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BOE Considering Plan to 'Mediate, Not Investigate' Unnamed Member

School board member Michael Strumolo, thinking he was the target of a possible ethics probe, gave the public a look into secret BOE talks.

Those wondering why the Parsippany Board of Education opted to for some unnamed investigative purpose finally got some answers last Thursday night.

At the school board's meeting at Knollwood School last week, member , made a move to bring the matter into the open.

When President Frank Calabria asked the board to approve the minutes of its Sept. 13 closed session, Strumolo asked to read a portion of the minutes into the public record.

It was unclear whether permission to do so was granted, but Strumolo moved ahead, recounting the board's private meeting with Justice Stein and his son, attorney Michael Stein, a partner in their law firm Pashman Stein.

"Justice Stein and attorney Stein were advised of the board's intention to conduct an investigation into the conduct of one of its members," he read. "A discussion ensued among all present, and Justice Stein suggested that he and his son act as mediators and meet individually with board members to help bring the board together.

"It was noted that the board decided to mediate rather than investigate. A new resolution would be required."

Calabria said he was not aware that this was what Strumolo wanted to read into the record.

"We have not concluded that yet," he said, adding that it was inappropriate for the unresolved matter to be discussed publicly. "Since it's now out in public, I think that's enough for people to know" the status of any alleged move to investigate the still officially unnamed member.

During the meeting's public comment portion, resident Pat Petaccia addressed the controversy.

"So you changed your minds about Stein? No investigate, but mediate?" she asked. "It's ridiculous to spend money to get people to work together. You're grownups. Stop this piddly crap."

Strumolo kicked up a little more dirt later in the meeting.

Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz's report included a mention of the upcoming New Jersey School Board Association conference, which takes place in Atlantic City in late October. The cost per board member for the conference is $600, which would be paid for by the school district. Among those on the list to attend is member , meaning that she will leave the board when her term expires after the November election.

Strumolo interjected a thought into the discussion regarding the travel expenses.

"May I ask why someone who chose not to run for re-election is going at the expense of the taxpayers?" he inquired.

President Calabria replied, saying that until the end of Orme's term of office, she was still a member of the board and had the right to attend the conference to "learn and gain insights."

Orme offered a thought of her own on the matter.

"I actually had considered not attending the conference this year, but then decided that I would attend," she said, addressing Strumolo directly. "I remember about nine months ago, you and I had a discussion, Mike, about how important I thought convention was. You had shared with us in a written letter to the governor that you thought the convention was a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"I notice you are attending this year."

Orme stated that her intention was to gain knowledge to share with the board and with the community. She reiterated that she would go to the gathering—and announced she would pay for her own travel costs.

patchitup1 October 01, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Wasn't this guy Strumilo found guilty of so wrong doing while on the board? I see he is posting mr. Carifi and his running mate all over his gas station. Are these guys all part of the Strumilo pot of stew?
Michael Brancato October 01, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Mr. Strumolo was named in a wrongful termination suit involving a former school employee, but the charges were cleared (http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/school-board-cleared-in-wrongful-termination-case). He obviously thinks he is the target of whatever investigation the BOE is conducting, and is acting like an impudent child. Mr. Carifi or Mr. DeIntinis are part of his cabal, and should either be elected would give him 5 votes and control of the board.
brian October 01, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Then maybe things on the BOE might get done and they might not just waste taxpayer money which is what they currently do!
VietNam Vet October 03, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Mr. Strumolo was not found guilty of any wrong doing, if you went to the meetings or if you followed the story here you would have know that for a fact. Mr. Strumolo is only trying to do the right thing for the taxpayers in this stinking crooked town, not that any of these people really deserve it though. This so called employee was in the wrong for many reasons, and she brought this suit against a good man because she lost her big paying job that she wasn't qualified to do. No body asks the questions like how did she get the job in the first place? Who did she know to get it? Where was she when the town really needed her in an emergency? Did she even know the difference between Gasoline and Diesel Fuels or the fact you can't run gas in a diesel engine? She deserved to be fired.
Kevin Brancato October 03, 2012 at 03:06 PM
WRONG AGAIN!!! Mr Brown, I guess you get your misguided facts directly from your neighbor across the street. Mr. Strumolo's actions were the direct cause of the lawsuit, started by his losing the bus repair contract, in which the BOE had to spend taxpayer money to defend. If you read the article the BOE was not found guilty. Mr Strumolo was in fact GUILTY and the judge vacated the verdict and gave no reason why. So again Mr Brown you are the uninformed. I know your sick and can't get out to meetings but this information was in the article on the patch so don't believe everything your neighbor tells you. So once again stop with your baseless and uniformed comments. If you have proof of criminal activity report it or be quiet.

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