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Interim Brick Schools Super To Earn $177K in New Position

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Interim Brick schools superintendent Dr. Richard Caldes will earn just shy of the state-allowed maximum while he serves as schools chief.

Caldes, the long-time principal of Brick Memorial High School who most recently serves as a central administrator with the district in the title of Educational Specialist, had been earning $151,470. After the arrest of former superintendent Walter Uszenski last month on theft charges, Caldes was appointed to serve until the charges against Uszenski are resolved and a new superintendent can be chosen.

Last week, the Board of Education ratified a revised contract for Caldes that increases his salary by $100 per day over his previous position, which totals $682.57. Based on a 260 day work year, Caldes will earn the equivalent of $177,468, just shy of the state-allowed maximum salary of $177,500.

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Uszenski’s salary was $177,500, the maximum, but included a number of bonuses for reaching contractually-specified goals. Caldes’ contract as interim superintendent does not carry any language allowing for bonuses.

According to the contract, Caldes will serve in the position until July 31, 2015. The board would then have to tender him a new contract to continue to have him lead the district.

What’s Next for Uszenski?

Since Uszenski has not been indicted by a grand jury on the theft charges, the board must, by law, continue to pay him his salary as well. The board can only vote to suspend Uszenski without pay once a grand jury returns an indictment.

Should a grand jury “no bill” Uszenski and fail to return an indictment, the matter regarding his contract would likely be complicated. In Lacey Township, when an indictment against superintendent Sandra Brower was reversed, school board members in that town said they had no choice but to reinstate her as superintendent. Brower continues to serve as superintendent in Lacey today, though the board there voted in a pre-emptive fashion against renewing her contract while charges were still pending against her.