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UPDATE: Charges Against Sandra Brower Dropped

Sandra Brower
Sandra Brower
All criminal charges against former Lacey Schools Superintendent Sandra Brower have been dropped.

A new grand jury convened Monday to pursue charges against Brower after the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office uncovered additional evidence in the case, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. 

Gramiccioni in a telephone interview declined to say what the new evidence was, but said it was not available at the time of the original indictment.

The previous indictment named Brower and former Wall schools Superintendent James Habel in a scheme to cover up a possible sex abuse case of a then-4-year-old student. Those charges against Brower, and Habel's alleged involvement in it, are now dropped.

Gramiccioni said that the separate indictment against Habel,which charges the former schools cheif with bilking the school district out of thousands of dollars, is still intact and he expect a court date in the near future.

"We defend the state without prejudice or passion,'' Gramiccioni said. "And we don't keep score." 
Clementine Snide January 28, 2014 at 07:54 PM
@Spooner: read the indictment (I posted a link previously). It explains the timeline very well. The elementary school Principal informed Dr. Brower of the allegation on May 7. At that point, there should have been NO hesitation on Dr. Brower's part. She should have phoned the Principal immediately to get any details she needed and called the Police THERE AND THEN. But Dr. Brower waited until *the following morning* to call the Principal. Let's go with the obvious... The name of the teacher in question was most certainly included in the email. NOW, the email Dr. Brower received THE DAY BEFORE was ping-ponged to the district's lawyer (which was NOT NECESSARY as the laws are crystal clear about protocol, including timelines)... and Dr. Brower started calling people about the issue (according to the indictment). She spent three hours doing this, still not reporting the allegation. And as of the END OF THAT SCHOOL DAY, she STILL hadn't reported it!! page 5 of the indictment offers this: "Although the MOA mandated the immediate reporting of the Alleged Sex Assault to the designated law enforcement officials, herein the Wall Township Police, no such disclosure was made by defendant BROWER or any other school official." On the afternoon of May 8, at least 24 hours *after* the allegation was made, the police arrived at the behest of DYFS and Dr. Brower bold faced told them she'd only JUST MOMENTS PRIOR heard about the incident, that the email she'd received the day before from the principal made no claims of sexual assault, and that if she had know about any allegation of sexual assault, she would "have never allowed the situation to go on as long as it did and would have immediately made the proper notifications to the Wall Township police". She was legally obliged to contact the police IMMEDIATELY upon receiving the complaint. The Principal reported to her, probably as per their district policy. And rest assured, a teacher reported it to that Principal. All I can say with any degree of comfortability is that the teacher in question was proven innocent once the investigation was completed.
John Doe January 28, 2014 at 09:38 PM
What was done cannot be undone. Lacey now needs to focus on the issue of how a person with this kind of baggage was hired in the first place and how to be certain it does not happen again. Whoever was in charge of vetting applicants for the position of Superintendent of schools needs to be replaced with someone who is much more scrupulous in background checks and hiring someone above reproach. Taxpayers may need to spend more up front investigating all prospective job applicants in order to save hundreds of thousands in the long run. Iron clad contracts need to be written so that employees do not get paid for work not performed and any issues or even hints of issues of morality are grounds for dismissal. Why do we pay exorbitant legal fees in this Township and wind up in this kind of debacle? Perhaps a legal malpractice suit could be used to fund the payout of this unpopular employee. It will be an expensive lesson one way or another, but it is time to hold the school board accountable as well.
WMS826 January 29, 2014 at 08:50 AM
She is pretty looking..I'm glad she is out.
grace January 29, 2014 at 08:52 AM
@clementine thank you for clearing some things up. i am having trouble understanding if the sexual assault was in the email or not? if so like you saif it should have been reported immediately..but if not then why send an email to a lawyer?
grace January 29, 2014 at 08:54 AM
@ john doe can school board members be fired?
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 09:33 AM
