School Officer Denied Pretrial Intervention

The Brick Board Of Education Office. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

TOMS RIVER – The former Brick Township Schools academic officer won’t be allowed into a pretrial intervention program.

Lorraine S. Morgan had been charged with official misconduct for allegedly approving payments for in-home services which were not authorized, regarding then-Brick schools Superintendent Walter Uszenski, his daughter Jacqueline Halsey, and Morgan’s husband Andrew Morgan, who put Uszenski’s grandchild in full-time preschool day care at the public’s expense. That child was fraudulently classified as disabled to get those services at no cost.

The pretrial intervention program gives defendants, usually first-time offenders, “alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to render early rehabilitative services when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior,” according to the New Jersey Courts website.

Though Morgan was rejected from the program by the county program director and Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels overruled their objections and ordered Morgan into the program.

However, on July 19, a two-judge panel reversed Daniels’ decision.

“[It] is the fundamental responsibility of the Prosecutor to decide whom to prosecute,” Appellate Judges Joseph L. Yannotti and Michael J. Haas wrote in their decision. “…[Daniels] ignored the nature of the offense, the facts of the case, and the impact placing defendant in PTI would have on the prosecution of her co-defendants.”