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School Board Appeals Employee Termination Case


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The Verona Board of Education has appealed a finding by a state administrative law judge that it wrongfully denied Judith A. DiNapoli a secretarial position in the district after her job as assistant business administrator was eliminated.

An administrative law judge issued a summary judgement in favor of DiNapoli on April 23, and the Commissioner of Eduction affirmed that decision on June 7.  The commissioner also ordered that if any non-tenured secretarial positions came open in Verona, DiNapoli must be offered those positions. The BOE had eliminated a non-tenured administrative assistant position at its May 22 meeting.

The appeal was filed by the Red Bank law firm of Kenney, Gross, Kovats & Parton. John Quattrocchi, the BOE president, declined to comment on the filing. According to board sources, the BOE has spent about $40,000 on the case.

DiNapoli had worked for Verona schools for 35 years, largely in secretarial positions. On July 1, 2009, under former Verona Superintendent Charles A. Sampson, she accepted a promotion to the position of assistant business administrator. Sampson eliminated that job in March 2011.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. Just another example of wasting taxpayers dollars($40K??). Didn’t the BOE say last fall that these same attorneys lost 2 special ed cases that cost the district almost $300K? And now more taxpayer dollars will be spent on this appeal. If they lose again don’t they have to pay her back pay? Did the attorneys suggest an appeal to preserve their reputation (and of course to make more money)? This BOE needs to be held accountable for this spending since it certainly is of no benefit to the education of our children. Why not “lead by example” and admit when you are wrong- this is a waste of our money and seems to be quite an irresponsible action on behalf of this BOE.

  2. To our “elected officials” on the BOE I say, “how could you and what gives you the right?” to spend that much money on this. In your own home town of Verona ,there are people who are unemployed, homeless, those who have to get their groceries from food pantrys and you have the nerve to spend taxpayers dollars on this? $40K is more than some people make in an annual salary. How much more of our school tax dollars will you continue to spend on this. Shame on you all for you outrageous display of total disregard of the purpose for which you were elected – to ensure the educational welfare of children.

  3. What possible justification can they give for spending over $40,000 so far in this case? And now to spend more in Superior court-why?- because they don’t like the decision of the Commissioner of Ed or are they just sore losers? Judy claimed there was discrimination and retaliation that initially took place here – it’s been in the papers. Is this just a continuation of what she claimed happened to her, because it looks like the actions being taken here are now more personal than anything else. In my opinion, the BOE needs to be told that enough is enough- stop wasting money that is not yours to waste. Obviously there is a need to keep a closer watch on this BOE and how they spend tax payers money- but it looks like the only way we will be able to get the truth is if we do an OPRA request.

  4. Who is the BOE ultimately responsible to? Is it the county
    superintendent ,the Commissioner of Ed or who- does anyone

  5. It’s pretty obvious that they don’t feel they are accountable to anyone. Not even to the Commissioner of Education since they are questioning his knowledge of law
    (and the Judges knowledge too).

  6. Suppose they lose the appeal in the Superior Court ? Will
    they apologize for the tax payer money they spent or better
    yet apologize to this woman for violating her rights and
    dragging this on for so long? Or,just a thought, maybe they are dragging this on intentionally to see if she throws up her hands and walks away from it all- either out of disgust or maybe they hope she runs of out money for her own legal fees!

  7. I don’t know where that site sourced its data, but starting salaries in Verona are quite a bit different. According to data from the New Jersey Education Association (the state teachers’ union), the starting salary in Verona was $46,062 for the 2011-2012 school year. NJEA data, which you can see here, indicates that the starting salary–benefits, of course would push the total quite a bit higher, have been above $40k since the 2005-2006 school year. (By the way, you can find the salaries of any teacher anywhere in the state through the database compiled by the Asbury Park Press from Department of Education data.

    It should be noted that we are unlikely to ever hear the BOE’s side on this case. It, like the Town Council, discusses personnel matters only in private session. And keep in mind that, because of the tenure law that was in force in New Jersey for the last century, school officials rarely pursued dismissals. According to state records, only 20 teachers statewide have been dismissed in the last decade.


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