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Brower Reinstated as Lacey Schools Superintendent

Embattled superintendent will return to Lacey district Tuesday

Sandra Brower (Patch File Photo)
Sandra Brower (Patch File Photo)
Sandra Brower was reinstated as the Lacey School District's superintendent Monday night in a unanimous vote.

Brower will retake the superintendent's position Tuesday morning and will be entitled to receive back pay from the time she was suspended, school officials said. Brower's salary is $167,500 per year.

No members of the public spoke during the meeting.

Brower had been suspended since May when she was charged with failing to immediately report a teacher's possible sexual assault of a 4-year-old special needs student while she was Wall Township's assistant superintendent. 

But in January, all charges were dropped against Brower, leaving the status of her employment contract with Lacey - which does not end until July 1, 2016 - in limbo.

"This was not an easy task, but there was absolutely no choice to us," said board member Donna McAvoy, before the vote took place. "There was a contract, so we honor the contract by law, that’s what we do."

Board member Maureen Tirella, an attorney and former assistant prosecutor in Ocean County, said after charges were dropped against Brower a subcommittee met to look at various options.

"Upon looking at all the choices, we had a superintendent who’s very qualified," said Tirella. "All the charges were dropped, and the only reason that she was put out of her position was because of that indictment. So for us it was an easy choice to bring her back."

"Trust and respect is what makes our district go," said Eric J. Schubiger, who was not able to vote on reinstating Brower due to his wife being employed as a teacher in the district.

Board members Bruce Carney, Shawn Giordano, Tirella and McAvoy all voted in favor of reinstating Brower. The remaining three board members, under state law, could not vote due to conflicts.

While Brower is returning to serve out her contract, she may only have a limited amount of time in the Lacey district. In July, the school board preemptively voted against renewing her contract beyond its expiration.

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