Tuesday, April 19, 2016


The investigation into claims of harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) by Columbia High School baseball coach Joe Fischetti is being delayed yet again, according to Superintendent John Ramos.

Ramos told the school board on Monday night that outside investigator Leroy Seitz, who is superintendent of the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District, has been delayed due to personal issues. 

You may recall that the district hired Seitz nearly two months ago to review its own investigation that found Fischetti had allowed harassment and bullying of at least two former players.

Despite that, and a lawsuit filed by one of the former players, the school board on Feb. 22 voted to re-appoint Fischetti as coach this season by a 6-3 vote. Board members Johanna Wright, Chris Sabin and Elizabeth Baker voted against the re-appointment.

At the same meeting, Ramos announced that an outside investigator would be brought in to review the findings. It was later revealed that investigator was Seitz.

Last month, District Spokeswoman Suzanne Turner stated that an update would occur at Monday's meeting, but also indicated Seitz's findings would not be made public.

But Ramos said Monday the investigation would continue. He had said in February it would take two to four weeks. Seitz is being paid $5,000 for his work.

After Seitz was hired, it was found that he had a conflict of interest with Board Attorney Philip Stern, who is also the district's HIB coordinator. Stern had worked for Seitz in Parsipanny-Troy Hills in 2009.  

It was also discovered that no request for proposals to hire the investigator had been issued, despite District Spokeswoman Suzanne Turner saying to another news outlet that it had.

After the announcement of the delay, former CHS baseball parent Randy Nathan criticized the delay. Nathan had accused Fischetti of harassing his son and the district had found his claims to be valid.

Nathan has also said that Seitz has yet to interview him or his son.

"Why is this taking so long?" Nathan told the board, later adding, "why all this secrecy? What are you afraid of." He also called it "a travesty" and a "cover-up."