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Statement From Hazlet School District Officials on Arrest of Former Employee

Michelle Pumilia was arrested by state police on Oct. 10 and charged with stealing approximately $229,000 from the Hazlet School District during her tenure as transportation manager between 2005-2008

The following statement was distributed by the Hazlet School District Superintendent's office to the press at 3 p.m. Thursday regarding the Oct. 10 arrest of Michelle Pumilia and her mother, Virginia Lisay, both of Union Beach. Read about the arrest on Holmdel-Hazlet Patch. 

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, the Superintendent’s Office of the Hazlet Township School District was contacted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office regarding an ongoing investigation of a former employee of the District. The investigation pertains to the potential misappropriation of transportation expenditures.  The individual in question was employed as the District’s Transportation Coordinator from September 2005 until they resigned in August 2008. 

Upon notification of the investigation, the Hazlet Township Board of Education secured an outside auditing firm to conduct an independent audit of the entire transportation department. 

“Since learning of the investigation, the Hazlet Township School District has cooperated fully with the State Police and the Attorney General’s Office; we have provided all requested information, including the results of our independent audit.  We will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office in their prosecution of this individual to the full extent of the law,” stated Dr. Bernard F. Bragen, Jr., Superintendent of Schools. 

“The Board of Education was made aware of the ongoing investigation by the Central Office Administration; we have filed the necessary insurance claims for any possible losses under our Errors and Omissions Policies,” stated Stephen Willig, President of the Hazlet Township Board of Education.  

Ann October 11, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Sooner or later all will get caught , GREED!!!! unfortunately this is happening all over . They should investegate all the school districts .
Rich Jaeger October 11, 2012 at 09:04 PM
and what was the result of the Hazlet BOE audit?????
Good Neighbor October 12, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Both of them should be made to pay every penny they stole back.
Charles E. Hoffman. Jr. October 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM
It is noted with some displeasure that the BOE did not uncover this fraud on its own, but infact only went looking when given a heads up. Just maybe an every two or three year audit of the school system's books should become a matter of routine. If I read the article correctly I believe that law enforcement in the beginning acted on "a tip."so both school system's failed in monitoring their transportation costs. Just think, the failure of a simple attempt to place a phone call to or a plain old ":drive by" at the fictitious address what have generated a greater looking into the set of circumstances.
Lisa Smith October 12, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Is it possible that there are others with their hands in the cookie jar? These two didn't look like rocket scientists but just people with that screwed up sense of entitlement that seems to be running rampant in this country. Perhaps there should be audits of all local agencies.
Hazlet October 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
HEY Hazlet BOE, so you let a single person sign the checks and let them play monopoly with tax payers money. I think the entire BOE should be fired. I cannot believe you have no internal audits. Who the heck is doing your audits. When you pay your bills at home dont you look overt the charges on your credit cards. You people are so lame. Great job again by all the powers to be in Hazlet. Good thing someone else gave you the "heads up"
Rina Messina October 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The next BOE meeting is set for October 22. That's when the citizens of Hazlet should speak there mind. Afterall these so called "administrators" are paying with our tax dollars!

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