The lawyer for a former school board secretary in Long Branch says an arbitration expert has recommended she be awarded $4.5 million in damages.

Joseph Ferraina
Former Long Branch school superintendent Joseph Ferraina (YouTube)

Adele Russo had filed a lawsuit in 2011 claiming former Superintendent Joseph Ferraina had forced her into a sexual relationship. The filing of her lawsuit coincided with his retirement.

Russo's attorney, Gary Fox, tells the Asbury Park Press that the arbitration expert, a retired judge, held the ex-superintendent and school board equally responsible.

Fox says the award would typically be paid through the school board's insurance policy.

A Monmouth County grand jury had also heard criminal sexual assault claims in the case but declined to issue an indictment.

The Press says it could not reach Ferraina, his attorney or the school board's lawyer.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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