Email Trail

Remember the whole BoE criminal background check kerfuffle from a month ago?

According to a NJ state law passed last May, all School Board members had to have completed criminal background checks and been fingerprinted by Dec 31.  And 8 out of Hoboken's 9 BoE members did.

The exception: Maureen Sullivan.

And as of the evening of the  Tuesday, Jan 10th Board meeting, Sullivan had NOT been approved- until this message was emailed to Superintendent Toback at 5:08pm at on Tuesday evening:

Well, that was a surprise!

Because Toback had received a fax on January 8th  saying Sullivan was "non-compliant" with state law and would have to "cease serving immediately" as a Board member.

So HOW did she do it?  How did she manage to swing this 11th hour miracle from a state bureaucracy?  Did she have help?

GA OPRAed one month of email communications from Carl Carabelli, the Manager of the DoE's Criminal History Review Unit (CHRU), regarding the Sullivan matter.  Last month.

I just received it back- 19 pages.   That's right.  A mad flurry of communications from Sullivan and parties at the DoE, a desperate effort to spare her the embarrassment of being unseated at January 10th BoE meeting.

I'll share some.

Start with the one on Friday morning from Helene Leona at the Education Commissioner's Office.

Check out what Sullivan told her: "the Board is trying to get rid of me to pass things through".  Huh?   Um, didn't the BoE Agenda pass 9-0 at the next meeting?   So, she relayed this paranoid excuse to the Commissioner's Office.  I guess she didn't want to say she was too lazy to get off her caboose and take care of it like everyone else did on the Board.  Except her.

Then look at Pam Castellanos' reply.

Here's one from Carl Carabelli later on Friday, Jan 6.

This is confusing.  I thought Sullivan got her fingerprints done on Jan 5?  But MorphoTrak told Carabelli on Jan 6 that Sullivan "has not scheduled an appointment".  GA was told that Board members were not allowed to use another company.   So what does that mean???

Well, Carbelli sounds none too sympathetic: "Further she had 6 months to apply!!!!" (4 exclamation points) 

Well, here's one from Sullivan herself, Tuesday afternoon, less than 4 hours before the meeting;   she implored the State to send something to override their Jan 6 directive, the one for her to step down.

What does this tell you?

Sullivan made a huge ruckus- with threats (to take her grievances to the Commissioner) to pull strings denied to those less... hysterical.

And in the whole episode, did anyone catch a moment of contrition or remorse for her failure to follow the rules others did?  

I didn't.


  1. Good of GA to OPRA this fiasco!

    Curious if GA received the requested documents within the statutory time-frame required for response under OPRA? What was the date of GA's OPRA request? When was the response from the State received?

    Also curious....

    In the 19 OPRA'd pages, was there any subsequent document from MorphoTrak itself, specifically confirming successful (& "clean") completion of the alleged 1/5 fingerprinting event?

    It is conceivable Morpho's computerized scheduling system had some glitch, so the 1/5 appointment was not registered or communicated to the DOE, as of 1/6. For example, Sullivan may have somehow finagled a last-minute appointment, e.g. filled a last-minute cancellation, or just showed up & pitched such a hissy-fit, the Morpho site accommodated her to get rid of her. (Somehow, this last one seems the likeliest, given her other well-documented narcissistic "entitlement behaviors.")

    Is it also possible that Morpho was not the fingerprinting entity, as required by the law? That is, was Sullivan somehow allowed to complete the fingerprint-vetting by another means (for ex., at a police station, which used to be acceptable before Sagem Morpho got exclusive contractual rights)?

    But under full statutory compliance, there should have been some subsequent confirmation by Morpho to the DOE of the 1/5 event, since Sullivan alleges a "clean background check" in the 1/10 email. That should have appeared somewhere in the DOE records GA OPRA'd. Did it?

    However, all of this apparently doesn't change the situation: Sullivan was out of compliance with the 12/31 statutory deadline for vetting-completion, but ultimately, did not receive the mandated consequence of Board removal.

    As OPRA'd, what was revealed regarding the specific chain of communication/parties that effected the exception made for her at the 11th hour?

    All of this, just another pathetic chapter in the epic saga of buffoonish chicanery that is NJ politics (not to mention politics in general).

  2. The whole episode tells me that she is a dishonest, scheming wretch who cares about nobody but herself. She refused to comply w/ the law, she refused to take responsibility for her non-compliance and she blames everyone but herself for her complete failure to adhere to the requirements of the law.

  3. Why would the old bag not submit her paperwork and fingerprints through the proper channels for the background check? If I'm reading this correctly, she had a facility of her own choosing do a criminal history check and a fingerprint check? The inmate ran the asylum.

    Perhaps she has something to hide that would result in her permanent removal?


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