An arbitrator has said that a woman who claims the former Long Branch superintendent of schools sexually assaulted her should be paid $4.5 million. Half paid by the superintendent and the other half by the board of education.
The arbitrator, a former court judge, ruled that former Superintendent Joseph M. Ferraina and the board should pay $4.5 million to Adele Russo, who claims that she was repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted when employed as his secretary.
Russo filed a civil suit against Ferriana in 2011 claiming the sexual assualts began in September 2004. The suit said she was afraid of Ferraina and that he kept her as his sex slave. She also claimed he raped her in his soundproof office at the Board of Education building on Broadway where he kept various sex toys, and at her home.
The Prosecuter’s Office looked into criminal charges and a Grand Jury was formed but they did not find any criminal wrongdoing and in June those charges were dropped.
Ferraina denies any wrongdoing and said from the beginning his name will be cleared.
Fox, of the firm Fox and Melofchik, LLC, represented Russo. He says since the arbitration is non-binding, both sides have an opportunity to appeal the arbitration within 30 days, which could send the case to court. He suspects that the other side will do so, though his firm is not planning to appeal.
“We think this is a fair resolution of the issue,” he said.
Fox said that the amount was determined by a retired judge with more than 20 years of experience in cases.
Many people have been asking The LINK News if Ferraina’s name will come down off the Joseph M. Ferraina Early Learning Childhood Center, a preschool named in his honor. Some said that from the beginning the building should have been named after Dr. Susan Young, a highly respected professor at Monmouth University since it was her brainchild. After a long battle Susan died of ALS in 2003