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Habel's Denali Up For Sale

Board of Education accepting bids, to be opened next month

The Denali that the Board of Education gave to former schools Superintendent James Habel is up for sale.

Bids are being accepted for the top-of-the-line 2005 GMC Yukon Danali -- which Habel received as part of his contract with the school district, along with a monthly gas allowance of $150.

The loaded black SUV has 117,000 miles, was impeccibly maintained by Board of Education mechanics and has every option available to that model, according to Tom Polo, a district employee.

The SUV is not short on amenities. It has a Bose surround sound system, leather seats, duel climate control, heated seats, rear DVD player with two sets of wireless headphones a towing package and numerous other creature comforts.

Habel's former car is available for inspection at the bus garage, located behind the Board of Education offices on 18th Avenue. The necessary forms to bid on the vehicle are available there, Polo said.

Bids will be opened at 11 a.m. on Oct. 4 at the board offices, according to a public notice advertisment.

Habel, who left the district in January for a six-month medical leave before his contract expired in June, is under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

No charges have been filed and Acting Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni has been tight-lipped about the scope of the investigation.

Investigators from the Prosecutor's Office on Sept. 13 raided Habel's Point Pleasant home. Days prior, Habel hired fomer First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Robert A. Honacker Jr. to represent him.

In addition to free use of the car, Habel in 2010 received $14,250 in allowances, $7,600 in stipends, $15,716 in extra insurance, and $49,932 for a pension annuity as well as his base pay of $200,273, according to the Department of Education.

. School board President John Tavis has said that Habel reported he did not take a sick day during his tenure as schools chief, which began in 2003.

