CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — A jury found former Ocean City High School vice principal and athletic director Christine Lentz not guilty of charges she hacked into the district superintendent’s email.
The jury acquitted Lentz, 54, of Upper Township, of charges of official misconduct, computer criminal mischief and theft, Cape May County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Hoerner said.
Prosecutors argued during a three-week trial that Lentz intercepted Superintendent Kathleen Taylor’s district emails to gain an upper hand in contract talks during the 2014-15 school year.
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Former Ocean City High School Vice Principal and Athletic Director Christine Lentz spied on the superintendent’s emails to gain an advantage in contract negotiations during the 2014-15 school year, prosecutors told jurors in closing arguments at her trial Thursday.
“It’s up to the jury,” Hoerner said after the verdict. “We presented the case. We respect the verdict.”
Lentz’s attorney, Brian Pelloni, did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.
Jurors heard lengthy closing arguments in the case Thursday, including from Pelloni, who said there was not enough evidence to link Lentz to the email theft. He also said his client was targeted by school district officials during the contentious contract negotiations.
“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” Pelloni told the jury.
Lentz spent 30 years in the Ocean City district and received an annual salary of $123,197 before resigning in 2015 amid the allegations.
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — In a preview of what’s to come in the criminal trial of former Ocean City High School Athletic Director Christine Lentz, the defense and prosecution spent Monday sparring over technical details of the evidence and the role of key witnesses.
She could have faced significant jail time if convicted. Second-degree official misconduct can carry a five- to 10-year prison sentence, and computer theft carries a potential penalty of three to five years in prison.
The case hinged on Taylor’s iPad. Hoerner tried to use forensic computer evidence to prove Lentz stole the device and used it to access Taylor’s email to get contract proposals in advance of negotiations.
Lentz’s trial featured weeks of witness testimony and exhibits. The jury began deliberating Friday after being instructed by Judge John C. Porto.