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3 N.J.A.R. 136

Scelba, Vincent A. v. Montclair, Essex County, Board of Education of the Town of
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Citation: 3 N.J.A.R. 136
Decision Date: 1981
Synopsis: Vincent Scelba, a tenured teacher-administrator employed by the Montclair Board of Education since 1949, held the administrative position of Advisory Specialist in the Arts from 1975 through 1978 when it was abolished by the Board. Scelba argues that the Board's abolition of his position and transfer to a teaching position violated his tenure rights. He asserts that a new position, Director of the Arts and Career Education, involving duties similar to the Advisory Spe- cialist position, was created in 1978, refused to him and filled by the Board with an uncertified outsider. The administrative law judge found that after Scelba's application for and subsequent rejection from the new Director's position in 1978, he and the Board entered into negotiations resulting in an agreement by which Scelba was to be paid an unreduced salary for 1978-79 and was to serve as Coordinator of Music in addition to teaching music. The Board and Scelba signed an agreement to this effect and the agreement was carried out in 1978-79. The judge found that by terms of this agreement, Scelba agreed to give up efforts to vindicate any alleged violation of his tenure rights, and that he and the Board had resolved any dispute they had. The judge noted that absent fraud, mistake, duress or recision (none of which were found to be present) this agreement extinguished any claim Scelba might have had on the position of Director. Additionally, the administrative law judge determined that Scelba's claim was barred by N.J.A.C. 6:24-1.2 which required that any claim seeking relief before the Commissioner of Education must be filed within 90 days of the complained-of event. Here, the judge found that the 90 days began to run the day Scelba was notified that he had been State of New Jersey 137 rejected for the new position and his claim was filed well beyond the time limit. Accordingly, the judge concluded that Scelba's petition should be dismissed. Sheldon H. Pincus, Esq. for Petitioner (Goldberg & Simon, Attor- neys) Dean J. Paranicas, Esq., for Respondent (McCarter & English, Attorneys)
Rule(s) Cited: 6:24-1.2