West New York teacher’s settlement for alleged gun-pointing incident revealed

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A teacher at West New York’s Memorial High School allegedly pointed a police officer’s gun at a colleague inside the school, during school hours, last February and Hudson County View has obtained the settlement agreement he reached with the school district. 

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Mike Leibowitz, a gym teacher at Memorial High School – who is also the girl’s soccer coach – allegedly pointed Police Officer Hugo Sanchez’s gun at a colleague after the cop told him to watch his police belt back in February 2014.

I was the first one to report the names of the two individuals involved in the incident (h/t Hudson County TV).

The incident was largely ignored for about two months until a teacher reported the incident to the school district on April 10.

Now, according to the disciplinary settlement agreement obtained by Hudson County View – which was approved at the April 14 BOE meeting – Leibowitz will have his next two pay raises withheld and he will be transferred from Memorial High School to an undetermined school to be chosen by Superintendent of Schools John Fauta.

According to the settlement, Leibowitz “shall have his salary increase and step increase withheld for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.”

The settlement also states that neither side can file a lawsuit over this incident, nor can an appeal for the punishment be filed by Leibowitz.

Regarding Sanchez, Police Director Robert Antolos did not return calls seeking comment, but a source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to speak on the matter, revealed that the police officer received “a lengthy suspension without pay” and just returned to the force in April.

Additionally, Fauta declined to comment, while Leibowitz did not immediately return an email sent to his West New York district address.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for breaking this story then, John Heinis, and following up with this piece. It seems that only our Public Safety Director got it right with respect to appropriate discipline.

  2. Teacher and Cop need to get fired!

    This is not the end of this story.

  3. The incident wasn’t ignored. It was covered up by the principal. Don’t get that wrong. The superintendent didn’t do anything when he found out because of the principals political connections.

  4. How come the police weren’t called for 2 months??? The incompetence is unreal. Who is running that place? That teacher should have been fired already along with anyone who covered it up. I thought bringing a gun in a school was a crime. What if a student would have done that?

  5. They must have some really good connections. Disturbing to hear he will still be a teacher, and the officer will still be a cop. Who will want either one of them being an example to children ? Shameful. I pray no one has to pay for this the hard way.

  6. What a disgrace. From the superintendent to the principal to the teacher. They all need to go.

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