Saturday, February 13, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

In his recent OT letter, Washington Township Republican Committee spokesperson Mr. Tom Lotito states the following:
"You will recall that after I endorsed Mr. Emery’s opponent for the BOE in 2008, Mr. Emery, in the last week before his re-election bid, promptly ran back to the BOE and rushed out an unprecedented press release from the subcommittee he chaired refuting some of the facts in my letter. Mr. Emery neither asked for permission nor informed the full BOE of this action; he used his BOE role to get out his personal campaign message. If that isn’t a breach of ethics to influence an election and an abuse of power I don’t know what is, no matter what the Trenton bureaucrats eventually decided on the case."
The NJ School Ethics Commission had this to say on the matter:

"Although the Commission believes that the respondent was acting in his official capacity as the Chair of the Facilities Committee (Berlin Certification at page 2) when issuing the press release, the Commission can find no direct or indirect financial involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair the respondent’s objectivity or independence of judgment. To the extent that the complainant asserts there was a benefit to the respondent inasmuch as he won the election, the Commission is persuaded by the credible testimony offered by the respondent and his witnesses that the action in issuing the press release was authorized by the Board President and intended to benefit the Board as well as the District, not the respondent. Any incidental benefit to the respondent is purely speculative and insufficient for the Commission to base a finding of probable cause."
Bottom Line: While Mr. Lotito is entitiled to his opinion, he isn't entitled to his own set of facts, which clearly differ from the offical findings of the NJ School Ethics Commission.

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