Members of the Elizabeth Board of Education at the June 20th meeting to appoint Stefano Calella to replace John Donoso, who resigned shortly before he was arrested with Board Attorney Kirk Nelson, and outside board counsel Frank Capece on charges of covering up a false application filed for the federally funded free lunch program.
Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that Donoso’s wife, Olga Oviedo-Arevalo, was charged with filing several false applications as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police.
“I don’t know which is more disturbing, a school board member and his wife allegedly stealing from a school lunch program for disadvantaged students, or two attorneys allegedly tampering with the records of the public body that they serve to thwart a criminal investigation,” said Chiesa, who was subsequently appointed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie to temporarily fill the US Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
Calella, 40, is one of 14 candidates who filed petitions to run in the November Board of Education election. He is expected to join former board president Rafael Fajardo and incumbent Carlos Trujillo on a slate backed by the school district’s ruling faction, whose allies include eight of the panel’s nine members.
Calella lives at 562 Third Avenue.
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