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School Ethics Commission Decisions
Public Advisory Opinions
Search, Hire & Participation in Employment Decisions for CSA & Other Administrators

A10-00 This Advisory Opinion has been superseded by Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012) as well as the decisions and other advisory opinions which followed; therefore, it is no longer considered valid advice. 6/27/00
A30-05 Board members would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if they were to participate in evaluations, personnel actions and compensation for the principals who supervise their spouses, the Director of Elementary Education (for board member A only) and the Superintendent.  The Commission advised the board members to recuse themselves and not to participate in any discussions regarding the above matters.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection ofm a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

3/10/06
A07-06 Board member with a spouse who is a teacher’s assistant in the district would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if he were to participate in the hiring and any employment issues regarding the superintendent, where the assistant superintendent supervises the board member’s spouse’s supervisor and is a candidate for superintendent.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection ofm a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

7/31/06
A14-06 This Advisory Opinion has been superseded by Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012) as well as the decisions and other advisory opinions which followed; therefore, it is no longer considered valid advice. 10/19/06
A23-06 The Commission advised four board members who have various family members and/or relatives working in the district whether or not they would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) by participating in the search for a new superintendent, the interview process for the potential candidates, contract negotiations, the hiring of the new superintendent and employment issues related to the new superintendent.

To the extent the Commission's past advisories dealing with the search for and selection ofm a new Superintendent are inconsistent with the determination in Martinez v. Albolino, C45-11 (June 27, 2012), this advisory is no longer considered valid guidance.

11/15/06
A30-07 Board member whose spouse is a security guard in the district could not participate in the 
in the search for, and hiring of, a new superintendent, if the director of education becomes a candidate for the position of superintendent, because the director of education is familiar with the board member’s spouse by virtue of his or her indirect supervision of the spouse.
01/11/08
A06-08 The Commission advised that a board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b) if he were to participate in the evaluation of the Superintendent where, prior to his becoming a board member, his employment with the district was terminated as a result of a decision made by the Superintendent. 06/10/08
A25-08 The Commission advised that two board members, one whose spouse was employed as a secretary in the district and the other whose spouse was employed as a caller of substitutes in the district, would not violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c). if they were to participate in the discussion and adoption of the board’s goals and objectives for the superintendent as long as those goals and objectives do not touch upon the employment of the board members’ spouses.  01/29/09
A04-12 No more than one or two Board members may participate on a personnel committee, when it is established by the CSA and coordinated by a member of the administrative staff.  However, the Board member participant(s) is strictly limited to offering his/her observations and assessments, with full knowledge that final recommendations are wholly within the purview of the Superintendent.  The Board members should be mindful of their obligations under N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (d), as participation in such a committee may put the Board members in situations to violate those subsections. 4/17/2012
A20-12 Board member, whose husband and brother work in the district,  may not participate in closed session discussions and performance evaluation of either of the direct administrators or the central administration evaluations of the superintendent or assistant superintendents. Moreover, the Board member may not review any of the executive minutes, sit in on or be advised of the negotiation of committee's updates unless the information is also available to the general public.  Finally, the Board member may not participate in an executive session that considers the administrators' positions in schools in which the brother or husband teaches.  Doing so would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(g). 10/31/12

A29-12

Board member whose daughter is a co-coach in the District may not participate in evaluating the Superintendent and must recuse himself from any committee issue, policy discussion or vote wherein there is any potential benefit for the daughter as the benefit is inextricably linked not only to the Superintendent in his/her role during negotiations, but also to the Superintendent as an administrator.  N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c).

2/20/2013

A02-13

Board members who have "a prior bad history" consistent with A06-08 and who are involved with current outside litigation with the Superintendent must recuse themselves from any discussion, decision, vote or action related to the Superintendent or violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b).

5/1/2013

A03-13

Board members must recuse themselves from any discussion, decision, vote or action related to the Superintendent when: 1) a spouse is employed by another organization which contracts with the District or violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c); or, 2) a brother-in-law is employed by the District as a custodian or violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b).

5/1/2013

A06-13

A Board member may not be employed – even on a part-time basis – by a District, which has a shared services agreement with the District on which the individual sits as a Board member.  A Board member in such a situation must relinquish one of the two positions or violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c).

7/31/2013

A11-13

A Board member who sits on a Board that recently entered into a joint services agreement with another district must resign from the Board to avoid a violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if she successfully obtains employment with the other district as a result of a job search which began prior to the agreement coming into affect.

7/31/2013

A15-13

A Board member who is not married but has been in a long-term personal relationship and cohabitates with an employee of the District creates a conflict for the Board member under application of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b).

8/28/2013

A22-13 A Board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b) and (c) if he were to participate in negotiations with the local education association when his father-in-law is a custodian in the District and the Board member lives with the father-in-law and co-owns his home with the father-in-law. 3/7/2014

A06-14

A Board member employed in another District may participate in discussions involving the Superintendent's contract and vote in the election of a new Board President even though the member's direct supervisor is also a member of the same Board since it appears no benefit would enure to you or the other Board member.  In the future, should the facts change creating a benefit to the Board member or his supervisor, either member may have to recuse him/herself from such involvement. 

4/23/2014

A08-14

A Board member would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b) if he were to participate in the interview and selection process for a new Chief School Administrator when a stepdaughter, stepdaughter-in-law and nephew are employed by the District as certified teachers.

4/23/2014

A10-14 A Board member must limit certain Board activity when the spouse is the mayor of the local municipality or the Board member's cousin is employed by the District.  N.J.S.A.18A:12-24(b), (c) and (f). 4/23/2014

A16-14

A Board member who is aware he has conflicts is directed to the Martinez v. Abolino (C45-11) decision which prohibits the Board members participation in pre- and post-employment decisions involving the Superintendent and other administrators.  He retains the rights of the public, however, and may attend the public session of Board meetings where those matters are discussed.

4/23/2014

A25-14

A Board member whose spouse is employed with the District in a position classified either as a paraprofessional or substitute-paraprofessional may not participate in any employment or personnel issues of those who have influence over or affect the spouse's employment in any manner.  N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c).  Change in the spouse's title does not remove the conflict.

6/25/2014

A30-14

A Board member whose son is employed as a summer student worker or whose spouse is employed as a substitute in the District may not participate in any discussion pre- or post-hire, may not engage in any aspect of the vetting process, evaluation, contract discussion or vote regarding the Superintendent's employment.  The prohibition includes the selection committee or firm which will conduct the search for the Superintendent.  These limitations exist as long as: 1) the son is employed with the District as a summer student worker; or, 2) for the duration of time that the spouse is employed as a substitute teacher in the District.  N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c).

8/27/2014

A05-15 Conflicted Board members may not vote on a motion to advertise for applicants for the position of Superintendent and may not vote on every aspect of the search and hire for a Superintendent without violating N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(b) and (c).  Similarly, this limitation is consistent with the bar on every Board  action as they relate to an incumbent Superintendent, including the vote. 4/28/15
A08-15 A Board member whose spouse is employed by the district as a per diem employee is conflicted and would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if he were to participate in Superintendent and certain other administrators' evaluations or if he were to vote on their contracts.  Moreover, since the Board has a quorum of non-conflicted members, the Doctrine of Necessity cannot be invoked even if the vote is tied. 6/30/15