Kearny school custodian arrested second time in less than a year

By Celeste Regal
A custodian on the night shift at Kearny High School was arrested this weekend for the second time in 10 months on drug charges, according to police.
Patrick McDonnell, 36, along with John Kalicki, 41, were arrested by the Kearny Police Department on Chestnut Street and the Belleville Turnpike near Hartley’s Tavern in North Arlington on Friday, Oct. 13 around 7 p.m., said Sgt. Hearn of the North Arlington Police Department. A third man, Michael McGinn, 42, was also arrested in Kearny in connection with the drug bust said Sgt. Hanson of the Kearny Police Department.
Hearn said the Kearny Police department made the arrest, but McDonnell and Kalicki were processed at North Arlington quarters since they were on the North Arlington side of the street during the arrest.
The charges are as follows:
McDonnell: possession of a controlled-dangerous substance, cocaine and CDS paraphernalia; Kalicki: possession of CDS and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of North Arlington’s Wilson School, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a school; and McGinn: possession of CDS and CDS paraphernalia, according to Kearny Police Sgt. Donald Felle.
Both McDonnell and McGinn were issued a summons and released. Kalicki's bail was set at $75,000 without a 10 percent option. He is currently at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny.
McDonnell was previously arrested exactly 10 months ago on Dec. 13, when he was working at Lincoln School as a custodian. He also worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift there. At that time, he was arrested on cocaine possession charged while on Maple Street by the Kearny Police Department.
At the time of the first arrest, Kearny’s Superintendent of Schools Robert Mooney said the district prefers to give a first-time offender a chance for rehabilitation, provided they are not directly affecting children. After a second incident, however, the employee would then be terminated, he said.
But according to Mooney last Wednesday, McDonnell handed in a resignation before he could be terminated.
When Kearny High School Principal Al Somma was contacted on Thursday , four days after the arrest, he had not even been informed that McDonnell was arrested again.
“I know he works here, but I have not been notified that he was arrested,” Somma said. “This is the first I heard of it.”
Mooney said he could not comment on the case, but wished McDonnell well.

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