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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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Epps may be a scoundrel and a crook, but at least he's a good tipper. A 20% tip in a country where 10% is normal is quite commendable. But then again, that was my f890'ing money.

Posted on: 2006/5/23 0:49
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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I guess many o you readers haven't been to London so you don't realize that ondon is a lot more expensive than Manhattan. $500 per night for a hotel room in Lodon is simply not extravagant. Also, anyone who knows London also knows that getting around is difficult, so the money spent on the limosine is not that outrageous.

Posted on: 2006/5/23 0:38
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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That sounds like some trip.

Posted on: 2006/5/22 19:03
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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Local educrats stayed off campus at taxpayers' expense, records show
Monday, May 22, 2006
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City Schools Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. and his staff lived like kings on the first four days of their 2004 trip to England, paying nearly $500 for two meals, more than $300 on limousines and taxis and nearly $1,500 for three nights in a London hotel - all at the public school system's expense.

According to receipts and other documents obtained by The Jersey Journal from state Republicans and interviews with the Oxford University group that hosted the educational convention, Epps arrived in England four days before the convention began at Oxford University on July 19, 2004, racking up the majority of his $5,179.47 in reimbursed expenses.

In addition, organizers for the Oxford Round Table on Superintendency and School Leadership say room and board is included in the "all inclusive rate of $8,195" paid for by the school district - but Epps stayed off-campus, at the nearly $300-a-night Old Parsonage Hotel.

Epps, who also is an Assemblyman representing Jersey City and Bayonne, has repeatedly refused to return phone calls about the trip, which is drawing fire from state Republicans and radio station Jersey 101.5 FM.

Earlier this year, Epps told the radio station that he should have considered "McDonald's or Burger King" instead of dining at the exclusive Rules Restaurant, which has an estate to raise its game hens and is billed as London's oldest restaurant. He also said he was trying to "figure out" why he took a limousine instead of a taxi.

"I would rethink asparagus soup, I would rethink beef, I would rethink a limousine, and doing it just a little bit differently," he said.

It's unclear how many other district employees accompanied him on the trip, and whether they too stayed at hotels in Oxford and London and then submitted their own receipts for reimbursement.

According to restaurant receipts obtained by The Jersey Journal, Epps ate with two other people; a hotel bill from the last night of the trip indicates two people stayed in the room that Epps paid for with his Diner's Club credit card.

It's also unknown if the taxpayers paid for empty rooms at the conference, since the college offers attendees reduced rates if they decline to stay on campus. Organizers said it's "rare" that attendees don't stay in the dorms.

Epps also wouldn't return phone calls to explain why he went to England apparently four days before the conference began. All the receipts submitted by Epps for July 15-17 are from London, which is a little more than 50 miles away from Oxford University. More than half of the receipts he submitted for reimbursement came from this period.

In total, taxpayers footed the bill for Epp's $5,179 worth of submitted expenses, which does not include the $8,195 convention fee or airfare for all the travelers, according to school district records.

Posted on: 2006/5/22 15:50
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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Epps should give at least some money back: Manzo
Monday, May 22, 2006

Charles T. Epps Jr. should return some or all of the money he received as reimbursement for his expenses during his 2004 trip to England, said fellow 31st District Assemblyman Louis Manzo of Jersey City.

Epps, an Assemblyman as well as the state-appointed superintendent for Jersey City Public Schools, violated the district's policies regarding travel expenses and overnight stays that were in effect when he went to London and Oxford, and therefore should return the money, Manzo said.

"In light of the fact that he broke his own policy, he should do the right thing and give the money back," Manzo said.

Travel expenses were capped at $1,200 and staff members were limited to two overnight stays per school year for events outside the New Jersey/New York region. Epps was in England from July 15-24 on a trip that cost $8,195 for the "all inclusive" tuition to the conference at Oxford University, plus he was reimbursed $5,179.47 for expenses.

Manzo was one of the few Hudson County politicians willing to discuss Epps' trip.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Union City Mayor and Assemblyman Brian Stack, West New York Mayor and Assemblyman Albio Sires, state Sen. and North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco and state Sen. Bernard Kenny of Hoboken all did not return phone calls for comment.

However, state Republicans have been quick to pounce on the details of Epps' trip.

"I challenge Assemblyman-slash-school superintendent Charles Epps to find one student in Jersey City that his lavish trip to London benefited," New Jersey Republican Chairman Tom Wilson said.

