Vice Principal Accused of Downloading Child Porn

APBnews.com
November 16, 2000
By Seamus McGraw
OLD TAPPAN, N.J. (APBnews.com) — When he wasn’t pursuing his duties as
vice principal of a large regional high school or tending to his
part-time political career, James Michael Lumley would sequester himself
in his school office with a marijuana pipe and download child pornography
from the Internet, authorities said.

Now, the 53-year-old educator once named teacher of the year is facing up
to 10 years in prison on charges of possession of child pornography and
official misconduct, said Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Patricia
Baglivi.

Lumley, who has worked as a teacher and administrator for the Northern
Valley Regional school district since 1968, was arrested Wednesday at the
Hackensack office of the Bergen County prosecutor’s child abuse and sex
crimes unit, where he had been summoned for questioning.

Lumley, who is also a member of the borough council as well as the police
commissioner in his hometown of Haworth, a comfortable suburb in northern
New Jersey, was released on $25,000 bail, authorities said.

Co-worker makes discovery

Neither Northern Valley Regional High School Principal Anthony Panico nor
Superintendent of Schools Eugene Westlake could be reached today for
comment.

But prosecutors contend that, since at least 1998, the veteran educator
used a school computer in his office to download graphic sexual images of
underage children, and that he did it during school hours.

Authorities discovered the cache of computer pornography by accident
several days ago when a co-worker logged on to Lumley’s computer to
complete a routine task while Lumley was out of the office, Baglivi said.

“The school contacted the prosecutor’s office,” and investigators scoured
the computer and found the graphic images, Baglivi said.

Authorities also found a small amount of marijuana and a pipe used for
smoking it in Lumley’s office, she said.

Students not involved

In addition to the official misconduct and child pornography charges,
Lumley, who is married with children, also was charged with possession of
marijuana, a disorderly person’s offense, Baglivi said.

“There is no indication that any students were involved,” Baglivi said,
adding that, as far as prosecutors know, no children were exposed to the
pornography, and there are no complaints that Lumley behaved
inappropriately with students.

It was not immediately clear whether Lumley, a Republican who has served
on the Haworth Borough Council since 1992, will surrender his seat. State
law does not require him to resign while charges are pending.

Municipal officials declined to comment on Lumley’s arrest.

Seamus McGraw is an APBnews.com senior writer

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