The Medford Township schools superintendent took a leave of absence on Monday, two weeks after he was arrested on charges of drunken driving. He was given a breath test after flipping over a district-owned Jeep.
Joseph Del Rossi, a well-regarded leader, returned to work after the Feb. 26 accident but came under fire for being a poor role model for students. School officials refused any comment. Board President Michael Etter explained that he could "be sued" if he made any statements in the "personnel matter."
After two weeks of silence, Del Rossi issued a written statement to the media. School officials then released background details about him - he's been with the school district 20 years and earns $179,000. But they still won't say whether Del Rossi will be paid during his leave of absence. They also won't provide details about the district's arrangement with Del Rossi over the use of the Jeep.
Here is the statement Del Rossi issued, in its entirety:
"Throughout my career my main goal has been to keep the focus of our work on the teaching and learning process for students. Because of the disruption the current circumstance has caused, I feel that it would be in the best interest of our entire school community for me to take some time away from my responsibilities.
I apologize for any inconvenience, concern or unrest this situation has caused our school district, especially our students. I know at this time there are many unanswered questions, but for legal reasons I can’t address them. At some point in the very near future I look forward to doing that. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter."