Investigation absolves BOE in Central School trailer controversy

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WALL TOWNSHIP — A lengthy investigation into the Wall School District’s Central School trailers controversy published was published Friday and “did not find any wrongdoing” on part of the school board in “securing, financing, installation, maintenance and demolition” of the temporary classrooms.

Two trailers that had housed four classrooms at Central Elementary School since 2007 were removed over the summer in 2020 after deterioration was discovered during a repair project in 2019. The discovery set off a controversy, with parents and community members citing complaints they had made about the condition of the trailers and the handling of communications about the matter by school officials.

School Superintendent Tracy Handerhan announced Friday that BOE attorney Anthony Sciarrillo will make a public presentation of the investigation report at the board’s meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 13. She also announced that the report has been made available on the district’s website.

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The presentation will be made in the Wall High School cafeteria and will be followed by a question-and-answer session, Ms. Handerhan said. No additional action will be taken at the meeting, the superintendent. The presentation will also be streamed on the district’s YouTube page.

According to the report, more than 8,000 documents dating back to 1997 were reviewed during the nine-month probe. Investigators additionally invited any interested parties to be interviewed regarding the matter. A list of 70 potential interviewees were compiled, according to the report, including “administrators, staff members parents, engineers, architects, [Monmouth] county officials and contractors.” Of that list, 42 individuals were interviewed.

The report noted that representatives from Mobilease Moduler Inc., the company who provided the trailers, declined to participate in the investigation or be interviewed.

In the spring of 2020, the district’s then interim superintendent Henry Cram requested the school conduct its own internal investigation into the trailers. Mr. Cram’s five-page report still left many unanswered questions, and the board asked Mr. Sciarrillo to conduct a more thorough investigation into the situation. 

Mr. Sciarrillo began interviewing anyone wishing to be interviewed until the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office asked him to stop while it conducted its own investigation.

On Dec. 8, 2020, the Prosecutor’s Office concluded its investigation determining there was “no criminality” on the school’s behalf regarding the trailers. Mr. Sciarrillo then said he expected the district’s own report to be ready by February.

In December, Mr. Sciarrillo said he had already examined over 6,000 pages of documents, and had received responses from the district architect, the New Jersey state departments of education and health.

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