Danny Necimo, director of the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School, who came under fire for allegedly sexually harassing and touching a female employee, has resigned.
Necimo’s resignation was confirmed by the charter school’s parent organization iLearn Schools of Fair Lawn on Wednesday afternoon.
“Mr. Necimo has resigned from the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School. He is no longer working for us,” said the spokeswoman for iLearn Schools.
Necimo did not respond to a call for comment on Wednesday morning.
His resignation comes after the Paterson Times reported about a lawsuit filed against him and the school by a former receptionist, identified by her initials as J.R., alleging he sexually touched her and engaged in a campaign of sexual harassment.
Some parents at the school were shocked by the allegations and began to demand answers from iLearn Schools.
“I still didn’t get the answers for the questions I had, and I feel like they should have told the parents what was happening,” said one parent.
Necimo allegedly sexually harassed the receptionist in 2017. When the woman complained to iLearn Schools, Necimo allegedly had her fired.
“Those look nice,” Necimo allegedly said to the receptionist. “I like big-breasted women.”
In another incident, Necimo allegedly grabbed her by the buttocks. In a third incident, he asked her to join him at the school’s conference room, shut the door, approached her from behind, grabbed her breast, took it out of the shirt, and tried to put his lips on her bosom, according to documents filed in court.
The woman pushed Necimo away. She told him if he touched her again, she would kick him in the “balls” and scream.
On yet another occasion, Necimo told the woman he would rip her apart.
“Your hands can do other things besides paperwork,” Necimo allegedly said to her. “Try my office sofa after school to see how comfortable it is.”
The woman resisted and told him to stop each time, says the lawsuit. Necimo, who would not stop, began a demeaning campaign against her for resisting. He called her “stupid” and “dumb.” He asked her if she was “f—king stupid?”
The receptionist told him he was being disrespectful and that she would report him to human resources.
She reported him to human resources. Necimo complained she was not doing her work. She was fired in Aug. 2017.
A month earlier, iLearn School renewed her contract for 12 months.
The woman, who has been identified by the Paterson Times, began working for the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School on Aug. 10, 2015. She resides in Paterson.
Former school board member Corey Teague, a critic of charter schools, said Necimo did the right thing by resigning from the post “in the interest of the school.”
The allegations against Necimo was picked up by the Turkish media because of his ties to the exiled Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The government of Turkey has targeted followers of Gülen after blaming the group for the failed 2016 coup against president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The iLearn Schools is affiliated with the Gülen movement, according to U.S. and Turkish media reports. However, a lawyer disputed the school’s association with the controversial Islamic scholar.
“Neither Paterson ASCS nor its management organization, iLearn Schools, has any affiliation with the ‘Gulen movement,’” said Brenda C. Liss, attorney for the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School.
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This report was updated with comments from Liss on Mar. 18, 2019.