Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Excuse Me Teacher, What Is "Evidence?"

Simon Says - Any Evidence, Perhaps???

Anybody who knows anything about Manalapan's school district knows two things - Great Teachers and James Wasser. Now, add a third - Tenure-Gate.

It seems da principal of Manalapan High School has not been behind his desk lately. In fact, Principal Jeff Simon hasn't been allowed to walk the halls of his high school since December when he was put on paid leave. Why was Simon put on paid leave? Da problem was - nobody knows why - apparently not even Simon's lawyer!

So, Simon says, I'd like to know why I can't work but am still getting paid to do nothing. Simon says - Hire a Lawyer. Da question is - who should Simon hire?

Simon says - get da best lawyer available? Simon says - Hire da Mosked Man!

Does Simon really need a lawyer? Simon says - You Bet'cha!

Da other day, it was reported in da local online newspaper that da Board of Education voted in CLOSED session after a meeting to certify tenure charges against Simon, and then walked into a crowded B of E meeting to let everyone know what they did without public knowledge, to da dismay and ire of da people in attendance. It seems, in reality, da board had no choice, as da Mosked Man had done what any good legal eagle would - asked them if before da Mayan calendar predicts a doomsday that they might find in their hearts to actually charge his client with something!

So, not only did da B of E announce three tenure charges that have been filed against Simon by the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education - they also announced they have a high-powered (and guess who's paying for this one) law firm of Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein & Celso handling their case!

Now, da even bigger question -- Did Simon deport children? Did Simon leave his wife like that California teacher for a student? Were "Birthers" looking into Simon's birth certificate? Is he daTruthSquad?

As far as can be determined, none of these claims were made, although da process is still young.

Here's what Simon has allegedly been accused of --- (1) alleges mishandling of student activity funds and accounts --- (2) alleged missing money from a Manalapan High School event --- (3) alleges he took $2,000 from da till of a high school play, and (4) placed kids at risk.

Now, to be fair, these are all serious charges on da surface. Also, to be fair, in one of these charges, Simon had originally made whistelblower claims against da very person who now claims he took da money.

Simon claims, and it was apparently done 2 years ago, according to da Manalapan Patch, "Simon alerted Board Secretary and Business Administrator Sean Boyce about Louise Dellasala, who had opened a checking account in both her name and “Manalapan High School” as well as gained a debit card from the account and established a credit card in her name and the high school’s name."

According to da Mosked Man, "She had access to all of the money, she handled all of the money, she’s got these bogus accounts and she’s the accuser saying he stole the money." Could this be a "he said 2 years ago/she now says" situation? Moskovitz adds, "all play funds are collected after the play has completed its run. Dellasala approached the play director and asked for the money before the play completed its run; the play director did not comply and rather gave Simon the funds once the play run had ended. Simon later gave the funds to Dellasala when she requested it. In Dellasala’s affidavit, she indicates that Simon provided her with money to deposit, but she later found envelopes in a plastic bin drawer beneath Simon’s desk that listed the amounts of the funds on them and she is alleging that Simon provided her with $2,000 less than the amount listed on the envelopes."

Now, it appears both Simon and his extremely highly competent counsel are not going to take this sitting down - and while we're at it - what was she doing looking under his desk for things?

Simon and da Mosked Man attended da B of E "surprise," and tells da newspaper he is “unfairly being victimized by a retaliatory, revengeful act in violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act”. Simon went on to say that “not a single one of the 12 charges is valid, truthful, substantiated with evidence, warranted, legitimate, or reason for tenure charges to be brought against [him].”

To be fair, da B of E released a statement of their own, including "Many of the comments and allegations (made by Simon) are highly inappropriate and wrongly impugn the credibility of employees in good standing." So, they are standing with da people Simon accuses.

