Ethical Concerns

Aug 21, 2019

To the Editor:

I appreciate the article by Rick Mellerup about the upcoming Pinelands Regional Board of Education election (“Pinelands Regional Board President Declines to Run,” 8/7). I think it is important to note, per the Little Egg Harbor Board of Education minutes from June 10, Michael J. Cofer and Rachel Harper are Little Egg Harbor School District employees.

In Mroczka v. Pavone-Wilson in 2016, it was held that where a board member of one district simultaneously maintains employment in another district that shares services with the board, especially the sharing of a superintendent, because of the prohibitions of N.J.S.A. 18A: 12-24(c), such a circumstance “is riddled with potential ethical violations, some of which may be incompatible with her continued ability to serve.”

We already have this issue with Little Egg Harbor Board of Education Vice President John Bellone, who is the Pinelands Regional School District’s facilities manager. Should we open our community to potential ethical violations?

Mary Ellen Dippolito

Little Egg Harbor

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