Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne School Trustee Cleared of Ethics Charges

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne School Trustee Cleared of Ethics Charges

Article excerpt

WAYNE – Township school board member Cathy Kazan has been cleared of accusations that she violated state ethics rules when she joined a legal action involving the board.

In the latest of three legal opinions that sided with Kazan, state School Ethics Commission Chairman Robert Bender dismissed all ten counts of an ethics complaint that was filed after Kazan signed a petition to invalidate the results of a 2015 referendum in which voters rejected adopting full-day kindergarten.

Kazan, who won re-election to the board Tuesday, hailed the decision.

"I said back in March that it's time to move on and it's time to stop wasting taxpayer money but they pressed on," said Kazan, referring to her fellow trustees, who filed the complaint against her. "I'm relieved this is finally over."

Kazan estimated she had spent up to $40,000 in attorney fees to fight the ethics charges. She said the school system is on the hook for her legal expenses, in addition to the cost of the district's counsel.

Bender's decision, handed down on Nov. 1, could be appealed to the state Superior Court.

But Board President Donald Pavlak, who was also re-elected on Tuesday along with challenger Sean Duffy, said he plans to turn the page on the matter.

"I think that everything's over now and this moves us into a new place," Pavlak said. "It's done and it's time to move on because there's work to do as a board."

Kazan ran for a school board seat in 2013 on a platform pledging to institute full day kindergarten. …

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