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DV Pilot Police & Fire

Video shows when Westwood superintendent took, returned generator

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

EXCLUSIVE: Surveillance cameras have provided evidence in the Westwood Regional School District’s investigation of Schools Superintendent Geoffrey Zoeller’s use of a district-owned generator to power his home, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

The images apparently show the generator being taken before Hurricane Sandy hit and then returned this past Saturday, a source with knowledge of the probe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight. It also indicates whether Zoeller had any assistance getting the generator loaded into a district-owned vehicle that he used to transport it.

District officials investigating the matter are also looking into whether Zoeller needed the vehicle to replace his four-door sedan before the storm hit in the first place, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

(A photo published in The Bergen Record showed the district vehicle parked in Zoeller’s garage in Boonton.)

The community is awaiting this Thursday’s public Board of Education meeting, which will be held at Westwood Regional High School, 701 Ridgewood Rd., Washington Twp., after a closed-door session — both of which the board’s attorney is expected to attend. A large audience is expected, including those who’ve pointed out that a school janitor lost his home and two cars.

Whether the Board will have any news is doubtful.

Board members intend to review all of the evidence and interview all those involved, a source close to the investigation told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.

Zoeller — who was on vacation in Florida last week while the truck reportedly remained at his house — has declined comment until after Thursday’s meeting, citing the advice of his attorney.

Last week, he told a reporter that he used the generator to power his blacked-out home so that he could work remotely. The truck, he said, allowed him to negotiate flooded roads in his area — even though he has replaced his Prius with a sedan.

Zoeller, who is paid nearly $220,000 a year, didn’t say why he didn’t have a generator of  his own.

However, sources confirmed that his home sustained damage during Hurricane Irene, which has raised the question of whether he may have taken the generator as a precaution sometime before Sandy hit New Jersey.

It was erroneously reported elsewhere that the generator and the vehicle were returned today. It was actually on Saturday, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

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