@grace: I'm glad anything I posted helped clear things up. According to the indictment (http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/050613a1.pdf), yes. Dr. Brower WAS informed via email on May 7 that there was an allegation of sexual assault on 4 year old special needs child (see page 4 for the excerpt that is included). Reading the entire indictment is disturbing. Dr. Brower was actually the one in charge of *training* Wall school district administrators to comply with the MOA (the state laws regarding reporting of child abuse) (read page 3 of the indictment on what those laws are). So she's either stupid or arrogant. Or perhaps both. Her lying, though, should speak volumes. It is a testament to her character (or lack thereof) and her deliberate attempt to override the law (for whatever reason). One of the reasons the reporting laws are written the way they are is so people *don't have* the ability to make a choice. No one can any longer say, "well, I *know* that (teacher, parent, grandparent etc) and *know* they wouldn't do such a thing" or "I doubt that child's report". The discernment of abuse is given to the proper authorities. Good Faith laws are in place to provide protection to those who report to safeguard the process. What Dr. Brower did was try to supersede the law. And, when caught, she didn't turn and look innocently at anyone and say, "I was so incredibly mistaken about the spirit of the law" or "I wanted to be sure I was following policy" (which, apparently SHE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR TEACHING TO EMPLOYEES?!), but instead LIED. Which should alarm everyone here. She would rather lie and blame than take responsibility for her actions. Do you want that as your Superintendent in Lacey? Or anywhere?
WMS826 January 29, 2014 at 09:51 AM
So then why is she free of all charges....why is ObAma allowing this to happen.
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Well, @WMS... the charges were dropped in light of "new evidence" and a second grand jury review. There are many, including myself, who believe this "new evidence" involved a separate case against her cohort, Dr. Habel. There seems to be some thought that Dr. Brower gave some damning information to the Monmouth Prosecutor's Office in return for the dropped charges. She was not cleared of the charges, they were merely dropped. And I won't further dignify your second question by responding.
grace January 29, 2014 at 10:12 AM
my answer to that 2 clementine is no i dont want her as a super..thanks again for clearing alot up..why she didnt do what she was supposed to is her problem now! maybe by reporting this its stirring some pot but too bad a child is involved and a special needs one to boot..so u report it and wait for the outcome ..could be false could be true but do the right thing! ethics..
grace January 29, 2014 at 10:15 AM
lol @ wms maybe he is too busy raising the min wage to over 10 bucks an hour
Spooner January 29, 2014 at 11:18 AM
@Clementine Snide- it's evident from your posts that you're biased and prejudiced. Not going to repeat myself since the facts in evidence here are not forth coming and sparse to say the least. We don't know when the principal's email regarding the alleged incident was mailed to Brower. We don't know the full contents of that email. We don't know when Brower opened that email and when she allegedly forwarded the email to the board's attorney. We have no transcript of the attorney's conversion and advice given th Brower if any, regarding the alleged forwarded email. We have no other written record transcripts of other phone conversions as enumerated in complaint. We have no affidavit from the principal based on information and belief, that there was more to this alleged act than the captioned statement made by the parent as printed in the compliant. This would have been required, for Brower to have broken the law in not contacting law enforcement.
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM
You should REALLY read the indictment, @Spooner. There's an excerpt from the email. There's a timeline. There are phone records. There are quotes via the police. It's all there. Unless soliciting the attorney was part of the Wall district reporting protocol, there was no reason for it. At all. And IF IT WAS part of that district's protocol, it should have been on May 7 when Dr. Brower received said email, as the MOA MANDATES *IMMEDIATE* action. Let's pretend she didn't open the email until the morning of May 8. EVEN THEN, she STILL DID NOT REPORT THE INCIDENT! There is no *ADVICE* for an attorney or anyone else to give BY LAW. That seems to be the part people are misunderstanding. The state laws don't allow for such a thing because that leaves room for personal issues to creep in. That's why there are mandatory reporting laws. Said laws were violated. This isn't whether I'm biased or not. This is about a person who flew in the face of the law and then lied to cover it up. And she absolutely lied to the police when they arrived on May 8. Again, I suggest you read the original indictment. I've posted the link a few times.
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 12:24 PM
But wait... @Spooner... you contend there needed to be "more to this alleged act than the captioned statement made by the parent as printed in the compliant"? Here are my thoughts... if a parent's complaint to a Principal that a teacher sexually molested their child isn't considered a strong enough allegation to be investigated, ipso facto, then (1) I'm not sure what is and (2) I wouldn't want my child (or any other child) anywhere near such an irresponsible school system.
jerseytomato January 29, 2014 at 12:37 PM
Uh, authorities aren't exactly finished with her just yet. Read the article.
Spooner January 29, 2014 at 02:00 PM
...just when did you want him to do the investigating on May 7th, before he sent the alleged email to Brower. Give me a time line! What time did the 4yr old on that day after school, was he in the presence of his parents when he told them about the incident. What time and how was the principal contacted by the parents about what their son told them. And again: what time did the principal according to you, after all this investigating took place to reach the legal threshold of the law, before he allegedly contacted Brower by email that day...
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 03:00 PM
read... the... indictment... http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/050613a1.pdf Let's play Devil's Advocate... let's say Brower *didn't* receive the email until the morning of the 8th. Let's just say that's the case. She still didn't call the police. And when the police arrived to the school that afternoon, she deliberately mislead them by saying she'd only just moments before found out about the allegation, that the email did NOT contain any allegations and that, if she'd known, she would have reported it right away. So let's say she believed she had to wait for the attorney to get back to her or make some sort of decision (which would make her stupid, I'm sorry to say), then why lie? Why not just say to the police "I was waiting for our attorney to advise me what to do"? ::sigh:: Bottom line: she knew the law, she failed the child, she failed the parents, she failed the Principal, she failed the district and then she lied to the police when those failures came to light. And yes, I will belabor the point one more time for those that aren't catching it: There is no investigating that has to be done by a school district, a doctor, a nurse, a hospital, a bus driver, a pastor, a day care worker or anyone else who cares for children when it comes to suspected child abuse! There is a MANDATORY REPORTING LAW that states the authorities must immediately (not hours or days later) be notified. THEY investigate the validity of the allegation. That is THEIR job.
grace January 29, 2014 at 03:11 PM
o my darlin clementine you have answered and answered ..it seems clear to me that she needed to contact the police as soon as the allegation was made. why would you contact an attorney if the allegation was not in the email..so she lied saying it wasnt in there..does she happen to know the parents/child. is there a behavior issue and she maybe holds some kind of grudge against them? have the parents/child accused staff before????
Spooner January 29, 2014 at 03:19 PM
...you keep posting this "bill of particulars" Now I've read this twice along with reading the indictment 4 times? Read the APP article. The article states: based on new evidence of witnesses and documents, that what you allege above cannot be supported by the new evidence. So those allegations in that bill have have become moot...http://www.app.com/article/20140127/NJNEWS14/301270127/Cover-up-charges-dropped-against-Wall-s-former-schools-chief-aide
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 03:19 PM
ah, amazing grace... Thank you. Feels better knowing there are people listening and understanding. My work here is done.
ELAINE January 29, 2014 at 04:34 PM
SHE IS A DISGRACE TO ALL MOMS OUT THERE I SURE WOULD OF CALLED ALL , she needs to be in the clink a month or so also a big fine.
ELAINE January 29, 2014 at 04:35 PM
dk i ask all the time get no response
ELAINE January 29, 2014 at 04:37 PM
WMS826 ARE YOU WITH THE PROGRAM WHAT DO YOU WANT THE PRESIDENT TO DO LOL
Clementine Snide January 29, 2014 at 09:43 PM
@Spooner... The "cover-up" charges refer to the "official misconduct, hindering a criminal investigation, obstructing the administration of law and conspiracy" charges specific to the allegation that Dr. Brower (and Dr. Habel, as conspiracy is cited) "altered emails and fired, transferred or forced the resignation of staff members who were aware of her misconduct." "Habel’s attorney, Robert A. Honecker of the Ocean Township law firm Ansell, Grimm & Aaron, said the new evidence failed to establish a link between alleged retaliation against school personnel and the failure to report the accusation of child abuse." ( note: not 'the *alleged* failure...) "The state had linked those two together to show some type of conspiracy, but the new evidence, once uncovered, clearly showed that was not the case,” Honecker said." Maybe I AM being myopic, but none of this addresses the charge of failure to report the abuse... "—The former Wall schools superintendent and his former assistant have been cleared by a grand jury presented with new facts about an alleged cover-up of accusations of child molestation in the school system, authorities said." It addresses the alleged acts of retaliation against