Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bound Brook Board of Ed entered into three confidential employee separation agreements during 2016.

Update 01/22/17:  Portacio's tenure charges have been received and placed on-line here.  She was charged with doing work for other other school district while being paid by (and on the clock for) the Bound Brook school district.
--------------------------------------------
During 2016, the Bound Brook Board of Education (Somerset County) entered into confidential separation agreements with at least three employees.  Two of the agreements were to settle "pending personnel matters" and one was to settle "pending tenure charges."

The tenure charge matter involved School Psychologist Gladys Portacio who agreed to resign effective August 31, 2016. The agreement did not call for Portacio to receive any money and did not specify the nature of the conduct underlying the tenure charges.  An Open Public Records Act (OPRA) has been filed for the tenure charges and this article will be updated with the results of that settlement.

Nearly identical agreements were also signed by Director of Building and Grounds Raul Nieves and Director of Technology Leo Dreitser who, respectively, resigned on March 31, 2016 and June 30, 2016.  Both agreements resolved undefined "pending personnel matters" and Nieves received $12,284.71 accrued sick and vacation time under the agreement.

Both Nieves' and Dreitser's agreements had text redacted from them that stated: "The Board agrees that any [redacted] records or notes relating to [redacted] will be kept out of his School District personnel file(s)."  The reason given for the redactions was "Confidential Personnel Information, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10."

Each agreement contained a confidentiality clause that prevents the parties from disclosing it.  Fortunately, OPRA trumps such clauses.