The Jersey Journal has published the details of the settlement between former Secaucus High School Principal Robert Berckes and the school district.
According to the settlement, which was finalized in December, Berckes will be paid back pay in full and his prorated salary through the end of the school year totaling nearly $125,000. He will forgo more than 177 days of unused time, including 129 unused sick days.
The Journal was unable to get comments from Berckes, his lawyer, school board President Joan Cali, Vice President Jack McStowe or Superintendent Jennifer Montesano.
Berckes was removed from his position in April due to his alleged handling of a situation in which a student was found with drugs and weapon. The fallout from the incident included the Assistant Principal Jeffrey Case resigning and a school police officer being reassigned.
Berckes claimed that Montesano authorized how the situation was to be handled before later criticizing the principal. Berckes went on to say that Montesano was trying to destroy his reputation. Berckes filed a lawsuit after the Board tried to revoke his tenure.
The Journal also reported that the fight cost the Secaucus school district $80,000 in 2018 – nearly half the district’s legal fees for the year.