By Robin Rieger
MILLVILLE, NJ (CBS) — Some parents picking up their children from Trinity Nursery School on Route 9 in Marmora say they are considering removing them from the preschool they love because the school’s director, Reverend Randy Harry, won’t resign.
“I wouldn’t choose this man for my pastor, and I wouldn’t choose him for my child’s pastor in my absence,” said Lynn Sooy, a concerned parent.
Reverend Harry, who also heads the connected Trinity United Methodist Church, lives in Millville and was arrested in the center city area of Millville almost six months ago, according to Lieutenant Ed Zadroga.
“Randy Harry was arrested November 11th for loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. To engage in a sexual act for money is what that would be,” said Lt. Zadroga.
“He was wrong. He needs to admit it, and he needs to move on to another church not connected to a school,” said Mandy Tomlin, who brings her son to the school from Sea Isle City.
Since the arrest, Reverend Harry pleaded guilty in court to a lesser crime of disorderly conduct and was fined. An April letter to nursery school parents from church officials indicates the officials were aware of the arrest and plea all along. Parents are angry they are just finding out about it now.
“Someone anonymously tipped it to the school, they reported it to the church and found out higher ups in church already knew about it and had chosen not to tell anyone,” Sooy said.
“If they are all right with that, what else have they been hiding from everyone?” Tomlin wondered.
No one answered the door at Reverend Harry’s Millville home, and his attorney did not return our calls for comment.
The letter and a meeting last night confirmed the church council’s support of Reverend Harry, but parents say his presence is a concern since he’s always around school at different functions.
Keith Roller, the lay leader of the church, said by phone that Reverend Harry will have to go through an annual reappointment process in June. In the meantime, church leaders will meet to discuss the issue again and will disseminate any new information to parents and school faculty.