“Finding when something is a conflict that violates the School Ethics Act is kind of like holding in football,” said David Rubin, a New Jersey attorney and co-author of The Ethical Educator: Pointers and Pitfalls for School Administrators. “Somebody tried to explain what holding was to me once, and the best definition I could get was it’s when you hold too much.” When briefed on the findings of this investigation, Rubin said, “All the things you are telling me certainly would be consistent with something that might not be kosher, but don’t necessarily prove it. The real question that all this would turn on is: What is the real economic relationship here? What are the expectations back and forth?”It’s not clear what Fox—who won a Distinguished Service Award from the Bergen County Association of School Administrators in 2020—got out of the arrangement beyond fancy dinners and according to several emails a gift card with an unknown value. In an April 6 email exchange, Fox told Bonham, the Verkada salesperson, that “Jerry is excited to help close some of these districts…I know you are really close to completing some deals. I think April may rain some $$$.”
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“Last year we began to look to upgrade our security system and add sensors to all three of our buildings. After a trial period we were sold on their products and placed our order with Verkada using Monarch as our vendor. We received our supplies in 48 hours and were able to begin install. My IT director and Principals are elated with the new system. We mostly used esser funds to pay for the products and install. Finally, the quality of the products and professionalism was extremely high. I have been a superintendent for 12 years and I must say this was one of the best experiences I have had in working with a company. I know Emerson, Haworth, Harrington Park, Northern Valley and Northvale are also using Verkada products. We highly recommend Verkada and if anyone wants to view the system they are more than welcome to stop by Demarest.”