Almost a year after being accused of stealing merchandise intended to be used for a charity event, a Hudson County school clerk is still under suspension with no court date in sight.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Graciela Rubet, a secretary for the Hudson County Schools of Technology since April 3rd, 2000, has been suspended for this entire scholastic year after being accused of theft on June 22nd, 2018, according to copies of North Bergen police reports obtained through an Open Public Records Act request.
According to the first report, filed on August 9th 2018, then-Acting Superintendent of Schools Amy Lin-Rodriguez told police that Rubet had taken items that didn’t belong to her out of an unsecured locker and then took them to her office.
The items, which included golf shirts, golf balls, pens corkscrews, and other souvenirs intended to be auctioned off at an annual charity golf event, officials said.
Both the August 9th, as well as an August 16th, 2018, police reports cite surveillance footage as evidence that she had stolen the merchandise, valued at somewhere between $200 and $300.
Eventually, Rubet, who earns an annual salary of $77,505, was charged with theft on August 29th, according to a third police report, and she had a Hudson County Superior Court date set for September 12th.
However, HCST spokeswoman Caitlin Mota said that Rubet was suspended by the school immediately and that a court date is still yet to happen
“The allegations against Ms. Rubet are disturbing and the investigation was quickly turned over to law enforcement for proper action to be taken. Ms. Rubet was immediately suspended from her position and remains so today pending the outcome of the criminal investigation,” she told HCV.
“A trial date has not been set and Ms. Rubet is being represented by an attorney appointed for her by the New Jersey Education Association.”
Timothy Smith, of the Fairfield-based law firm Caruso Smith Picini, said that his client is “unequivocally innocent.”
“Ms. Rubet is unequivocally innocent. We firmly plead that the charges were the result of a misunderstanding, we’re hopeful the authorities come to that understanding through the continuation of this process – which includes the open exchange of relevant evidence – and we look forward to resolving this in court,” he stated over the phone.