those staff members who were "aware of her misconduct". Not "alleged" misconduct... Yes, I am reading between the lines. Dropped charges does NOT equal exoneration... at least not from what I've been told. It feels like a whole lot of waffling is going on, and I have to agree with @Robert Yates when he posted, "What new evidence did the prosecutor's office turn up or determine to be false that would lead a grand jury to drop the charges? ... And if she did do it, how did the prosecutor's office lose the indictment? @Joe Joe is right. They will never tell us why they lost this case or why the original indictment did not stand." But I'm also reiterating that the charges dropped were cover-up/conspiracy charges. Not failure to report charges. And a "No Bill" return, from what I understand, doesn't mean charges won't still be filed. Hm. The law can certainly be a tricky dick.
Robert Yates January 30, 2014 at 10:24 AM
@Clementine Snide: after reading your remarks, I would have to agree that there is a great deal of waffling and whitewashing. Why can't they just come out and tell us what happened? Why specifically did they lose the case? If there was not enough evidence, what evidence was missing? If new evidence cancelled out old evidence, what was it? Everyone knows that prosecutors strike deals all the time in order to fry bigger fish. If that was the case, then we have a right to know what evidence was presented or withheld and why. It is the lack of transparency that kills me. It reminds me of W's rhetoric before during and after the Iraq War. Just tell us why you want to go to war. Who knows, maybe the real reason will be convincing. But we all know it had nothing to do with freedom, and likely nothing to do with WMDs. So for goodness sake just come out with it and we can then have a real discussion. But this waffling obfuscation and the carefully crafted parameters of acceptable topics of discussion are inexcusable and maddening really, on both sides. Whether or not the charges can be resurrected I do not know. It probably depend on whether they were dropped with or without prejudice. If the former then they are gone. If the latter, they can be brought again presuming double jeopardy does not come into play.
Clementine Snide January 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Thanks, @Robert... what you say all makes my dis-ease with the whole thing feel substantiated. " If that was the case, then we have a right to know what evidence was presented or withheld and why. It is the lack of transparency that kills me." Perfectly stated. And I love your analogy to W's Iraq rationale (or lack thereof). Again, thank you. Validation is a good thing.
grace January 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM
o my darlin @ clementine now there are two of us who get ya!
Robert Yates January 30, 2014 at 02:45 PM
My pleasure @Clementine. From the start, this case has been a tough one for me. On the one hand, I think Dr. Brower is an unimpressive Super, who is unwilling to do anything new or innovative to right Lacey's educational system and save the tax payers money. So I am definitely disinclined toward showing her sympathy. And if she violated the law, I want to see justice served. On the other hand, I despise prosecutorial abuse, the opaqueness of government, and their attempts to circumvent legal protections so I want to see them held accountable also. It appears neither is going to happen. I certainly share your dis-ease.
Clementine Snide January 30, 2014 at 08:28 PM
@Robert: From the start, it bothered me that there was a nearly four year lapse between the time of the incident and the indictment. I am not a fan of Dr. Brower, but that doesn't mean I found joy in her demise, either. And the timing of the charges seemed trumped, in my opinion. The powers that be were looking for something bigger, and using the smaller fish as bait. I questioned at the time (and question still) where the prosecutor was in May, 2009 when Dr. Brower was derelict in her duty to report a suspected case of sex assault in her district? So for reasons we, as the people who pay her salary, are not allowed to know, she walks? There's no penalty at all? And now she'll return to Lacey with her arrogance not only restored, but inflated and cause what sort of mayhem within our district? Perhaps someone can dispel a rumor for me; Did she really have a bathroom built in the board office for her own personal use? And with what monies? Out of whose budget was that taken? Or is this just a part of the Forked Rumor mill?
The pep February 07, 2014 at 06:18 PM
I think Lacey has bigger problems for their children. then what Brower did or not do. This is recent headlines on the Lacey.Patch "Lacey Among New Jersey Towns With The Most Heroin And Opiate Abuse" All you parents should stop wasting your time theorizing what took place 4 years ago in Wall Township and go upstairs to see what your children are doing or getting into.
grace February 07, 2014 at 06:28 PM
i wonder if lacey could get an i play america here maybe in the old rellas?..would be great for kids , families and the town.

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