Thursday, June 15, 2017

Former Oakcrest Principal Files Lawsuit Against Superintendent and Regional School Board

Joseph Carruth
Former Oakcrest Principal Joseph Carruth has filed a lawsuit against the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School Board and Superintendent John Keenan. 

Carruth was hired by the District in November 2014 and placed on leave in May 2017. At that time over 250 students of Oakcrest held protests against the school for the Board placing Carruth on administrative leave. 

On July 5, 2017, the Regional School Board held a Donaldson Hearing on the employment of Carruth and after several members of the public addressed the Board, the Board did not reinstate Carruth.

According to the lawsuit filed by Sebastian Ionno, Esq. of Pitman, Carruth alleges several counts of discrimination, racial discrimination, retaliation, falsification of records and wrongful termination.

Carruth alleges that Superintendent John Keenan suggested Carruth perform unethical and illegal practices in order to falsify bogus disciplinary actions against Oakcrest teacher Joseph Seaman who was the lead negotiator for the teachers union.

The lawsuit also details racial discrimination when Carruth suggested staggering the high school graduations so parents with students in the different high schools could attend each graduation. A rotation that Keenan allegedly disagreed with and questioned who would take a 2 pm graduation in the sun.  According to the lawsuit, Keenan made a racial comment by stating the sun would not have an effect on the plaintiff (Carruth). 

Superintendent John Keenan denied the allegations of discrimination by stating they were "completely and utterly false." Keenan further stated, "All actions regarding his employment were performance based."

Board President Carol Houck stated, "The lawsuit filed by former employee Joseph Carruth has been received by the Board of Ed. As required by law, all persons entitled to indemnification from the Board will be defended.  Right now this includes the superintendent and persons who were Board members in July of 2016 when Mr. Carruth sought reinstatement from the Board.  To that end, the matter has been referred to the Board’s  joint insurance fund for investigation and defense. Since this is now pending litigation, no further statements will be issued by the Board at this time.”

Additional allegations against the Superintendent are outlined in the Lawsuit which is provided in full below.


Anonymous said...

Well the truth comes out. His administrators in his former north Jersey District were responsible for his demise up there and it looks like the same will happen here. Bye Bye Keenan!

Anonymous said...

Did Keenan think he could come down to South Jersey and do whatever he pleases? Did he think that we are silly bumpkins who would just roll over and not answer his dishonesty and machinations?

Anonymous said...

The sooner Keenan is gone, the better. Glad Mr Carruth is gonna stick it to the BOE... we should've voted in Rev Dawson last year. We can NOT keep the same board members and expect change, no matter who the superintendent is.

Unknown said...

I am so glad Mr. Carruth is taking the next step. My son graduated on Thursday and I wished he was there. I was one of the parents that spoke out at the Board Meeting, if you need me Mr. Carruth, I am here, ~ Mrs. Hopkins.

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