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NJ school district settles sex harassment case

LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — The Long Branch school district will pay $600,000 to settle a former secretary’s claims of sexual misconduct against a former district superintendent.

The Asbury Park Press ( reports the district’s board of education approved the settlement during a special meeting Friday night. Nearly all of the money will be paid by the district’s insurer, with the district responsible for $5,000.

The agreement comes just months after an arbitrator recommended that Adele Russo, who worked for Joseph Ferraina as his secretary, receive $4.5 million. The arbitrator said the school board and Ferraina should split the cost.

Russo claimed in her 2011 lawsuit that Ferraina had forced her into a sexual relationship. Ferraina has maintained his innocence, and noted the settlement stipulates that he doesn’t have to pay any money to Russo.