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NEW INDICTMENTS IN BRICK SCHOOLS CASE

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced today the return of an indictment against Walter C. Uzsenski, the former superintendent of Brick public schools; Andrew J. Morgan, the former Interim Director of Special Services for Brick public schools; Jacqueline Halsey, Walter Uszenski’s daughter and the mother of J.H., and Lorraine Morgan, the wife of Andrew J. Morgan, and former Academic Officer for Brick public schools.

Prosecutor Coronato stated, “It is the intention of my office to pursue this case.  This case represents a serious breach of the public trust.  We have carefully reviewed the Court’s decision, which resulted in the dismissal of a prior indictment.  We are mindful of our legal responsibilities and obligations.  The matter has been presented to another grand jury, which after evaluation of the evidence presented, returned this new indictment.”

The indictment charges Walter Uszenski, Andrew Morgan and Jacqueline Halsey with Official Misconduct, a second degree crime, for engaging in a course of conduct that resulted in the creation and implementation of a fraudulent purported Individualized Education Program for Mrs. Halsey’s then pre-school aged child, the provision of illegal and improper in-home counseling services for the child at public expense and transportation expenses beyond that to which the child was entitled.  These defendants are also charged with theft by deception.

Lorraine Morgan is charged with Official Misconduct, a third degree crime, in connection with the approval of payment to a school district employee for providing in-home counseling services to the superintendent’s grandson, in her official capacity as the district’s Academic Officer.

The indictment charges Walter Uszenski with Official Misconduct, a crime of the second degree, for failing, as superintendent, to properly investigate Andrew J. Morgan’s prior employment history before recommending Andrew Morgan to the Brick Board of Education for employment as the Interim Manager of Special Education.

The indictment charges Andrew Morgan with two separate counts of False Swearing: one, for denying he had been previously convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance and two, for certifying on his “Brick Township Public Schools Online Application” that he had never been arrested, charged or convicted of a criminal offense; and that he had never failed to be rehired, or never had been asked to resign a position, or had never resigned to avoid termination, or never had been terminated from previous employment.  False swearing is a fourth degree crime.

Walter Uszenski and Andrew Morgan are charged with Theft by Deception, a crime of the third degree, between the dates of June 18, 2013 and December 31, 2013, for creating the false impression that Andrew Morgan had truthfully set forth his employment and criminal histories on his employment application and was qualified to be appointed to the position of Interim Manager and/or Director of Special Services.

Walter Uszenski and Andrew Morgan are charged with Official Misconduct, a crime of the second degree, for falsely stating that Andrew Morgan, who at the time was an employee of the Brick school district, was not the subject of a criminal arrest, charge or conviction, knowing that Andrew Morgan’s employment with the district was subject to termination for such a misrepresentation.

Walter Uszenski is charged with Official Misconduct, a second degree crime, for failing to conduct any investigation into whether Andrew Morgan had misrepresented his prior criminal history and whether Andrew Morgan’s employment with the district was subject to termination before Andrew Morgan resigned his position.

Walter Uszenski is charged with engaging in a pattern of Official Misconduct as superintendent of the Brick public school district.  The allegations are that Walter Uszenski committed the following five (5) acts of Official Misconduct:

  1. Walter Uszenski failed to properly investigate the prior employment history of Andrew Morgan and did represent Andrew Morgan to be qualified for appointment to the position of Interim Manager and then Interim Director of Special Services, resulting in Andrew Morgan’s appointment by the Brick Board of Education to that position;
  2. Walter Uszenski, knowing that Andrew Morgan’s employment with the Board of Education was subject to termination, did falsely assert that Andrew Morgan was not the subject of a criminal arrest, charge or conviction;
  3. Walter Uszenski did illegally and fraudulently effectuate and approve a purported Individualized Education Program for his grandson which allowed his grandson to attend a private day care facility at public expense and to receive transportation benefits greater than those to which the child was entitled;
  4. Walter Uszenski, knowingly failed to initiate the necessary and appropriate investigation into whether Andrew Morgan had misrepresented his prior criminal and employment history, and whether Andrew Morgan was subject to termination, but rather did knowingly allow Andrew Morgan to resign his position without initiating or conducting any investigation;
  5. Walter Uszenski, did participate in a fraudulent scheme to provide his grandson with in-home counseling services at Brick school district expense.

Andrew Morgan is also charged with engaging in a Pattern of Official Misconduct.  The indictment alleges that Andrew Morgan engaged in the following acts of Official Misconduct:

  1. Andrew Morgan did illegally and fraudulently orchestrate, engineer, and effectuate a purported Individualized Education Program for Walter Uszenski’s grandson, which improperly and unlawfully allowed the child to attend a private day care at public expense from July of 2013 through June of 2014 and to receive transportation expenses greater than those to which the child was entitled;
  2. Andrew Morgan, knowing that his employment with the Board of Education was subject to termination, did falsely assert that he was not the subject of a criminal arrest, charge and/or conviction;
  3. Andrew Morgan, knowingly did effectuate and participate in a fraudulent scheme to provide Walter Uszenski’s grandson with in-home counseling services at the expense of the Brick school district.

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations. Each person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until such person’s guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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