TOMS RIVER – Two investigations have begun in the school district’s administration. The first is into complaints of sexual harassment from the superintendent. The other is into how that information got leaked to the media.
The first part involves a complaint against Superintendent David Healy. The Asbury Park Press reported that Healy was accused of making “inappropriate” comments about an employee’s clothing and legs.
“We’re taking the allegations seriously,” said board attorney Stephen Leone. Retired Superior Court judge Vincent Grasso was assigned to meet with all parties and conduct an investigation. He is employed through Leone’s firm Carluccio, Leone, Dimon, Doyle & Sacks.
The investigation was made public by news sources last week, which surprised those involved. The problem with investigations being made public before being concluded is that the public automatically assumes that the investigated party is guilty.
The article said that the complaint had been given to the Toms River Board of Education and district business administrator William Doering. It was originally sent by the New Jersey Education Association. A copy of the complaint was provided to the newspaper.
“I don’t think the complainant is happy about it. It should not be in the public right now,” Leone said. Once the investigation is complete, then it can be spoken about. “Personnel issues are confidential. The consequences can be public.”
An independent investigation is therefore looking into who spilled the information to newspapers, he said.
Steve Baker, director of communications for the NJEA, agreed that they are not happy with the issue being made public. In fact, they declined sharing the complaint with The Toms River Times.
“I can confirm that neither the association nor the complainant wanted the letter to be leaked,” Baker said.
He added that the NJEA is not investigating how it was leaked, since the district is handling that.