According to The Jersey Journal, the Secaucus Board of Education is hiding the results of a vote taken to determine whether or not to move forward with tenure charges against suspended high school principal Robert Berckes.
The vote was taken after a three-hour closed-door meeting on Monday, August 6, but the results have not been announced. If the Board approved the charges, they would be sent to the New Jersey Department of Education. If approved by the Department of Education, the charges would be sent to an independent arbitrator.
Berckes was suspended in April after allegedly mishandling an incident with a student who was caught with a knife and marijuana. Berckes has argued that Superintendent Jennifer Montesano was aware of the incident and approved how it was handled. Montesano subsequently suspended Berckes and has moved to have him fired.
Recently the Board shuffled the school district’s principals, initially reassigning Berckes to Clarendon School. However, Berckes has remained suspended and Danielle Garzon was named interim principal at Clarendon.
A previous report from The Jersey Journal indicated the town had spent $22,000 on attorneys’ fees in the first six months of 2018 in its pursuit of Berckes’ dismissal.