The Holmdel School District has been ordered by a Monmouth County Court to pay up--to the tune of $800,000--in a discrimination case which stems back to 2005.
Laurie A. Cancalosi, a formerly openly gay woman who held the position of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, claimed in her complaint that she wrongfully terminated and the district allowed a hostile work environment which kept her from effectively doing her job.
According to the Asbury Park Press, Cancalosi, 51, began a relationship with former Holmdel High School principal Cheryl Swider, 57 two months after being hired in 2004. Swider was fired in 2006, according to the complaint.
In 2005, Cancalosi's complaint says she found a threatening note on her windshield. Handwriting analysis which was later corroborated indicated the note was written by board employee William Baronowsky, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Superintendent Barbara Duncan was hired in the district in July, 2006, and demanded Swider's resignation two weeks after starting in the district. Swider was eventually fired by the school board.
One month after Swider was fired, an action report regarding Baronowsky was submitted to the board but the board did not accept the report or use its recomendations. Cancalosi was fired in Aug., 2006, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Duncan was also named in the suit, but the jury did not find Duncan personally liable.