EDITOR'S NOTE: Yacovelli served as business administrator for the Ocean City Board of Education until his October 7, 2014 resignation. Yacovelli also previously served as a member of the Audubon Board of Education.
William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP, NJ (December 1, 2019)—A lawsuit filed against the Buena Regional Board of Education, Atlantic County, was settled in May for $185,000, according to John Paff of New Jersey Civil Settlements. The suit was brought by a confidential secretary to the district's business administrator who claim the administrator gave a female employee in whom he had a sexual interest a $10,000 raise to be his secretary.
According to the suit, the business administrator took the employee to the Tropicana in Atlantic City to have sex with her and also had sex with her in his office during school time. It was further alleged that both the business administrator and the female employee bragged to the secretary about the intensity of their sexual encounters.
In her lawsuit, Phyllis Boehm, a secretary for Buena Regional, claimed that Business Administrator Pasquale Yacovelli gave a $10,000 raise to a secretary who worked "on a different side of the building" so that she would become his secretary and ultimately his lover. Boehm claimed that the secretary, who is referred to in the lawsuit as "Jane Doe," was her friend and that Yacovelli asked her to talk to Jane Doe about his interest in her.
According to the lawsuit, Jane became Yacovelli's secretary in September 2015 and Yacovelli "used his influence as Business Administrator to get Jane the ten thousand dollar raise she wanted."
Boehm said that she "was very uncomfortable with the whole situation" and that Yacovelli's and Jane Doe's sexual activity and comments created "an environment that was hostile for women to work in [and] was in violation of [the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination]."
Before working for Buena Regional, Yacovelli served as business administrator for the Ocean City Board of Education until his October 7, 2014 resignation. Yacovelli also previously served as a member of the Audubon Board of Education.
The case is captioned Boehm v. Buena Regional School District, et al, Superior Court Docket No. ATL-L-496-17 and Boehm's attorney was Leo B. Dubler of Mount Laurel. Case documents are on-line here.
Paff said none of lawsuit's allegations have been proven or disproven in court. Settlement agreements typically state that payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by any of the defendants. All that is known for sure is that Buena Regional or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Boehm $185,000 than take the matter to trial, according to Paff.
The district consists of the Buena Regional High School, the Buena Regional Middle School, (both in Buena) the Dr. JP Cleary Elementary School, Minotola, the Collings Lake Elementary School, Collings Lake, and the John C. Milanesi Elementary School, Buena