Board says it can't fire superintendent amid public defecation allegations

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KENILWORTH -

The Kenilworth Board of Education held a closed-door meeting Saturday morning on the future of Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, who stands accused of repeatedly defecating near the track at a high school in another town.

Despite worldwide infamy and viral headlines, the superintendent of the Kenilworth School District was not fired from his $147,000-a-year job. The board in a special session approved a paid leave of absence for Tramaglini. The board also voted to make Brian Luciani the acting superintendent through the end of June.

RELATED: Kenilworth superintendent caught defecating near Holmdel field

As News 12 has reported, Tramaglini was arrested Monday and accused of defecating near the running track near his home in Holmdel. Police there said they started investigating after someone was defecating daily near the track, and surveillance allegedly captured Tramaglini. He was arrested and charged with public defecation and lewdness.

The Kenilworth School Board president and the board attorney would not say if they wanted to fire Tramaglini -- they only said they couldn't.

"Dr. Tramaglini's contract runs through June 30 of 2020, and state law provides him with tenure protection during the life under the contract," says Kenilworth School Board President Nancy Zimmerman. "This includes a prohibition on suspension without pay in the absence of indictment or tenure charges."

"As a matter of law, someone like this cannot be fired, state law prohibits it, because of the contractual rights he has under the statute," Vito Gagliardi, board attorney.

Tramaglini is due in court on May 30 -- but even if he pleads guilty, the board still can't fire him because the charges he faces do not rise to the level of indictment. The district would have to pursue tenure charges through the state Department of Education.

Tramaglini has not made any comment since his arrest.

There is no time frame on his paid leave of absence, it's simply pending further action by the board. That action may come after the May 30 court hearing.

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