Ex-Kenilworth schools super pleads guilty in ‘pooping’ case

KENILWORTH, NJ — Former Kenilworth Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, who became known as the “Super Pooper” in headlines across the country and beyond, has pleaded guilty in Holmdel Municipal Court to defecating in public.

A spokesperson in the court confirmed that Tramaglini pleaded guilty to a noncriminal municipal offense Wednesday, Oct. 24, and will pay a $500 fine. She also confirmed that the charges of lewdness and littering had been dropped. Matthew Adams, Tramaglini’s attorney, said he suffered from a type of bowel condition while running. Tramaglini was a competitive runner, according to published reports.

The story of Tramaglini’s May 1 arrest for defecating on the Holmdel High School athletic field drew international attention. Tramaglini, 42, who lives about 4 miles from the field in Matawan, was charged with lewdness, littering and defecating in public, Holmdel police Sgt. Theodore Sigismondi said in a May 3 phone interview.

“The Holmdel school resource officer was alerted by Holmdel High School staff and coaches that they were finding human feces, on or near the area of the high school track/football field on a daily basis,” Holmdel police said on its Facebook page. “The SRO officer, along with school staff, monitored the area and was able to identify a subject responsible for the acts.”

Three days after Tramaglini’s arrest, the Kenilworth school board voted to accept his request for paid administrative leave. At the July 26 meeting, the board voted to accept his resignation, effective Sept. 30.

According to documents obtained by LocalSource through an Open Public Record Act request, the board agreed to pay former Tramaglini more than $100,000 in a separation agreement, and to give Tramaglini five months of pay for the time between when he went on leave in May and his final day in September.

Tramaglini, who had a yearly salary of $147,504, according to state records, will also receive a one-time payment of $24,584, or two months of his salary, as part of the separation agreement signed by school board President Nancy Zimmerman and Vincent Gonnella, the school business administrator, Thursday, July 26. Additionally, the former superintendent will receive $23,827 for the 42 unused vacation days he accrued since he started at the position Feb. 16, 2016.

Marilyn Birnbaum was hired in a unanimous vote at the school board’s meeting on Monday, Aug. 13. Birnbaum will serve as acting and interim superintendent until June 30 — or until a permanent superintendent is hired.

“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,” Zimmerman stated Thursday, July 26.

The special meeting to announce Tramaglini’s resignation took less 20 minutes and concluded without fanfare. The meeting at David Brearley School was attended by three members of the public and only one spoke during the public comment period.