The Asbury Park Press reports today that Terrence Wilkins could retain his certification as a school principal despite a guilty plea in an arson case last month.


Because of his eligibility for pre-trial intervention, the former principal of the Red Bank Middle School could end up without a criminal record and hence, no immediate grounds for state schools regulators to revoke his certification, the Press reports.

Still, Wilkins could face a revocation should a formal complaint be filed.

The Press also adds some detail to Wilkins’ guilty plea that redbankgreen couldn’t get when we reported on it last week:

Wilkins pleaded guilty to third-degree arson, theft by deception, second-degree insurance fraud and two counts of conspiracy on June 13, as a condition of entry into the pretrial intervention program, said Michael Morris, assistant Essex County Prosecutor.

More from the story by reporter Larry Higgs:

Since Wilkins would not have a criminal record, if he completes PTI, state education officials would not have to be notified, and Wilkins could retain his principal’s credentials, said Richard Vespucci, state Department of Education spokesman.

“He would not have his credentials pulled (if charges are dismissed),” Vespucci said. “Only notices of conviction . . . of disqualifying crimes . . . are sent to the Board of Examiners.”

That independent board consists of teachers, other educators and Department of Education staff. It reviews individual cases on whether to issue or revoke education credentials, he said.

However, an individual could file a complaint asking the board to rule on whether Wilkins should keep his credentials, which could prompt a hearing, Vespucci said.

“It’s possible someone may complain,” Vespucci said. “If it comes to that and the board feels they need to review it, he (Wilkins) can present whatever evidence he wants on his career, either by letter or people could testify in person.”

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