (the totality of his corruption being revealed before our very eyes) could not drain a boil on his own ass even if he were a surgeon!

      • Surfrider

        I actually see him as a much lesser corruption than obama rama, at least he worked for a living, not like that lazy ass obama rama who never had a job! ……..but not looking to argue, just express my opinion once in a while. And if you do not think things in good ol Brick are corrupt, you must be on life support….and one of the takers……

  • Chief Wahoo

    HA HA. Keep paying those PROPERTY TAXES Bricktucky sheep. This is why Chief Wahoo tries his best to wake you people up. It Will never stop. Until you sheep of Bricktucky say enough is enough. Until then. Enjoy the upcoming tax bills. They are a disgrace.

    • Creepy Green Light

      LOL – “Bricktucky” – Nobody’s ever heard that one before. Be careful, the guys at Comedy Central are probably going to hit you up for your comedy special!

  • Frank Rizzo

    Make the principal pay it….

  • KaayC

    Works for me with the caveat that it come out of Caldez’ retirement pension fund and that he be fired. Good for Coyle for standing up to that creep both ethically and in court! Why isn’t a picture of his mug included in this article? Hold this rat accountable.

    • Rthom

      Wow you really have no clue if you’re blaming the Board of Education

      • KaayC

        If nothing else, they are guilty of a flagrant inability to screen their employees. Where there is smoke there is fire, and I repeat it needs changing.

    • Surfrider

      YUP !!!!!!