Leave it on the Field September 21, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Why would the Board of Education approve an SUV for a guy who only had to commute from Pt. Pleasant to Wall Township to his job? 177,000 miles? Was that all school district related travel or did the BOE allow personal use to sweeten the deal? This is fascinating information. Anyone know how many NJ superintendents get cars? Can someone list the names of the Wall BOE members who approved the terms in Habel's contract?
Chief Wahoo September 21, 2012 at 07:03 PM
117,000 miles......doesnt add up !!!!!!!!!!
Really? September 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM
It does when you drive back and forth to Florida. Ez pass records are so easily checked. I'm sure the Prosecutors office is looking at them.
Leave it on the Field September 22, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Does anyone know if the BOEs in Manasquan, Pt. Bch, Pt. Boro & Brick give their superintendents cars too? Or is a Denali a special taxpayer-funded perk reserved for wealthier school districts?
s September 22, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I would not want to buy this car! It was driven by a low life who has abused the system and our town. It would be bad karma to drive something by someone who is so shallow, rotten to the core who has abused public trust, our public school system and the community of Wall Township. Every BOE allowed to this happen and they also should be a shamed of themselves.
Resident September 22, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Are you kidding me? This is something that needs to go to a used car lot, do we really need to tick off the tax payers in town more by putting tis out there?
Resident September 22, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Brower is killing the Lacey district, go on Lacey patch, Gaffney is in Cherry Hill and Habel is being investigated. Why am I not surprised? Will the sale of this truck save the janitors this year and West Belmar?? Or are we finally going to have a team that works for the kids and schools.....I think we have turned the corner.
Resident September 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
In the future I think an accountant and someone who negotiates high end contracts should be on the board so this never happens again.
Really? September 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Gaffney got fired. Lacey on the other hand should be ashamed of themselves for not doing THEIR homework and hiring someone who has been the subject of more derogatory comments posted on the Patch than Habel.Who'd they talk to Habel? How do you hire someone for such a huge job and Salary and not vett them?It's not like they're even 50miles away! Hello people! Ever hear of the internet? Cross her and your toast. She revels in making people's lives miserable for her own sick pleasure. Regarding the purchase of the SUV, the Finance & Facilities committee on the BOE back then would be guilty of giving him his Golden Chariot, along with his Golden Parachute. Won't happen again but it still hurts like Hell.
HAD ENOUGH September 22, 2012 at 04:42 PM
This scool district has sooo many peolpe they need to look at...they have put people in postions that do not have the qualifications to be doing the jobs they were HANDED..they get away with so much..look REAL CLOSE and you will find that they are not held accountable for anything.How can they get their raises without a contract..alot of skeletons in this closet!! Give it back to the one's that actually work,custodial,maint.,mechanic's..
Fred Grygiel September 22, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Given the Monmouth County Prosecutor's ongoing investigation, why would they allow the sale of the Denali until their investigation is concluded?
Cksucker McGee September 23, 2012 at 04:53 AM
When is this going to end? I really hope they keep digging to see who gave him this contract and what they received in return. I mean here is a guy living as if he were a sussessful person when all he is a glorified babysitter.
Really? September 23, 2012 at 05:29 PM
To the best of my memory, Doug Wild was President. Members of Finance Committee were, Wild, John Lane, Bob Kerr, & Paul McLaughlin. They would have been the members to ok the Denali and all it's features. The rest of the BOE vote I can't find.
j September 23, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Cksucker McGee, He is not eve qualified for that! You know what he allowed to go on with some students in his school. He looked the other way on some many issues. Blind Justice!
Cksucker McGee September 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Wall township is a joke. The board of education should be embarrassed and the whole system has to be cleaned out. This is the pinnacle of incompetence. I can only hope that Christie get wind of this and gets to the root of this sh!t because it stinks. Just a bunch of loud mouth aholes.
Leave it on the Field September 24, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Superintendent Simon & BOE President Tavis: Gentlemen - Laurie Cannon resigned from the BOE on 08.21.12 & the BOE accepted her resignation on 08.31.12 which is the exact timeframe the Monmouth Cty prosecutor's office was requesting confidential intelligence from school officials on Dr. Habel's work within school district. Did she tip off Dr. Habel to subpoena? As a former Wall BOE member, was Ms. Cannon required to sign a confidentiality agreement because of her access to confidential data (district personnel matters, financial info, etc)? She knows she continues to have a fiduciary responsibility to the Wall district since she's accountable for all past actions & decisions that carry forward, so how can Ms. Cannon believe it's appropriate for her to be THE MOST VOCAL Wall resident speaking to the media about Dr. Habel's situation & character? She's listed as a member of Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, (FMERA), so she's educated to such rules. Pls note, Wall Foundation for Excellence in Education is my next concern. Since 1991 millions of dollars was raised for district kids through this remarkable foundation led by some of NJ's finest citizens. How did district Execs - Drs Habel, Brower, & Ms. Cannon - gain control & authority to access/distribute money from this 501(c)3? Was BOE approving funds for BOE without 3rd party oversight? Without trust - achievement is fleeting. That's why you ask questions & audit everything. -thx.
Jim Clean September 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
What ?
Donald Swinchoski September 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Would those board members who went along with all the demands of the previous superintendent be called enHabelers?
Really? September 25, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Good one! Lest we forget the group that came right after them. The ones that refer to him as a "visionary". I wonder how their self evaluations will go today? Of course I expect Habel's spokesperson won't be there having "conveniently" stepped down 2 weeks prior to the raid.
Jim Clean September 25, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Anyone who really thinks Jim Habel is gone is making a foolish mistake. Although he may no longer be on school grounds, his presence remains with those he has appointed. Every appointment made within the past ten years came from him. There was no other input as he was given complete control. Some of these appointments were given to nonqualified persons for personal reasons? These handpicked administrators are in control of students who are preparing to move forward. These students are in fact neither ready or prepared. Stop fooling yourself as these administrators are thinking of themselves. You already know who they are. School scores tell the story. Remember the fish stinks from the head and continues to the tail. Mr. Simon, as smart as he is, knows where the top level changes need to be made. Three months have passed and he has done nothing but talk. Maybe his just being used to a small school with only top level students has him unprepared for this much larger different type of district. The BS and coverup continues. There are too many wolves in sheepskin. Top level changes need to be made in a hurry in order to correct these problems. Dan Simon has allowed the smelly fish to advise and control him. Everything is as it was, so why pay Simon along with the extras. The upper level cohorts cannot ERASE this problem with MR. CLEAN ERASER'S (OOP'S!). Fix the problem . . . . . make the changes . . . . .ERASE the Habel grasp over the district.
Christie DaLiar September 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yeah, good ole "Lets have a fundraiser at Ritacco's house" Christie will be sure to get to the bottom of this superintendent corruption. Only if it helps one of his national agendas.
Jim Clean September 27, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Jim is my reai name. I am not a school employee. However I am close enough to be aware of almost all that goes on. What i do know Mary Ellen ??? is it apperas that you were one of the passengers in the Denali . Now that information is comming out it appears that your eraser is out again. Trust me : This is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. This is the end of the beginning.
Chief Wahoo September 27, 2012 at 06:49 PM
there is NEVER just one cockroach !
Leave it on the Field September 28, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Jim Clean & Chief Wahoo - thank you for responding to Mary Ellen Denali-Donaghue. Her big girl pants are on too tight if she actually believe she's the only Monmouth County woman who ever worked for a Fortune 500 company. Miss Mary Girl - people don't have to work in a school system to be offended by adults who leverage the ignorance of others (BOEs) for personal profit while kids fail. Dr. Habel & all who enabled him have lots of explaining to do directly to Wall taxpayers & YES - to horrified readers across NJ who are still reeling from the Grand-Puba NJ Superintendent of all, Michael Ritaccio, & his BOE that THE judge chastised for looking the other way for YEARS!
Jim Clean September 28, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Where is Mary Ellen Denali-Donaghue ?? Looks like she is missing. Probably using the Mr Clean eraser again, but this time on herself. What are you really trying to hide, Mary Ellen ? Trust Jim , it's too late .
CorruptWall September 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Eww who would want that car? He probably slept with half of wall staff in it. Nasty power control freak that he is. Surprised he never got a DUI in the golden chariot. All those miles were put on during his many drives back in forth to Florida no doubt. Problem is we will never know what goes on behind closed doors in that school. The man in power has people who he hired and they will cover up his tracks. Karma. Power corrupts absolutely.
Really? October 02, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Mary Donohue works for Brown & Brown in the greater Philadelphia area. There are 2 offices, Mt. Laurel and Lambertville. Both would be considered as the "greater" Philadelphia area. Ms. Donohue is listed as Account Executive at Brown & Brown on LinkedIn. Coincidence? I think not.
Leave it on the Field October 02, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Friday Sept 28th, reporter Shannon Connelly of The Ocean Star in Pt. Pleasant reported that their sister newspaper "The Coast Star through an Open Public Records Act requested the long list of details from the Wall Township District that was issued to the school by the prosecutor's office. It is reported that they specifically asked the School District to turn over all Mr. Habel's employment contracts; compensation records, including docs related to salary & benefits; personnel records, time & attendence, vacation/sick or personal time, correspondence containing data reflecting attendence, vacation, personal, sick time, & all data related to conferences and training. They also asked for expense records associated with travel, auto, computers, cellualr devices, purchase requisitions, invoices and vouchers, receipts or reimbursements made payable to Mr. Habel or his wife Eileen Sullivan. Board of Ed minutes, including all execuitve sessions, resolutions, executive orders, all district contracts & agreements, meeting summaries, agendas, notes, correspondence, memorandas, reports & audits during Mr. Habels's tenure as superintendent." There are obviously new concerns & additional questions that must be asked for the sake of Wall Township, so keep asking them!

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