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Habel Pleads Not Guilty

The retired school superintendent of Wall has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges and claims that he covered up the alleged sexual abuse of a 4-year-old special needs student by a staff member.

James Habel
James Habel (Frank Galipo, Patch of Wall)

James Habel, who now lives in Florida, entered his pleas Monday.

Habel faces two separate indictments handed up earlier this year by a Monmouth County grand jury.

One adds him to last month’s indictment on Sandra Brower, formerly an administrator in Wall and now suspended from her current job as schools superintendent in Lacey. The indictment says the two did not report, then covered up, their knowledge of a 2009 abuse allegation and later fired or forced out employees who were aware of the alleged cover-up.

The second indictment covers alleged financial crimes by Habel.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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