Of course, da Mosked Man would never let an inflammatory statement like that sit by, sending out one of his own from da Patch that says "Not one word of Mr. Simon's certification is untrue. Not a single word. Had the District truly wished to 'take the necessary steps to preserve and protect the integrity of this institution'as they claim in their press release, they would not have maliciously impugned the character and reputation of a highly respected principal with not a shred of evidence other than the bald statements of those with an improper ax to grind, they would have taken action against those who in fact have perpetrated misdeeds at taxpayers expense, they would not have insisted on voting to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this witch hunt prior to hearing the public, knowing hundreds of people were in the auditorium waiting to be heard on the matter, they wouldn't have chosen to cavalierly jeopardize the admissions to the colleges of their choice of dozens of students who deserve better from their school district, and they wouldn't do all of this at the direction of a law firm they had removed as Board counsel due to bad advice, poor judgment and questionable billing in the past."

Now, if you didn't think this would get even more interesting, you probably don't know much about Manalapan buearacrats.

First, you have one person alleging a crime was committed by Simon - a person who Simon alleged some wrongdoing about that person 2 years ago. Then, you have another school individual who claims Simon walked off with a couple of hundred dollars - and that person too was once disciplined by Simon!

Oh, and then there's da other "wrongdoing" alleged committed by Simon which includes "alleged mismanagement of several fire drills." Yes, that's not a typo. He allegedly "risked the safety of students and employees" during those fire drills."

DaTruth is, you have in Simon a highly popular and hard-working leader, who now faces charges against him brought by someone he had already whistleblew on and another whom he once reprimanded. And, you have da district now contending that he ran fire drills that somehow put kids at risk - an allegation that yes, we have to admit, even shocked daTruthSquad!!! By da way, they have apparently not yet released why they believe there was "alleged" fire drill "mismanagement." Was he not wearing a shiny red fireman's hat?

For that, untold "hundreds of thousands of dollars" will be spent at taxpayer expense to go after Manalapan's High School principal, who, ironically, is now is on unpaid leave after his lawyer demanded to know da charges against his client.

DaTruth is, and this is from da Manalapan legal eagle's themselves, claiming their charges might be "perhaps, criminal in nature.” Note da word, "perhaps." "Perhaps" they are, "Perhaps" they are not. Here are some other questions to "perhaps" consider - Who "perhaps" directed the secretary to go through da office of da principal to locate alleged envelopes? Did these alleged envelopes actually "perhaps" exist? What "perhaps" was the status of the whistleblower claim made by da Principal against da secretary prior to "envelope-gate? How far did da "alleged investigation" into Simon really go? Who actually did da "investigation, who "perhaps" ordered it, and were actual crime-fighting investigators even "perhaps" involved? Did da board "perhaps" just take da word of employees who were either disciplined/and or whistelblew on?

Any lawyer will tall you it's not whether you are guilty or not - it's what you can prove. In this case, are the charges actually able to be proved against Principal Simon? Is da B of E's 120-minute closed-door meeting worth a six-figure taxpayer-funded investigation? Is it possible da B of E is either, knowingly or unknowingly, moving forward without all 100% of da facts proven in da allegations?

DaTruth is, we have seen in da last five years well-over six-figure taxpayer-funded lawsuits fought by da Township of Manalapan against daTruthSquad, against da Mosked Man, against da former Police Chief, and also ridicule heaped on Manalapan and da Manalapan-Freehold Board of Ed over "Diploma-Mill-Gate." Now, we have da principal of Manalapan High School facing charges, with allegations in part brought by someone he whistleblew on, and another he once reprimanded. There are too many questions indeed that are going unanswered, and those are just in this blog!

Now, to be fair, nobody is saying that da teacher and da secretary have done anything improper, and we will not be saying anything regarding that nor should we. What is being asked is - is da "evidence" that has been submitted bonafide, da character of da witnesses completely unquestionable, and is this a case that deserves to be given merit? Those are questions any lawyer representing a client would in all liklihood ask. Have those questions been asked?

Maybe it's time da state performed an impartial investigation into this. Otherwise, taxpayers could, "perhaps" be potentially on da hook for a six-figure fishing expedition.

Simon says - do da right thing and properly investigate this matter. Let daTruth be told.

And that's daTruth!