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Former Regents Chair Kevin Marino’s response to Nyre’s lawsuit: Desperate and pathetic attempt will fail

On Feb. 5, former University President Dr. Joseph Nyre filed a lawsuit against Seton Hall alleging multiple violations of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). His wife, Kelli, is also a party in the lawsuit, and claims that former Chairman of the Board of Regents, Kevin Marino, sexually harassed her on two occasions.

Although the defendants of the lawsuit include many members of the Board, Marino is not named as a defendant. R. Armen McOmber, a lawyer for the Nyres, said this is because their “issue is with the University and how they acted, not with the core of the problem.”

Read Marino’s full response below:

“Dr. Nyre’s lawsuit, in which I am not a defendant, is rife with false and defamatory statements. I recruited Dr. Nyre to serve as Seton Hall’s President in 2018 and he recruited me to serve as Chairman of the Board of Regents. He and I then worked effectively together for several years before I objected to his gross mishandling of the investigation of an embezzlement scandal at Seton Hall Law School.  He hired a friend of his to conduct that investigation—a lawyer fired by the Iona University Board of Trustees—and together they made former Law School Dean Boozang a scapegoat of that scandal although she had nothing whatsoever to do with it. When I lodged my objection, Dr. Nyre vowed to have me removed as Chair and proceeded to make a host of false allegations about me to a group of six Regents, centered around the entirely bogus claim that I had a conflict of interest based on my professional relationship with the Dean. In making that claim, Dr. Nyre concealed from those Regents an opinion letter written by the Connell Foley law firm stating, in no uncertain terms, that I had no such conflict.  I completed my term as Chair on June 30, 2023, and resigned from the Board in December.

“Dr. Nyre’s wife’s disgraceful claim that I harassed her on two occasions is false in every respect. That never happened, and she knows it.  I have provided ample evidence to the EEO Office refuting her baseless accusations, and expect to be fully exonerated when the pending investigation of that claim is resolved. 

“Dr. Nyre’s lawsuit is a direct violation of his separation agreement with the University, to which I was not a party, and flatly undermines the statements he made when he left his position. Stated simply, he is attempting to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation and secure another undeserved payout from the University. I am confident that desperate and pathetic attempt will fail.

“I have loved and served Seton Hall for more than forty years, and will love and serve Seton Hall long after Dr. Nyre’s tenure is just a bad memory.”

Emma Thumann is the Setonian’s editor-in-chief and a writer for its News section. She can be reached at


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