Corrections and Clarifications: Former Trenton Public Schools acting superintendent Nelson Ribon responded to the article in the Trentonian through an email to USA TODAY Sports. This post has been updated to include a portion of that letter.
One of the most senior administrators in the school district in New Jersey’s state capital has resigned after he was caught selling knockoff t-shirts before a school’s freshman football game, all while he should have been in his office working.
As reported by the Trentonian, acting Trenton Public Schools superintendent Nelson Ribon resigned his position with the district on Tuesday after an investigation into knockoff t-shirts at a Sep. 14 Trenton (N.J.) High freshman football game. Ribon, whose official title was chief schools officer, admitted selling the bootleg Tornadoes shirts for his own personal gain for $10 to $15 per shirt, per the Trentonian.
After Ribon’s scheme was uncovered he allegedly offered to donate all his proceeds to charity, but that attempt to appease the district and disappointed football families fell flat, and Ribon offered his resignation shortly thereafter.
Ribon’s salary as chief schools officer was $152,500, while his prorated annual salary as acting superintendent was $177,500. Ribon frequently attended scholastic sporting events at Trenton High, and it has yet to be determined how many events he targeted for his t-shirt sales.
Ribon responded to the Trentonian article through a letter to USA TODAY Sports, saying in part: “Since my arrival in Trenton, NJ this past January, I devoted a tremendous amount of time working with and supporting the children, families and staff of this amazing community. I have developed many wonderful relationships with school, community, county and state stakeholders in order to provide better opportunities for the students that I was hired to serve. I have not and would never use my position to seek personal gain.”
The Trenton schools have been overseen by Fred McDowell since the onset of the 2017-18 school year, so Ribon’s departure does not completely upset the school district’s hierarchy, but it does leave a hole for someone to oversee the district’s middle and high schools.