Schools chief accused of torching garage had fessed up to Ashley Madison account, report says
The then-Randolph schools superintendent accused of setting his own garage on fire, badly injuring himself in the process, had started the blaze after confessing to his wife and the school board he had an account with Ashley Madison, the New York Post reports.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with the case, the Post said Brown was pressured to quit his job — which he did in late October, about a month and a half after the fire — "because his online antics were linked to a 'work-issued device.'"
The Post quotes the source saying Browne "self-reported to both his wife and the board of Ed." It quotes Craig Swenson, Browne’s criminal defense lawyer, saying he had not expected his client's wife to file a divorce complaint, which cites "irreconcilable differences ... which have caused a total breakdown of the marriage," according to the Post.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli last month said Browne was found outside his garage in Wyckoff with numerous injuries when firefighters arrived on Oct. 13.
An investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, its arson squad, and the Wyckoff Police Department concluded that Browne purposely set the fire from inside the garage, the prosecutor’s office said. It didn’t say how authorities came to that conclusion.
The same day as the fire, he was placed on paid leave by the school board. Browne, who’s base salary started at $167,500, initially took medical leave from his job in September for what school officials describe as “personal reasons.”
About a week before authorities announced charges, he stepped down entirely. He had been slated to receive a payout of of $62,350 for three months of compensation and unused vacation and sick days.
The assistant superintendent of schools, Jennifer Fano, is currently serving as the acting superintendent in Browne’s absence. Browne had been superintendent of schools in Randolph since July 2011.