Ex-Wall superintendent found guilty of official misconduct

James Habel has been found guilty of official misconduct as the former Wall Schools superintendent.

James Habel has been found guilty of official misconduct as the former Wall Schools superintendent. (3/10/15)

FREEHOLD - Wall Township’s former school superintendent has been found guilty of official misconduct.

James Habel was found guilty on five charges and found not guilty on two charges. The jury was deadlocked on three of the charges.

The official misconduct charge, the most serious of the charges, means Habel faces a mandatory five-year sentence in state prison without parole.

Habel was convicted for failing to report he was on vacation for 105 days when he said he was at work. He has also been convicted for falsifying personal mileage on his district-owned vehicle.

Judge Francis Vernoia revoked the former school administrator’s bail before he was taken into custody.

“He lied about his whereabouts, which in my view is a very pertinent issue in regard to bail,” he said. “In essence, Mr. Habel asked the court to trust that he will return.”

Attorneys for Habel say they will appeal.

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