PERTH AMBOY — One of the school board members who have been holding superintendent Janine Walker Caffrey accountable has fended off a residency challenge initiated by the administrator.
Although he also owns a home in Flemington, Israel Varela has lived in Perth Amboy and been registered to vote there since 1992. A recently-concluded state Department of Education investigation found no evidence to support claims that Varela is not a Perth Amboy resident.
Varela was among the most vocal critics of Joe Vas long before Caffrey was brought to town. He is one of five board members charged by Caffrey with ethics violations since the majority tried to remove her after developing a case of buyer’s remorse less than a year after hiring the privatization advocate
Varela is a Marine Corps veteran whose wife is a teacher in the Perth Amboy school system.
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