CARTERET — Board of Education candidate James P. Hart, no stranger to scandals as of late, failed to show up for duty over 150 times during his relatively short career with the Carteret Police Department. These absences are in addition to hundreds of sick and vacation days allotted to Hart as part of his contract.
Despite a schedule that only requires him to work 180 days out of the year, several weeks’ worth of paid vacation, and numerous sick days, Hart still managed to assemble a lengthy list of absences. According to public documents, Hart has been absent 151 times, including 17 days in 2012 alone.
“Why should we believe he’d fulfill his commitments as a school board member if he doesn’t even bother to show up for his day job?” asked Deborah Bialowarczuk, a former Republican councilwoman in Carteret, in reaction to the news. “Combined with everything else we’ve found out about this guy, it’s clear he’s not up to the task. Our kids deserve better than that.”
Bialowarczuk referred to two recent stories from NJTODAY.NET concerning Hart’s questionable driving record and attempt to secure additional tax payer dollars for hours he never worked as a police officer. Both revelations sent shockwaves through the community and led many, including Bialowarczuk, to call on Hart to drop out of the race.
Hart is running with Jasbir Judge, Jennalin Garcia-Calle and Debra Weaver and with the support of the Carteret Education Association (CEA), the special interest group under investigation for its involvement in stealing confidential student records. Sources within the union have indicated that their candidates’ first order of business, if elected, would be to approve a $2.75 million dollar payout that the CEA has requested.
Their campaign has yet to respond to the growing controversy surrounding Hart’s candidacy.
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