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School Ethics Commission Decisions

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School Ethics Commission Decisions
Public Advisory Opinions
Doctrine of Necessity

A03-98 Board members may serve on negotiating team and vote on contract pursuant to the Doctrine of Necessity when four of the five presently able to vote, have a conflict of interest. 4/28/98
A14-02 A Board member whose brother-in-law teaches in another school district would not violate the Act if he were to participate in negotiations with the local education association. The Doctrine of Necessity should not be invoked to allow the entire Board to participate in negotiations when there are three Board members without conflicts who may serve as the negotiating committee. Third, the Business Administrator whose spouse is an NJEA member may provide technical assistance to the Board without invoking the Doctrine of Necessity. 11/15/02
A24-12 The Commission finds that since there are four members on the Board who are not conflicted, then they may serve as the selection committee for the new Superintendent; therefore, the Doctrine of Necessity may not be invoked during the hiring process.  Additionally, consistent with the Commission's determination in Martinez v, Albolino, SEC Dkt. No. C45-11 (June 26, 2012) and N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c), the members with conflicts are prohibited from any involvement in the pre-hiring or post-hiring employment issues of the Superintendent. 12/18/12


Four non-conflicted Board members are sufficient to conduct an evaluation of the Superintendent.



Three non-conflicted Board members are sufficient to conduct an evaluation of the Superintendent.



Conflicted Board members may not conduct Board business in its search for a new Superintendent including any aspect of the vetting process or any evaluation of the Superintendent.


A05-14 All members of a Board need not be present in order for a Board to invoke the Doctrine of Necessity. 4/22/14
A08-15 A Board member whose spouse is employed by the district as a per diem employee is conflicted and would violate N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24(c) if he were to participate in Superintendent and certain other administrators' evaluations or if he were to vote on their contracts.  Moreover, since the Board has a quorum of non-conflicted members, the Doctrine of Necessity cannot be invoked even if the vote is tied. 6/30/15