WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Just hours before the Township's Board of Education was scheduled to meet, news broke that their longtime Business Administrator Dennis DeMarino was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.
Township Police say they found DeMarino had a gram of cocaine in his vehicle of February 18, during a traffic stop initiated after allegedly witnessing a drug deal in the parking lot of the school district administration building.
DeMarino, a Cranford resident, was charged with possession of cocaine and released on his own recognizance.
DeMarino has worked for the district since 1996 and earns a salary of $145,000. He is suspended with pay.
He is the son of former Woodbridge Mayor Joseph DeMarino, who served in the township's highest office until James McGreevey took over in 1992.
The elder DeMarino was also the Middlesex County Sheriff and a township police officer, and was once indicted in 1990 involving a leaf-disposal contractor that had been secretly burying the leaves.
Police were following the the younger DeMarino's alleged dealer, Kevin Swayze. The following day, Swayze was arrested and charged with both distribution and possession of cocaine, as well as distribution a controlled dangerous substance in a school zone, park zone and public housing complex zone.
Drug use among public officials has been a hot topic in Middlesex County, where State Police busted up a drug and gun distribution network involving at least three public officials in 2013.
Since then, a Vice Principal at the McKinley Elementary School was charged with a slew of serious offenses including drunk driving and cocaine possession.
"It's a serious problem and we don't legislate punishment for the crime," said Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, when asked about the recent busts involving public officials. "It's a concern of every parent and I think every human being in this country."