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Kilpatrick motion dismissed for not stating claim

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SAYREVILLE – A complaint from Sayreville Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick against the Sayreville School District Board of Education alleging that her salary increment as a district teacher was improperly withheld has been dismissed by a New Jersey Superior Court judge.

The complaint was dismissed by Judge Brian English on Nov. 5.

Kilpatrick, who is a language arts teacher at Sayreville Middle School, filed her complaint in New Jersey Superior Court on July 30. The complaint follows a board vote on June 15 that withheld her salary increment and employment adjustment increment for the 2021-22 school year.

In response, the Board of Education filed a motion to dismiss Kilpatrick’s complaint for allegedly not stating a claim on Sept. 15.

As noted in the complaint, Kilpatrick had exercised her right to have her employment discussed in public instead of private. Board members did not discuss the salary increment withholding prior to their vote; the complaint alleges that they were required to do so.

In her complaint, Kilpatrick requested an order that finds the board’s action on her to be void due to the alleged Open Public Meetings Act (OPRA) violation. Kilpatrick also requested an order requiring the board to provide back pay and other benefits that resulted from the vote to withhold her 2021-22 salary increment.

However, the motion alleges that the board was not required to discuss the salary increment before voting on the issue. It also alleges that Kilpatrick is not entitled to back pay under OPRA and because Kilpatrick initiated proceedings currently pending before the Public Employees Relationship Commission (PERC), she should not proceed with her complaint before she exhausts her pending administrative remedies.

Following opposition to the motion from Kilpatrick and a reply from the board, English ordered that Kilpatrick’s complaint be dismissed with prejudice, which will prevent it from being filed again.

The order did not provide further details on why the complaint was dismissed.

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