A dispute between the Trenton Board of Education and two private security companies led to guards walking out of the schools last Friday. Education and city leaders scrambled through the weekend to put an alternate security plan in place. As a result, city police officers were patrolling the buildings yesterday.
The dispute stems from a lawsuit between the district, the former security provider, called Motivated, and the current provider, Patriot. Motivated alleges an employee gained inside information on the bidding process that gave Patriot an unfair advantage. Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora says the court agreed and ordered a desist on Patriot, but the Board of Education failed to notify the city.
“This was a dispute between the privatized security firms. We, unfortunately, were the collateral damage and the innocent victims,” Gusciora said.
Members of the Trenton Education Association have calling for Trenton Schools Superintendent Fred McDowell to resign, along with board president Gene Bouie. Janice Williams, of the association, said, “They knew since August this litigation was taking place and that they were the co-defendants. They lied to the public, they lied to the district and said that they had no knowledge of this happening until Friday. Now it has been uncovered that they were fully knowledgeable,” Williams said.
on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.