KENILWORTH, NJ — The local Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini nearly three months after he was charged with defecating near the track and football field at Holmdel High School.
The board voted unanimously to accept his resignation, effective Sunday, Sept. 30.
“Based on events unrelated to his service for Kenilworth, it has become clear to both Dr. Tramaglini and the Kenilworth Board of Education that his continued service as superintendent of schools has become too much of a distraction to the main mission of the district,” said board President Nancy Zimmerman, reading from a prepared statement Thursday, July 26.
“In recognition of this fact, and in an effort to avoid legal fees and expensive litigation, and in the best interests of all concerned, including the faculty, staff and students of the Kenilworth School District, Dr. Tramaglini has tendered, and the board has accepted, his resignation.”
Although the Kenilworth Board of Education is moving to put the matter behind it, Tramaglini’s name could be in headlines for the foreseeable future. Tramaglini’s attorney, Matthew Adams, has filed a notice of tort against the Holmdel Township Police Department claiming his client was “unlawfully photographed” when they took his mugshot.
According to the notice, a preliminary step in a civil suit, “the amount claimed is estimated to be in excess of $1 million, which includes, but is not limited to, the reasonable financial loss of income, harm to reputation, emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and intrusion on seclusion.”
Board attorney Vito Gagliardi Jr. said Tramaglini, who has a yearly salary of $147,504, records say, will continue to be paid through the end of September. He said Brian Luciani would continue in his role as acting superintendent.
According to its statement, the school board will begin searching for an interim superintendent “with the hope and expectation that one will be ready before the office becomes vacant on Oct. 1, 2018.”
Although his arrest in May by Holmdel police drew international attention and set off a flurry of internet headlines referring to a “mystery pooper” and “super pooper,” the special meeting to announce his resignation took less 20 minutes and concluded with little or no fanfare. The meeting at David Brearley School was attended by three members of the public and only one spoke during the public comment period.
Tramaglini, who lives in Matawan, about 4 miles from the Holmdel athletic field, was charged Tuesday, May 1, with lewdness, littering and defecating in public, Holmdel police Sgt. Theodore Sigismondi told LocalSource in a May 3 phone interview.
Sigismondi said the Holmdel school resource officer was alerted by the high school staff and coaches that they had been finding human feces on or near the high school track and football field “on a daily basis.” The school resource officer and school staff monitored the area and were reportedly able to identify “a subject responsible for the act,” he said.
Tramaglini, 42, was “running at the time,” when he was apprehended at about 5:50 a.m., Sigismondi said.
A copy of Tramaglini’s letter of resignation, obtained by LocalSource, does not specifically address his arrest.
Tramaglini was appointed Kenilworth superintendent Dec. 14, 2015, replacing Scott Taylor who had resigned to take over the Highland Park School District. Zimmerman said Tramaglini’s contract originally extended until July 1, 2020.
Janice Nolan, an employee at the Holmdel Township Municipal Court, said Tramaglini is scheduled to appear before Municipal Court Judge Mary H. Casey on Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. At a hearing in June, Holmdel Prosecutor Steven Zabarsky reported that the evidence against Tramaglini includes a surveillance video, photographs and a witness.