Paterson school district suspends its powerful chief of security | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson school district suspends its powerful chief of security

By Jayed Rahman
Published: December 13, 2018


The school district has suspended its head of security on Wednesday, according to district sources.

Former police captain James Smith was suspended pending an investigation. He had been in charge of security and investigation of employees accused of misconduct in the district.

Paul Brubaker, spokesman for superintendent Eileen Shafer, declined to comment citing a personnel matter, on Wednesday.

Smith’s downfall began after an investigation into school board member Emanuel Capers’ trip to Arizona which was paid for by a firm seeking district business.

Some school board members said they were not aware of the circumstances that led to Smith’s suspension. School board president Oshin Castillo could not immediately be reached for comments.

Smith had been working for the school district for 16 years. He could not be reached for comments for this report.

Smith sent his investigation report into Capers’ trip to both county and state education officials. After both did not act, he filed an ethics complaint against Capers. Three of the four ethics counts against Capers were sustained by the state ethics commission and referred to the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law for a final decision.

Capers declined to comment on Wednesday.

Smith’s name has appeared in several lawsuits that criticized the district’s practice of keeping teachers in an isolated room in central office called the “rubber room.” The rubber room was abolished this year.

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