New misconduct, theft against former Brick schools chief, administrators
Official misconduct and theft charges against Brick Township's former schools superintendent, dismissed by a judge, return under a new grand jury indictment obtained by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Walter Uszenski, his daughter Jacqueline Halsey, former Interim Director of Special Services Andrew J. Morgan and his wife, former Academic Officer Lorraine Morgan, are once more accused of using public funds to provide Halsey's then preschool-age child with in-home counseling and transportation, by fabricating an individualized education program.
Uszenski, Andrew Morgan and Halsey are face second-degree misconduct counts, which carry sentences of five to 10 years on conviction. Lorraine Morgan is charged with third-degree misconduct, which has a possible three-to-five-year sentence.
The judge who dismissed all but three of the original 19-count indictment questioned the validity of evidence presented by prosecutors to the first grand jury.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, in a prepared statement, brushed aside the decision.
"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."
Uszenski is accused of failing to thoroughly review Andrew Morgan's employment history before recommending him to the Board of Education for the post he eventually obtained.
Uszenski is charged with a pattern of misconduct enveloped in five second-degree charges, alleging that he didn't check whether Morgan hid any previous criminal charges, and whether Morgan's job in Brick was subject to termination before he resigned; that he asserted that Morgan was not subject of an arrest, charge of conviction; that he created and implemented the program that allowed his grandson to get in-home counseling and to take a school bus to private day care at the district's expense; and that he didn't run a thorough background check on Morgan, and allowed him to resign without any investigation.
Andrew Morgan is accused of a pattern of misconduct, alleging that he organized and implemented the programs for Uszenski's grandson; and that he falsely claimed no involvement in a criminal arrest, charge or conviction, knowing thatt it would cost him his position.
Andrew Morgan faces two fourth-degree false swearing charges: for allegedly denying a previous drug conviction, and for allegedly certifying on his job application that he'd never been arrested, charged or convicted of a criminal offense, had never failed to be re-hired, had never been asked to resign, had never resigned to avoid termination, and had never been terminated from a position..
Uszenski and Andrew Morgan face third-degree theft by deception counts, accused of covering the misstatements that prosecutors said Morgan entered on his application to the school system, between June 18 and December 31, 2013.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.