Lenape Valley school board settles suit for $100,000

STANHOPE. Neither side admits wrongdoing in a lawsuit filed by former Superintendent Paul DiRupo in 2021.

| 21 May 2023 | 10:05

The Lenape Valley Regional High School Board of Education has settled a lawsuit filed by former Superintendent Paul DiRupo in 2021.

Neither side admitted wrongdoing in the suit, which accused the board of discriminating against DiRupo because of his age and/or health condition.

The board agreed to pay $100,000 to DiRupo, who had worked for the district for more than 32 years. Information about the settlement was reported on TransparencyNJ.com

He sued the board and Richard Kuncken, the board president, among others in February 2021, saying they illegally discriminated against him when the board did not renew his contract in December 2020.

In the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court, DiRupo, who was 64 then, said he asked Kuncken why his contract was not renewed. He ”stated essentially that the Board of Education was proceeding with a younger person to replace the plaintiff with no other explanation other than that the Board of Education was ‘going younger.’ “

DiRupo has had multiple sclerosis for many years, including while he worked for the school district; the board and administrators were aware of that; and the disease did not hurt his ability to do his job, according to the lawsuit.

“The defendant, Richard Kuncken, continually harassed and treated the plaintiff in a disparate and harassing fashion due not only to his age, but also because of his MS condition,” the suit says.

Phone messages were left for both DiRupo and Kuncken.