Lodi Superintendent of Schools; Hanover Resident Arrested in Seaside Heights

Lodi Schools Superintendent Douglas Petty (left) checks his cell phone during special Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, August 31

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Lodi Schools Superintendent Douglas J. Petty punched a woman in the head on a Seaside Heights street, then brawled with a man who came to her aid, according to police reports.

A Seaside Heights traffic police officer, Officer Timothy Farrell, reported seeing Petty, 46, of Cedar Knolls, punch the woman in the head with a closed fist near the corner of Sumner Avenue and Boulevard around 1:20 a.m. Sunday, August 25.

When additional officers arrived, Petty was on top of another man on the sidewalk as the traffic officer attempted to break up the fight and struggled to put Petty in handcuffs.

Douglas J. Petty was arrested for fighting on Sunday morning.

Seaside Heights Police Officer Erik Hershey took Petty into custody and charged him with “purposely, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another” — basically simple assault.

The second officer was able to cuff Petty, who was brought to the Seaside Heights police station. Petty was charged just after 5:15 a.m. the same day with simple assault with intent to cause bodily injury — a disorderly persons offense.

A conviction for a disorderly persons offense carries a maximum possible sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

He was ordered released by a Superior Court judge later that day pending a scheduled September 14 first appearance in Municipal Court in Seaside Heights.

Petty, who left as principal of a public school in Newark to become Lodi’s schools chief in November 2019

He attended the Lodi Board of Education meeting on Wednesday according to Lodi Live. The topic didn’t come up at the meeting, which was live-streamed.

The Board Attorney should have advised immediately to suspend Douglas Petty upon arrest and pending court matter. Instead, Joseph Garcia sat on stage with Petty in a nonchalant manner. Garcia is a partner in the Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC.

Because of conflicts of interest, Board President Nancy Cardone (Relatives on the BOE payroll), Board Vice President Sharon Salvacion (daughter is a Lodi teacher), and Appointed Trustee Marjorie Breitweiser (daughter-in-law is a Lodi teacher) are prohibited from all matters pertaining to the Superintendent, Doug Petty. Therefore, possibly six board members could participate in superintendent discussions and take action.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or signing a criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.