NJ School Ethics Commission Member Resigns Because of Unethical Behavior

Jerome Amadeo has resigned from the New Jersey School Ethics Commission after a Star-Ledger expose on corruption within NJ’s private special education school industry.  Amadeo also served on Christie’s Transition Team,  is a big GOP donor, and is  still on the board at Monmouth University and the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.

Last month the Star-Ledger  reported on "nepotism, high-executive salaries, generous pensions, fancy cars and questionable business deals" at some of these publicly-supported, private schools that serve children with disabilities.  (Here’s my take on the story.)

The Ledger piece focused on Somerset Hills School in Warren Township, which charges public districts more than $100K per student per year in tuition and pays its staff administrators extravagantly. Somerset Hills has a particularly egregious record of nepotism and questionable fiscal practices. Its former director and founder is Amadeo whom, the Ledger reported, owes $181,739 in unpaid taxes.  At the time on the original story's publication, Amedeo responded by claiming that he’s been unfairly targeted by the IRS for using his 401K to purchase land for Somerset Hills School.

However, reports today’s Ledger, “[s]tate records show Somerset Hills spent $431,075 on rent in 2012, most of which was paid to a company owned by Amedeo. “

In other follow-up news, Senate President Steve Sweeney, well familiar with the world of special needs because he has a daughter with Down Syndrome, joined a growing line of legislators who pledge to “to control the spending of taxpayer dollars by New Jersey’s private schools for students with disabilities.”