TOMS RIVER -- A Superior Court judge has dismissed charges against the former Brick Township schools superintendent and his daughter who were accused of arranging for free services for his grandson to which authorities said the boy was not entitled.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Roe dismissed charges Tuesday against Walter Uszenski, who was fired from his job as school superintendent for Brick after he was charged in 2015 with stealing nearly $40,000 worth of free services from the district for his grandson.
The judge also dismissed charges against Uszenski's daughter, Jacqueline Halsey, who was accused of improperly applying for the services for her young son.
While dismissing the bulk of charges against him, the judge kept in place, though two charges against another ex-school official, Andrew Morgan, accusing him of falsifying his job application for the Brick school district, said defense attorney Joseph Benedict, who represents Uszenski.
Brick schools boss charged with stealing $40K in services for his grandchild
Uszenski was accused of hiring Morgan in 2013 as interim director of special services for the district so that Morgan would eventually approve full-time day care and transportation for Halsey's son.
After his hiring, Morgan recommended that children with special needs be placed in programs approved by the district. Yet Uszenski's grandson was still allowed to go to private daycare not approved by the district and he received free transportation to the facility, authorities alleged at the time.
Morgan's wife, Lorraine Morgan, the former academic officer for Brick Township public schools, was charged in September 2015 with approving unnecessary in-home counseling services for the boy.
Halsey's attorney has insisted the child was appropriately placed in special needs programs because of diagnoses he received since he was a toddler.
Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said his office is still reviewing Roe's written decision and assessing its options. The prosecutor's office has 45 days to file an appeal, he said. Or the prosecutor's office can present the case again to a grand jury, he said.
"It is the firm belief of (the prosecutor's office) that there has been a violation of the law and we will aggressively move forward in our efforts to continue prosecution," Della Fave said in an email. "This is far from over."
Uszenski, his daughter and Andrew Morgan had been charged with two counts of official misconduct and one count each of theft by deception and conspiracy to commit official misconduct. Morgan was also charged with false swearing and theft by deception for allegedly failing to report on his job application that he had been convicted in New York in 1990 for selling drugs there.
Lorraine Morgan, who was charged with official misconduct, was permitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program over the objections of the prosecutor's office. Successful completion of the program would allow Morgan to avoid being prosecuted.
Della Fave said his office's appeal of the decision allowing Lorraine Morgan into the PTI program is pending.
MaryAnn Spoto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MaryAnnSpoto. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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