State Judge Upholds Removal of Perth Amboy Superintendent

September 12, 2012

 PERTH AMBOY — The Perth Amboy school board properly passed a resolution to remove embattled Superintendent Janine Caffrey, a state Administration Law judge ruled today.

“I further order that the board may place Caffrey on paid administrative leave per its May 7, 2012 resolution,” Judge Ellen Bass said in ruling.

Bass’ decision now goes to state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf, who has 45 days to adopt, modify or reject the judge’s action.

Bass rejected Caffrey’s appeal challenging the board’s decision to remove her, and granted the board’s motion for summary decision.

School board members first voted 4-0 on April 25 to remove Caffrey over a string of personnel charges, with five board members abstaining over conflicts of interests. Cerf overturned that vote.

On May 7, board members invoked a “doctrine of necessity,” permitting all board members to vote, and then passed a resolution 6-0 to place Caffrey on leave to negotiate a settlement of the last two years of her contract.

Cerf overturned that resolution and Caffrey appealed to an Administrative law judge.

Board members accuse Caffrey of insubordination and damaging morale in the school district. Caffrey has called the charges baseless.

Reached this morning, Caffrey said she is still awaiting a ruling from the state School Ethics Commission on charges she filed against several school board members. A ruling is expected later this month.