SECAUCUS - Testimony before an administrative law judge has begun in the case of a Secaucus Board of Education employee who was suspended on sexual harassment allegations in January.
Administrative Law Judge Ellen S. Bass is hearing the case of Natalizia Busnelli Aljallad, a former administrative assistant in the board office, whom the Board of Trustees voted to terminate in June.
Four days of hearings began on Oct. 15, with a full day of testimony from Secaucus Schools Superintendent Cynthia Randina. Additional hearings have been scheduled for Oct. 26, Nov. 5, and Dec. 6, after which Bass will render a decision in the matter.
The matter is before the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law in Newark and no jury is involved in the case.
Busnelli, who has recently gone back to using her maiden name, was initially suspended with pay from her job as a tenured administrative aide in the board office on Jan. 21, following allegations that she sexually harassed school safety officer Reinaldo Cruzado , made false statements to the same police officer, and made slanderous statements against two Board of Education trustees.
The alleged incidents took place in December 2009, according to an affidavit from Schools Superintendent Cynthia Randina which the Reporter obtained in April.
On March 30, Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Patrick Sharkey "administratively dismissed" a criminal complaint against Busnelli that stemmed from these same allegations, according to a document from the prosecutor's office.
Busnelli's status was later changed to "suspended without pay" in April.
Busnelli, Cruzado, and the two School Board Trustees she allegedly slandered - Michael Makarski and Frank Trombetta - are all expected to testify before Judge Bass. - E. Assata Wright