LITTLE SILVER: HARASSMENT SUIT COST $290K

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03lawsuit that accused Little Silver’s school superintendent of same-sex sexual harassment was settled for $290,000, a website focused on government settlements reported Monday.

The case, which also alleged wrongful termination, was resolved last November, but its monetary details were not previously disclosed.

Here’s the complaint and the settlement, which included confidentiality and non-disparagement conditions, as published by NJ Civil Settlements: riley-v-kossack

The case was brought by JoAnn Riley of Edison, who claimed she was just four months into her job as a $105,000-a-year special services supervisor when she was abruptly fired because “she did not accede to the inappropriate sexual advances” by Superintendent Carolyn Kossack.

Riley claimed Kossack sent her a number of “inappropriate” text messages at night and on weekends that “had nothing to do with anything that was remotely work-related,” according to the lawsuit. In them, Kossack “came out” to Riley as gay and joked about converting Riley to lesbianism, the suit claimed.

In November, 2012, when Riley complained about the texts, Kossack fired her without advance notice that her job performance had been inadequate, the lawsuit claimed.

Riley sued the school board and Dennis Morolda, a former principal at the Markham Place School, who Riley claimed refused to help her as Kossack’s advances became more assertive.

The settlement was approved by the school board in a single-topic executive session held on November 11. The district’s attorney told redbankgreen at the time that the entire sum would be covered by insurance.

NJ Civil Settlements, which describes itself as “a partial list of settlements paid by New Jersey government agencies and their insurers to those who have sued them,” is published by John Paff, chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party‘s Open Government Advocacy Project.