A newly-elected Lyndhurst Board of Education member hailed as a hero for helping rescue a tractor-trailer driver in a fiery crash on Route 3 is surrendering his seat after police in Seaside Heights charged him with pocketing $102,500 for contracting work that they say he never did.
Vincent Tunnero, 41, told Daily Voice on Thursday that he's notified the Bergen County Board of Elections and the Lyndhurst BOE that he's pulling out.
Tunnero said he couldn't comment further -- other than to say that he expected to be vindicated once the true facts of the case come to light.
According to a complaint filed on Oct. 25, nearly two weeks before the election, Tunnero took $37,000 from one man and $65,500 from another in April 2016 for “remodeling, renovating, repairing” their bungalow and then “failing to complete the job.”
Tunnero went to Seaside Heights police headquarters, where he was served with the complaint and then released pending further court action on two theft counts.
Six days later, he and two other passersby carried a tractor-trailer driver from the wreckage of a late-morning crash on Route 3 in Clifton that injured three people and closed the highway for hours.
Then, on Nov. 6, Tunnero won one of three available seats on the school board by 20 votes over the fourth-place finisher, Stephen Vendola.
The Lyndhurst BOE has been plagued by a deficit whose numbers have grown to $5 million from an estimated $1.1 million reported a little under a year ago.
This led to monitoring by the state Department of Education, layoffs of several teachers and elimination of several supervisory positions.
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