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13 N.J.A.R. 963

Slater, Gregory v. Bd. Ed. of of Ramapo- Indian Hills
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Citation: 13 N.J.A.R. 963
Decision Date: 1988
Synopsis: Petitioner was suspended from his position as a tenured school custodian after he was arrested for selling marijuana. He was subse- quently indicted and pied guilty, thus forfeiting his employment. Peti- tioner claimed he was entitled to back pay from the date of his suspension to the date of forfeiture. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing. The administrative law judge assigned to the case granted peti- tioner's motion for summary judgment. The judge said petitioner was entitled to back pay because respondent suspended petitioner without certifying tenure charges pursuant to N.J.S..4. 18A:6-14 or by reason of indictment pursuant to N.J.S..4. 18A:6-8.3. Because respondent failed to follow these procedures, the judge concluded that salary payment to petitioner was obligatory. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Commissioner of Education. The Commissioner agreed that petitioner's suspension violated his tenure rights. Suspension pending criminal investigation or trial must be with full pay unless the suspension is by reason of indictment or tenure charges have been filed. In this case, petitioner was suspended upon arrest, not indictment. The State Board of Education affirmed. The Appellate Division affirmed in part, reversed in part and re- manded. The court held that petitioner was entitled to back pay until his indictment, but the indictment legitimized his suspension without further action by respondent. Ezra D. Rosenberg, Esq., for petitioner (Katzenbach, Gildea & Rudner, attorneys) Allan P. Dzwilewski, Esq., for respondent (Green and Dzwilewski, P.A.)