Beer-throwing NJ vice principal on leave but still employed by district
NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP — The Neptune middle school vice principal who threw beer at a couple that recorded video of his wife's rant about a trans woman using a restroom at a restaurant is still employed by the district but not listed on the school's website.
Michael Smurro was the vice principal at the Neptune Middle School when his wife Lisa Smurro got into an argument on April 24 with customers at Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light and Tavern in the Smithville section of Galloway Township.
As Michel Smurro approached the woman, he asked her which person she wanted to fight as, throwing a full cup of beer at the group sitting behind a rope barrier.
The district has not publicly disclosed what action it took against Smurro except to describe it as “swift and serious.” He has since apologized for the incident and said he should have just walked away from the situation.
According to his response to a lawsuit filed by the four individuals who were the target of Smurro's beer throw, he has been placed on leave by the district "causing a loss of income."
District business administrator Peter Leonard told the Asbury Park Press that Smurro is still employed by the district without pay. Leonard on Friday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.
The Philly Metro Activism Network had held weekly protests outside the school demanding Smurro be fired, lose his benefits including his pension and no longer be able to work with children in his future employment. The group did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for an update on their protests and has not posted about the incident on their social media or website about Smurro since May.
The four individuals who filed the lawsuit, Carolyn DiPietro, Christopher Benino, Robert Harris and wife Deborah Harris said the beer mixed with Michael Smurro’s saliva made contact with all four of their bodies, food and personal property. The lawsuit notes that the incident took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and the virus can be spread through bodily fluid including saliva.
The lawsuit does not say if any of the plaintiffs or Michael Smurro had received the COVID-19 vaccination at the time of the incident or had taken a test to determine if they had been infected.
Smurro's attorney in August filed a motion to dismiss the charges.