Toms River School Board to Pay Jailed Former Superintendent Ritacco’s Ex-Girlfriend $150K

The Toms River School Board plans to pay a $150,000 settlement to Donna Mansfield, the former Toms River Schools food service manager that at one time dated former superintendent Michael Ritacco, the school system’s infamous former leader who was jailed for concocting an illegal insurance kickback scheme with district contractors.

Toms River Schools (OCP File Photo)

Toms River Schools (OCP File Photo)

After she was terminated from her position at the Toms River school system in 2014, the former girlfriend of corrupt former superintendent Michael Ritacco, Donna Mansfield, filed a lawsuit against the school district in federal court. The fired school employee alleged in her lawsuit that her association with the former superintendent – who is currently lodged in federal prison on corruption charges – was the ultimate reason for her 2014 termination. Mansfield also alleged in court filings that she continued to face sexual harassment and additional retaliation, solely for her past association with Ritacco.

Ritacco’s Ex Alleges Sexual Harassment & Retaliation From TR School Officials

In the wake of the scandal, the Ritacco name became toxic in Toms River. The disgraced former school official’s name was stripped from the “Ritacco Center” auditorium at Toms River High School North after he was convicted of charges alleging that he received more than $1 million in bribes from insurance companies that did business with the school district during his tenure as superintendent.

Before a federal corruption conviction ended his career, Ritacco was also a rising star in the influential Ocean County Republican organization. Public land records showed that Ritacco was involved in land deals with several of the county’s influential politicos, with Ritacco even selling Freeholder Virginia “Ginny” Haines her current Batchelor Avenue home in Toms River, according to county deed records.

Ms. Mansfield claimed that in the wake of the Ritacco corruption scandal, interim superintendent Frank Roselli pressured her to resign due to her past relationship with the jailed former leader of Toms River’s public schools, and then when she refused to resign, Roselli and others retaliated against her.

Ritacco

Ritacco

According to Mansfield’s lawsuit, when she refused to resign, Roselli retaliated against her by punitively reassigning her and orchestrating a $20,000 cut to her paycheck. Mansfield alleges that the treatment of her by school district employees continued to worsen, with her complaint stating that a newly appointed supervisor at one point allegedly stated “I am going to bust your balls every day until you leave.”

With the lawsuit expected to settle, the allegations contained in her suit have not been brought to trial, so they have neither been proven nor disproven in a court of law.

School Board To Settle For $150K, Documents Show

Draft documents obtained by government transparency activist John Paff this week revealed that the former school employee is set to be paid $150,000 to settle her suit against the district, which was filed shortly after her 2014 termination.

The draft agreement was produced on August 29th, according to Paff, and is expected to be executed in the near future after approval from the Toms River Board of Education.

The settlement agreement contains confidentiality clauses that prevent either side from speaking publicly about the case.

Courtesy of Mr. Paff, the full court documents are below.

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Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi is the editor of Ocean County Politics and a lifelong Ocean County resident, residing in Lacey Township. Gavin's work centers on the intersection of money and politics in Ocean County, with a focus on public corruption. He can be reached via email at editor@politicsoc.com or via phone at (848)-667-0840 or on encrypted phone / text app Signal.

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  • Ken Bank

    Ritacco also served as a member of Chris Christie’s transition team on education. If he hadn’t been convicted he might have ended up as Trump’s secretary of education.

    • Aunt Jacky

      Was Obama telling us the TRUTH then or is he LYING to us NOW???

    • Aunt Jacky

      This man is a Doctor & he’s right on about Hillary. She is such an EVIL EVIL WOMAN!!!

  • TRWatch

    Mr. Rozzi, Why would you have a quote, from a Stilton, praising your website. Everyone, in Toms River, knows the Stilton name, especially Donald.

    • Sarcasm. Go on Stilton’s silly little website and you’ll see why. He’s a first class hypocrite and a backstabber.

    • laceylady

      Who is this bloated pumpkin head doofus in the picture above this article? Is this some kind of a joke or meme? Whoever this chap is, I’m glad he has been enjoying your site like everyone else and is praising your outstanding reporting Gavin. You should post more of these LOL!

    • Ba-Ville

      Seriously, Stiltons website just beat you up in a bad way with a front page article. Why give him credit?

  • Feature

    Disgusting. It’s unbelievable what goes on..Thank you Mr Rozzi for continually showing the people of Ocean County what rally goes on in this county

    • You’re quite welcome! My work here has only just begun.

  • Janice

    What is it with Toms River? They had to pay another lady $140,000 for a harassment suit a few yrs ago, they have to pay out this girl $150,000 for some type of harassment suit, the head of the local Republican party doesn’t even live in the town , the local utilities agencies hire family members of the council people . What is going on in that town? They have an ex-mayor whom has a house that he is hoarding stuff from the same town he was a mayor . The list goes on.

    • guest

      In my honest opinion, first they put people in charge that are just self-serving. Second , they’ve been running un checked for years now, maybe with this website some of the antics, hiring, ecetera may come to light. No one, was paying attention I think.

    • Guest

      NO you don’t say?

  • Shitlord

    The school board (Toms River taxpayers) are quick to settle any allegations when it’s not their money being given away.

    • guest

      Correct. our money.

    • KLM

      Actually it’s the board members’ taxes as well as they are residents of the school district and it’s an unpaid position. They are settling not because they necessarily believe the plaintiff deserves a payout, but it would actually cost the tax payers much more in court fees and even more if she actually wins her suit and according to the documents she kind of has a case.

  • Dr 37

    Ah yes almost forgot, the dysfunctional Toms River government. Town hall, DPW, MUA, School board, the local Republican Club . Seems since this website has been reanimated, there’s many many stories that still have to be told.

  • Bergen

    We have been living in Toms River for approximately11 years, and have consistently been amazed that the voters could basically care less about what goes on in this town in relation to this article and a few other articles that have been posted on Toms River politics. It seems the most egregious in my opinion right or wrong is the constant hiring of relatives family members of those in charge. Reminds me old politics from North Jersey. It almost seems as though they have some of these local entities here solely to hire family members of the Town leaders and also the ones that run the authority. I guess that’s the way it is here, and I’m assuming the voters just don’t care or are not aware.