Ethics charges to be filed against school board member

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:53

    Sussex — The Sussex-Wantage Regional School District’s board of education is planning to file ethics charges against fellow board member Art Jacobs. Board member Kathryn Compa recommended that charges be brought against Jacobs at the board’s June 24 meeting. She said Jacobs breached the board’s confidentiality when he sent a letter to The Advertiser News, published on April 8. In the letter, he noted that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward Izbicki was asked to resign his position as business administrator by the school board in the South Plainfield School District, where he was previously employed. Jacobs discovered this information in a Newark Star Ledger article from Sept. 17, 2004. His letter said Dr. Izbicki hadn’t revealed this information to the board when he was interviewed for and subsequently hired as the district’s business administrator in 2005. Compa said Jacobs violated ethics policies when he forwarded information on board-related activities via e-mail to former board member Raymond Delbury. In addition, she said, Jacobs violated the state department of education’s code of ethics when he repeatedly suggested that board president Thomas Card was guilty of nepotism. Card has family members who work for the district. He recused himself from the ethics charges involving Jacobs. Marina Krynicky, the vice-president of the school board, said she planned to file the ethics charges with the New Jersey Department of Education by the end of June, after the board’s attorneys have finished writing up the complaint. Jacobs dismissed the accusations as bad blood between himself and Compa. He said Compa was removed from the board’s compensation committee in late 2008, after he informed board members that she had allegedly leaked information on compensation negotiations with one or more teachers. A e-mail asking Krynicky to respond to Jacobs’ allegations against Compa wasn’t returned by deadline. Jacobs contends that his correspondence with Delbury occurred while Delbury was still a member of the board. Delbury chose not to run for re-election in April. Earlier this year he was suspended from the board for six months following a state ethics violation of his own. Richard Vespucci, a spokesman for the state education department, said ethics charges pending against a school official do not prohibit them from serving. Jacobs said he plans to continue on the board. “This is a way they’re trying to silence me or get me off the board,” he said. “My term is until April (2010), and I’m planning to stick around.” Krynicky said Compa merely brought up the motion for the board to file the charges, and that Compa’s removal from the board’s compensation committee “had nothing to do with this at all.” She said she had asked Compa to step down from the committee last year due to an apparent personality conflict between herself and Jacobs.