The New Jersey school superintendent who made worldwide headlines last year after being arrested for defecating at a nearby high-school’s track is back in the news, with his attorney demanding an investigation of local police, claiming the man’s life “has been ruined” after authorities illegally released his booking photo.
Thomas Tramaglini, who headed the Kenilworth schools, was taken into custody in May of last year for allegedly pooping under the bleachers at Holmdel High School.
Holmdel Police subsequently published his mugshot on its Facebook page.
Now, Tramaglini’s attorney Matthew Adams has sent a 10-page letter to the state attorney general seeking a probe of the department, blasting police for “unauthorized taking and subsequent leaking” of the superintendent’s booking photo.
“The Holmdel Police Department’s actions were the height of willful misconduct, professional irresponsibility, and a total disdain for the law,” Adams wrote Monday to Gubir Grewal, the attorney general, according to NJ.com.
“[Thomas Tramaglini’s] life, effectively, has been ruined.”
Police indicated that students and staff members had reported finding human feces on campus “on a daily basis.”
Tramaglini pleaded guilty to defecating in public, carrying a penalty of $500 and court costs.
After release of his photo, Tramaglini instantly became the butt of countless jokes, labeled “pooperintendent” and “mystery pooper” along with unflattering attention from late-night talk-show hosts.
“There is no way for Dr. Tramaglini to cleanse the internet of what the Holmdel Police Department has so maliciously done to harm him, and the Holmdel Police Department must be held accountable,” Adams wrote in his letter.
NJ.com reported: “Adams wrote that his law firm requested copies of all arrest reports and complaint/summonses for littering and public urination/defecation from January 2007 to August 2018 in Holmdel. In the letter, he said there was ‘not a single instance’ of those same violations that resulted in the ‘dissemination of a booking photograph’ like Tramaglini’s.”
It also noted that under state law, releasing mugshots of people not charged with indictable offenses is generally prohibited.
Tramaglini resigned his $147,504-a-year position, but has filed a notice of intent to sue the police for loss of income, harm to his reputation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy. Potential damages could exceed $1 million.
Following his arrest, Tramaglini was reportedly tested by Dr. Barry Kaufman of Atlantic Gastroenterology, who diagnosed the superintendent with a bowel condition known as runner’s diarrhea.
“It’s been getting worse as I’ve gotten older,” Tramaglini told NJ.com. “But I run 40 miles a week and it’s not like it happens all the time.”
Tramaglini is the father of a son and daughter, and says the whole ordeal is having a detrimental effect on them.
“My kids are taking a beating,” he said. “They’re being ostracized and teased. That’s, by far, the worst part. And you know how people like to Google their names? When they Google theirs, this will always come up.”
“I was used for click-bait,” Tramaglini added. “What I did was wrong, but I had a bathroom emergency. I (eventually) admitted to it in court. But I could have never predicted what happened next.”
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