Former Atlantic City Teacher Blows The Whistle On ACBOE
Clark Hindelang was a teacher within the Atlantic City Public Schools system and he was injured during a student altercation.
Hindelang’s journey to retirement has been a long and arduous one. Thanks to the always difficult Atlantic City Board of Education.
Hindelang was initially injured on December 6, 2013, while breaking up a fight at the Atlantic City High School cafeteria.
He was subsequently diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum on his right shoulder.
Hindelang proceeded on a course of physical therapy and injections. He wanted to avoid surgery and hoped that his injuries could heal without invasive surgery.
At this time, Hindelang was awarded partial permanent disability, along with a $17,000 cash award.
Things did not improve and Hindelang re-opened his claim, effective May 22, 2015, which resulted in a new claim for additional injuries.
Hindelang reports that he was attacked by a student, while a student “was standing guard at a stairway, which prevented students from coming down the steps during a 7:30 AM fight by the ‘Viking’ at the main entrance,” said Hindelang.
Hindelang was sent to Urgent Care for evaluation and was diagnosed with neck and back injuries, along with re-injuries to his right shoulder.
Hindelang’s injuries resulted in:
- Neck surgery.
- 3 back surgeries.
- Shoulder surgery.
Hindelang was awarded $252,000; a portion paid in a lump sum, along with monthly payments until 2024.
Hindelang once again re-opened both of his claims because he required:
- Right shoulder replacement surgery.
- Additional back surgery.
The additional surgeries were necessary because of an injury that Hindelang incurred while changing an overhead projector bulb.
Hindelang shared that he was changing the bulb because “the custodians didn’t show up to fix it.”
Hindelang advised that he was disciplined by then Pennsylvania Avenue School Principal La’Quetta Small for “doing something outside of his job description,” said Hindelang.
This took place at the end of September 2017.
Hindelang didn’t know it at the time, but, he would never work another day.
Hindelang was again sent to Urgent Care and the Atlantic City Public Schools system made a determination that he could not return to work “until I was fully rehabilitated,” said Hindelang.
”The Atlantic City Board of Education sent me to 2 Doctors, that said that I was unfit to work,” Hindelang acknowledges that this was legal, but he felt that, “I could have worked with reasonable accommodations.”
Hindelang believes that, “because of prior incidents as a Senior Building Union representative at New York Avenue School and my prior appearances on your (Hurley) show, they found a legal way to get rid of me,” said Hindelang.
Hindelang submitted his retirement paperwork and officially retired on March 1, 2018.
“My law firm, Goldenberg, Mackler, and my attorney, Marc Samuelson, who did a fantastic job, recommended that I take the early retirement because the ‘numbers’ were in my favor,” said Hindelang.
Hindelang put it in this blunt manner. “The Atlantic City Board of Education was basically ‘buying me out’ in a legal way,” said Hindelang.
Hindelang told us that he believes that the Atlantic City Board of Education legal counsel utilized the COVID-19 pandemic to delay finalizing his case.
Hindelang’s case was settled this past December 2021, “when Judge James Arsenault, J.W.C. entered an order approving the settlement on December 14, 2021. By law the ACBOE had until Friday, February 18th to pay me a lump sum of $52,260.25 for the 2013 claim and $16,676.57 for the back money owed on the 2015 claim,” said Hindelang.
Hindelang confirmed that he was finally paid late last week.
Hindelang raised several questions to us about his settlement:
”This is what baffles me. Riley and Riley (Atlantic City Board of Education legal counsel) needed the Board's permission to approve the settlement. My cases have never appeared on the Board minutes, as does EVERY Workers Comp Case and every single money distribution. Why wasn't my case listed and was my case swept under the rug?” asked Hindelang.
Hindelang confirmed the amount for his overall claim totaled as follows:
- Plus monthly payments for the next 4 years.
Hindelang asked more questions and confirmed that his total cash award over “the past 8 years is in the $500,000 range and the medical bills another $500,000. Why wasn't this last award on the Board Minutes or prior meetings?”
“Did Riley and Riley (ACBOE legal counsel) sneak it through without Board Approval? Did La’Quetta Small hold it up because she hated me and my last injury happened on her watch at the Pennsylvania Avenue School to me? Or did the Board approve it and they kept it off the Minutes? Who screwed up?”
“Why was one of 2 vital state documents both received by the ACBOE last August … but one disappeared until December holding up my settlement. My money would have been in my pocket last October, so I had to wait almost a half a year of additional time. It was either incompetency, conspiracy, or collusion against me,” concluded Hindelang.
We reached out to a reliable source for public comment, a sitting Atlantic City Board of Education member, who said, “I am unable to comment on this or any other matter; only Board President Shay Steele is allowed to publicly comment,”
Hindelang has stated several times over the years during our on-air interviews how much regret and sorrow that he has for how his teaching career ended.
Hindelang confirmed on-air today that he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life.
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