A former New Jersey superintendent who admitted to repeatedly defecating on a high school’s football and track field last year is suing the township where he was charged, alleging police released his mugshot to media outlets in a deliberate effort to shame him and ruin his reputation.
In May 2018, Holmdel police arrested then-Kenilworth Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, who was running on the field of Holmdel High School at the time. Authorities said they implemented surveillance at the school after finding human feces on the school’s athletic fields on a daily basis.
Tramaglini, 42, pleaded guilty in October to public defecation and paid a $500 fine. On leave since his arrest, Tramaglini officially stepped down as superintendent in September. The school district compensated him $109,871 for months of paid leave, unused vacation time, and early termination payments, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Suing Homedel police, Tramaglini’s federal complaint claimed his mugshot “was cited by Kenilworth Board of Education officials as a basis for parting ways with (Tramaglini).” The ex-superintendent reportedly now works outside of the education field.
“Tramaglini will never achieve the level of compensation, benefits, and retirement pension income that he would have otherwise if the unlawfully taken photographs of him had not been released to the media to satisfy the prurient interests of certain members of the Holmdel Township Police Department and others that they conspired with,” the lawsuit continued.
According to the ex-superintendent, the story made the front page for several days last year, with multiple news outlets erroneously reporting that he was arrested—and not clarifying that he was actually cited for “two alleged violations of non-criminal municipal ordinances.”
Tramaglini notified the township of his intention to sue in July. His lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for compensatory, punitive, incidental, and consequential damages.
[Featured Image: Thomas Tramaglini/Holmdel Township Police Department]