Teacher Loses Job Over Cocaine Conviction - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Teacher Loses Job Over Cocaine Conviction

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Union City, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Union City School District spokesman Joe Lauro confirmed that Ms. Kim Innocenti, the 6th grade teacher who pleaded guilty to bringing cocaine into Allenwood Federal Penitentiary, has in fact lost her job.

Lauro says the school board really doesn’t have much of a decision here. New Jersey state law says that if a teacher is convicted of something like possession of cocaine they are then disqualified from teaching and must be immediately terminated.

The district said that they had no idea about the arrest and even contacted the New Jersey criminal history review unit which said that authorities in Pennsylvania didn’t tell them about it. Normally, in a situation like Innocenti’s a letter would be sent to the superintendent, but because this particular incident happened out of state, new regulations may need to be put in place.

Lawyer Carmine Vallani of Vallani and Deluca Law Firm in Point Pleasant, New Jersey said he’s never heard of a case where a teacher was convicted in another state and basically got away with continuing to teach.

“You have 14 days from being charged to notify your administrator that this occurred, so the teacher in every instance has an obligation within 14 days to notify. So if there’s an event like this that occurs that has to go and be brought to someone’s attention,” Vallani said.

What’s disturbing here is this may not be the only case in New Jersey where a teacher is guilty of a crime that would disqualify them from teaching in state. In fact, there could be dozens or even hundreds of teachers and other public employees who were convicted in other states and simply never reported the arrest or conviction to their superiors, as they are required to do by New Jersey law.


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