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Ex-Wall Schools Super Hires Former Prosecutor

James F. Habel hires former First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor

Ex-Wall Township Schools Superintendent James Habel has hired a former high ranking member of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office after investigators from that same office conducted an early morning raid on his Point Pleasant home Thursday.

Habel has hired former First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Robert A. Honecker Jr. to represent him, Honecker confirmed Friday.

"Mr. Habel intends to fully cooperate with the Prosecutor's Office, and we'll see where this investigation concludes,'' Honecker said. "Obviously, we think that when it does conclude, Mr. Habel will be exonerated."

. The office also served subpoenas late last month to the Wall Township Schools administrative offices for records relating to Habel.

Honecker said Habel retained him earlier this week, ahead of Thursday's raid. it became clear, Honecker said, that investigators were looking for documents relating to Habel's employment with the Wall School district. He was not more specific.

Habel, who served as Wall Schools chief from 2003 until his retirement in June, has not been charged with a crime.

Christopher Gramiccioni has not said what investigators were looking for, only that an investigation took place.

Honecker, a partner in the Ocean Township-based firm of Ansel, Grimm & Aaron, served as Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor before leaving the office five years ago. He specializes in criminal defense.

"Mr. Habel has nothing to hide and has committed no wrongs and he will continue to fully cooperate,'' Honecker said.

Leave it on the Field September 18, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I challenge everyone to Google "United States of America v Michael J. Riacco & Francis X. Gartland" to see the actual indictment & all the counts against them. When you do that, you'll realize that there are very few NJ BOE members 'qualified' to notice or root out the kind of criminal behavior that played out in Tom's River. Mr. Ritacco & his pals counted on that FACT. Now Google "Ritacco, Michael - Department of Justice - Honorable Garrett E. Brown v. : Crim No. 10-713 (GEB) Michael J. Ritacco" & read the 50 pgs in one sitting. Try to imagine all those fraudulant transactions existing while the BOE smiled or slept as millions of taxpayer dollars changed hands. After we're done being sick, all school districts should consider employing & paying a Big-4 Accounting Audit Team (KPMG, E&Y) rather than giant salaries and separation payouts to superintendents who can harm your entire district if they choose to. Ban them all from participating in vendor selection if you don't have a "legitimate process" that will root out whether or not they or BOE members & their family members are partners, stakeholders or silent benefactors in such firms. Do biz cautiously with firms that give you only a P.O. Box & go to the address tied to the PO. Do random audits of vendor books, ops & bank accounts. Allow no subcontractors to support primary vendors unless their corp background, D&B & credit histories have been thoroughly researched & approved by qualified finance professionals.
bobbotb September 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Problem as i see it is we elect unqualied people to be on the Boards. I am sure that most are very nice people and have good intentions but have no background in finance, management or business. So when the super says something they have no recourse but to accept what they say as gospel. They dont challenge things as they dont want to look like obstructionists. we need more qualified people to run for these Boards. It has more power than the Mayor or any council member in terms of our tax burden.
p September 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM
What B.S....They know exactly what they are doing. They are adults and they should know by now. What is right from wrong. The BOE State wide in NJ is corrupted. TR is a perfect example what is going on. They all know, they just looked the other way because they were getting jobs for their own. Who wants to stop that gravy train. You can go in to any school and start connecting the dots, and it does not stop in that district schools it overlaps in other districts. They are constantly swamping with each other. You hire mine and will hire yours. We need to start investigating all the BOE and they all should sign an accountability wavier on decisions being made. It is ridiculous what they get away with. They should be punished and charged for giving all these perks to their friends and the superintendent in charge when they know it is blatantly wrong. They should be the boss of these superintendents instead the superintendents are their boss.
Joseph lankewicz June 13, 2013 at 04:32 PM
They should not be able to save their vacation time use it or lose it same with sick days and should have to report in everyday! And be photographed! To prove that they were there! This is B.S. tax payers are getting the shaft!
KERRI HABEL August 07, 2013 at 01:54 PM
James Habel is sadly my uncle... Hes a peice of crap, hes a liar.. All he cares about is money .. When my gpa got sick he couldnt care less my daddy and my aund D took care of him ... Years goes by and jimmy and the other siblings never once called or came or saw there dying father!!!! So my gpa left a little bit more money to my dad n D cuz they took him in their homes n took care of him...even built on to accommodate my gpad needs!! Then when my gpa passed away jimmy n the other scum bag siblings who hadn't seen there father in years.. Took the 2 people who took care of my gpa to court for more money... Jimmy is getting Karma...

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