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Vicari's Last Berkeley Board Of Ed Meeting A Lively One

Board votes to hire interim superintendent, Vicari lashes out at 'Blitzkrieg of 2008'

The Berkeley Township school district will have another 'interim' superintendent on June 1, when former Monmouth County schools superintendent Carole K. Morris takes over.

It's the second time in four years the district has had a temporary superintendent. Current principal Arlene J. Lippincott served for nearly two years in the position when Vicari left.

Berkeley Board of Education members went into closed session at the May 24 board meeting for over an hour. When they came out, they voted to appoint Morris to the position, at a salary of $500 a day.

Current Superintendent Joseph H. Vicari — who returned to the district 14 months ago at a reduced salary — said he left feeling "vindicated" over a not to renew his contract back in 2008.

"I'd like to thank your for letting me serve you for 14 months," he told the board. "I'd like to thank the eight members of the board for giving me an outstanding evaluation."

Board member Dawn Parks, who was not present for most of the meeting last night, was the only board member to give Vicari an unfavorable evaluation earlier this year.

The district received excellent grades during a recent state Quality Single Act Continuum (QSAC) evaluation, Vicari said.

"We have done not good, not outstanding, but superior," he said.

Vicari served as superintendent for six years, until a previous board back in 2008 declined to renew his contract. Vicari has said many times the vote to remove him was illegal. His last board meeting was no exception.

"At least I found vindication," Vicari said.

He referred to the previous board's decision not to rehire him as the "Blitzkrieg of 2008."

"What happened in 2008... an illegal vote was taken," he said.

Vicari also defended Board President Steven M. Pellecchia, who he said had been "abused continuously by name bashing" for voting to bring him back.

Parks and former board member Patrick Riley filed an ethics complaint against Pellicchia in late December 2010 and later amended it in February 2011. The two claimed that Pellecchia had violated state school ethics laws by participating in a vote to bring Vicari back as superintendent while he (Pellecchia) was a seasonal employee of the Ocean County Board of Elections.

The state School Ethics Commission found that Pellecchia had violated state statues by participating in the vote and making the motion to appoint Vicari, who is also an Ocean County Freeholder, because Pellecchia had an "indirect financial involvement."

For a chronology of the long search for a new superintendent,

Morris will preside over the district until a new permanent superintendent is found. The board approved a $6,500 at the April board meeting to hire of Leadership Advantage to conduct the search.

Marasco said at a public forum on the search two weeks ago he expected to have a "short list" of candidates ready in a few weeks.

Pellecchia said after last night's lengthy meeting that the board had not received the list yet. Morris will serve in the position until a new superintendent is on board, he said.

Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr., Township Council President James J. Byrnes, board and audience members thanked Vicari for his service.

BayvilleDad May 25, 2012 at 07:30 PM
One down, eight more to go. Its a good thing the BOE doesn't have to take the ASK or we would be a failing district.
Fawkes May 25, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Vicari is disgusting. He has leeched off of taxpayer dollars his whole 'career' (if you can even call it that). The RepubliKKKlan Party in this area is worse than the mob, but at least this thug is finally going away (I hope).
Betsy Huhn May 25, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Fawkes..... Lets hope, But he keeps turning up like a bad penny!!!! If his not being rehired was so iilegal, why didnt he do something about it..??? The Board had a very qualified person ( Ms. Lippincott) filling in the position, and then given the position only to have it taken back and given to Mr. Vicari again... And Now with Dr. P. interested, we have another Very qualified person for the job.. But our elected board seems to not see what is best for our town. Come November and every November after that lets elect people that WILL listen to the taxpayers and do whats best for OUR kids.... Because THIS board is not!!!!!
voice of reason May 26, 2012 at 05:40 PM
jacdem May 27, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Just to show you how political the Berkeley BOE is, they had the Mayor and the Council President, both Republicans, present to congratulate them and Mr. Vicari. I don't know of any other BOE that has allowed governing body members to get involved in BOE matters. Shame on the BOE as they are being controlled by the township governing body - there appears to be no separation of power - the BOe dioes what the Republican Mayor and Council want it to. My condolences to the children in this district.
Commenter May 29, 2012 at 01:42 PM
GOP (Grand Ocean Party) strikes again.
knarfie June 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Have not we all had enough of Vicari? He knows how to give jobs to relatives and cronies. When will the people of Ocean County wake up and get rid of this leech and his relatives?
Maggie July 06, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Please, please. Please. Retire Vicari. We have had enough of you.


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