Dear Mr. Halliday: In the last correspondence directed to your attention, Ocean City Fairness in Taxes (FIT) discussed the troubling work history of former school superintendent Dr. Matthew Friedman. Clearly, a major concern of Dr. Friedman’s tenure is his unacceptable work attendance along with the many discrepancies in his attendance record.
Based on FIT‘s comprehensive examination of his attendance record to date, Dr. Friedman is NOT entitled to a vacation buy out check, in any amount, but should be sent an invoice for the amount in which he exceeded his contractual annual vacation allowance, which currently stands at approximately $4,350. Of course subject to change (increase) upon review of additional information.
Now, FIT is discovering when Dr. Friedman managed to find his way to Ocean City, many times he reported to work tardy and in some cases, extremely tardy. FIT is in the process of obtaining all of Dr. Friedman’s electronic access records to district property which best demonstrates the times he first reported to work on days he actually was in the district.
The initial results are not promising. Attached to this letter is a response to an OPRA request regarding the access records for a time period from to September 1 to 16, 2022. A summary of these records is provided below. The times listed reflects the earliest time that Dr. Friedman was electronically recorded as being in the district.
Thursday, September 1, 2022 …… 7:23 AM – Full day in-service
Friday, September 2, 2022 ………. 9:13 AM – Full day in-service
Tuesday, September 6, 2022 …….. 7:15 AM – First day of school
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 .. 12:29 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2022 …… 1:01 PM
Friday, September 9, 2022 ……….12:29 PM
Monday, September 12, 2022 ……..9:17 AM
Tuesday. September 13, 2022 ….. 10:01 AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2022 …1:34 PM
Thursday. September 15, 2022 …..12:02 PM
Friday, September 16, 2022 …….. 10:15 AM
Based on this information, out of the first eleven (11) work days in September, 2022, Dr. Friedman was recorded reporting to work after 12:00PM or NOON five (5) times. This type of attendance record is shameful and demonstrates a total lack of commitment to his job and dedication to the Ocean City school community.
Please, also note that during the all-important first week of school when it is critical for school administrators to be present and engaged to assist students, parents and teaching staff, Dr. Friedman did not show up for work until after NOON on three (3) out of the four (4) days. In other words, he made no effort to properly do his job. He did not care. So much for the passion.
In addition, as you are fully aware, Dr. Friedman was known to frequent various business establishments during the work day, at times for lengthy periods. Attached is an email sent to your attention back on June 1, 2023, advising you of this fact. His favorite spot in Ocean City was Starbucks, located at 11th Street and Asbury Avenue. Ironically, the third day that Dr. Friedman actually came to work for the district, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, he received a parking ticket for an expired meter in the 1100 block of Asbury Avenue. So at a time when he should have been consumed by work, meeting with staff and laser focused on the district, he already found his way to Starbucks. Obviously, his visionary leadership led him quickly to Starbucks. By the way, the parking ticket still remains UNPAID with the status listed as failure to appear/pay. The district can simply add the cost of the ticket to the invoice that will be sent to him for exceeding his vacation allowance.
But hey, just more examples of the exceptional service Dr. Friedman provided the Ocean City School District. As always, FIT will keep you and the board updated as we continue to examine Dr. Friedman’s brief but disastrous tenure in Ocean City. Furthermore, as previously stated, your silence just makes FIT more determined to work harder and dig deeper in order to gain a full appreciation of Dr. Friedman’s unethical and unprofessional conduct while in Ocean City. Conduct that for some unknown reason you failed to act on even after becoming aware of it.
David Breeden, President
Ocean City Fairness in Taxes
Exhibit “A” – Friedman Electronic Property Access Log – September, 1-16, 2022
Exhibit “B” – Email dated June 1, 2023 to Chris Halliday
Exhibit “C” – New Jersey State Ticket Detail Record for Friedman – July 13, 2022
cc: Tim Kelley, Board Secretary/Business Administrator
Michael Stanton, Board Solicitor
Ocean City Board of Education Members
Ocean City Fairness in Taxes Board of Directors