"This is precisely the type of thing that undoes the credibility of the Abbott Districts and makes it hard for them to come to the state when they need money, because we can't trust that it's going into the classroom where it belongs," he said.

Posted on: 2006/5/22 15:38
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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This is one of the primary reasons why this state is in it's present condition and the complaicent attitude of it's tax payers .

Pigs like these school superintendents continue to binge on the state tax revenue while scores keep on plumeting in the urban school districts.

Wonder why our children can't put a sentence together, or better yet can't get into a good college/university ????

Ask people like Mr Epps and the $80 steak he indulged in on the backs of all the hard working residents of this state .

This is just a scrapping on the surface of all the bullshit that continues to go on in NJ.

CK

Posted on: 2006/5/11 19:49
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip
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His usage is incorrect...but, hey, Epps would argue that a well-spoken super would be worth even more!

Guys like him are destroying this state.

Posted on: 2006/5/11 19:22
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Re: Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
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Quote:
GrovePath wrote: Superintendents take heat on 'obscene' compensation Wednesday, May 10, 2006 BY DUNSTAN McNICHOL Star-Ledger Staff Later, Republicans took aim at a trip to London taken in 2004 by Jersey City Superintendent Charles Epps, who last year was elected to the Assembly. According to receipts from that trip, Epps stayed in a five-star hotel, rode a limousine from the airport and had an $80 steak at a restaurant called Rules that has its own estate, where it raises the game hens it serves. "Our frustration level is at an all-time high," Greenwald told act ing state Education Commissioner Lucille Davy as the hearing wrapped up. "We need answers. We're seeking them. We're demanding them." Epps, reached at his Jersey City office yesterday evening, said his pay and benefits are in line with what other superintendents make. He earns $225,038. "In fact, it's probably less than superintendents make across the country," he said. "There are districts that are a lot smaller than mine that make a lot more than me."
Not to be an English cop, but Epps is the superintendent of Jersey City Schools, right? So shouldn't he say "... than I" or "... than myself"?? Shouldn't we expect correct English usage from our school administrators? Maybe use some of that quater of a million salary and enroll in some remedial English courses? Maybe his usage is correct, but it just sounds odd to my ear (or me ear).

Posted on: 2006/5/11 17:45
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Jersey City School Superintendent takes heat on 'obscene' compensation and five-star London trip.
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Superintendents take heat on 'obscene' compensation
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
BY DUNSTAN McNICHOL
Star-Ledger Staff

Lawmakers and the acting state education commissioner yesterday sharply criticized the perks and salaries given to superintendents in New Jersey's poorest school districts, saying they were sparking outrage among residents who help foot the $4.2 billion tab for aid to 31 needy districts.

"It's an obscene amount of money. No wonder people are in re volt," Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) said during a conten tious four-hour budget hearing yesterday. "Frankly, I don't understand why they haven't already burned down the Bastille."

"We're honestly reaching a breaking point," added Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester).

Assemblyman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), the committee chairman, opened yesterday's hearing on the Department of Education's budget by reading through the provisions of contracts that state officials have negotiated with superintendents in three school districts operated by the state -- Newark, Paterson and Jersey City.

He cited a $10,000 deposit into one superintendent's post-retirement annuity account; pledges to pay up to $175 per day for 493.5 ac crued sick days; and a $1,000-per-month housing allowance on top of a salary scheduled to rise from $212,000 to $222,000 over two years.

Later, Republicans took aim at a trip to London taken in 2004 by Jersey City Superintendent Charles Epps, who last year was elected to the Assembly.

According to receipts from that trip, Epps stayed in a five-star hotel, rode a limousine from the airport and had an $80 steak at a restaurant called Rules that has its own estate, where it raises the game hens it serves.

"Our frustration level is at an all-time high," Greenwald told act ing state Education Commissioner Lucille Davy as the hearing wrapped up. "We need answers. We're seeking them. We're demanding them."

Epps, reached at his Jersey City office yesterday evening, said his pay and benefits are in line with what other superintendents make. He earns $225,038.

"In fact, it's probably less than superintendents make across the country," he said. "There are districts that are a lot smaller than mine that make a lot more than me."

Davy, however, told lawmakers she shared their concerns about the level of some school officials' compensation.

"I think some of these clauses go well beyond what is reasonable, particularly in light of our fiscal problems," she said.

Dunstan McNichol covers state government issues. He may be reached at (609) 989-0341 or dmcnichol@starledger.com.

Posted on: 2006/5/11 16:43
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