For the prosecutor, Saul R. Alexander.
For the respondent, Edward Lukacsko and Winne & Banta (Walter G. Winne, of counsel).
Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Donges and Perskie.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
BROGAN, CHIEF JUSTICE. Certiorari was allowed to review a resolution of the Board of Education of the City of Garfield
declaring vacant the "office of Supervising Principal * * * as of September 30th, 1944." The prosecutor had theretofore been employed by contract with the Board of Education as superintendent of schools of the City of Garfield for a five year term which began October 1st, 1939. At the time of the making of the contract the school affairs of the municipality were regulated by and conducted in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 18:6-1, et seq. On December 2d, 1943, the people of Garfield, by referendum, elected to have their school system conducted under the provisions of R.S. 18:7-1.
Under the statute first mentioned, supra, provision is made for the appointment of a superintendent of schools for a term not to exceed five years or, in the alternative, "without term to continue at the pleasure of the Board" of Education. In the statute adopted by the citizens of Garfield at the election held for that purpose, provision is found (R.S. 18:7-70) for the appointment of "a supervising principal of schools" if the necessity for such principal shall have been "agreed to in writing by the county superintendent of schools and approved by the Commissioner [of Education] and the State Board."
On December 3d, 1943, the day following the adoption of R.S. 18:7-1, et seq., a new board of education was organized in accordance with the provisions of that statute. It functioned until February 14th, 1944, at which time another board of education was officially organized. On July 11th, 1944, the district clerk of the Board of Education, pursuant to the Board's direction, made application to the county superintendent of schools for "approval of the office of supervising principal;" on September 21st, 1944, advice was received from the State Board that at its meeting of September 8th, 1944, it had "approved the position of supervising principal" for the school district.
The prosecutor is an honorably discharged veteran of World War No. 1, holds a permanent supervisor's certificate and a permanent school administrator's certificate which qualify him for appointment as supervising principal of schools under the rules of the Board of Education. During his five years of service no complaint of any kind was lodged against him.
The resolution ending his service was passed on the day on which his contract, by its term, expired. The prosecutor, contending against the validity of the resolution which declared his employment at an end, claims that in the facts and circumstances surrounding his service, subsequent to ...