Gopal Slams Monmouth GOP, Freeholder Burry, Over Brookdale Scandal

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal released the following statement yesterday afternoon after former Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham pled guilty to theft by deception and official misconduct:

“Earlier today, Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham pled guilty of stealing tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money. The web of corruption surrounding this case is just another example of Monmouth County Republican cronies profiting at the taxpayers’ expense.”

“Mr. Burnham, along with Brookdale Community College’s then Board President Howard Birsdall and Brookdale’s Board Attorney John Cantalupo were all close allies and major political supporters of the Republican Party establishment here in Monmouth County. Mr. Cantalupo served as Freeholder Lillian Burry’s close confidant and official Campaign Treasurer in her 2005 and 2008 Freeholder campaigns. In this same time period, Mr. Cantalupo negotiated the terms of Peter Burnham’s lavish Brookdale contracts. This represents a clear conflict of interest, given that Mr. Cantalupo was Freeholder Burry’s right hand man. Perhaps this is why Freeholder Burry sat silently on the sidelines as the truth about Mr. Burnhams theft was being exposed.”

“As a result of the Republican-controlled Freeholder Board’s lack of oversight, student tuition increased at Brookdale Community College while their college president profited immensely. This is what happens when a chief advisor for the Republican Freeholders is negotiating salary contracts on behalf of a College President that is funded by these same Republican Freeholders. It is time for Monmouth County taxpayers to unite against the Good Ol’ Boys Network here in Monmouth County”

Posted: July 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Brookdale Community College, Lillian Burry, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, Peter Burnham | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments »

20 Comments on “Gopal Slams Monmouth GOP, Freeholder Burry, Over Brookdale Scandal”

  1. Jim Sage said at 1:07 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Art, You have to admit, he has a point.

  2. Mlaffey said at 1:14 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Blame the lawyer. That is always a good tactic except that it is the lawyers job to advise his client on legal issues. Whether a public entity is being overly generous with the taxpayors dollars is not a legal issue it is a political issue. An attorney should not be giving political advice to a public entity client. That is the fastest way to get in trouble. This fiasco should be laid directly at the feet of those who approved the contract and did not proerly supervise Burnham. Those are functions of the Board not the attorney.

  3. Monmouth Girl said at 1:28 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Smart – lets put the D’s back in charge.

    They fired 38 corrections officers leading to a huge increase in overtime. Then the same D’s tried to privatize the jail claiming that it had to be done do to the huge overtime costs.

    BTW – the Republicans (Director Clifton, Deputy Director Curly (who orginially called for the investigation), Burry and Arnone discovered the Brookdale issues, moved quickly and fixed them.

    Sorry Vin and Jim “Sage for Sheriff” for bringing facts into the story.

  4. truth hurts said at 1:39 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    This is disgusting. The corruption at Brookdale was just another sign of taxpayer abuse here in Monmouth county. The Freeholders are to blame and the Board of trustees are also guilty and should all be replaced. How in the world could board members stay that were a part of that time frame ? Incompetence!

  5. Perth Amboy said at 1:39 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Yeah, this from the guy who managed Joe Vas’s corrupt campaign for Congress and claims to have known nothing about where his paychecks were coming from.

  6. Jim Sage said at 1:50 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Monmouth Girl,

    Let me ally any concerns you may have: I am not running for sheriff. I never said I was. As for the 38 correction officers laid off–that was a gross mistake resulting in huge sums of overtime. Now that they are back–huge sums of overtime are still being paid. Why? well in part because we take in prisoners from federal agencies at a mere $105.00 a day. Sounds good, but the expenses such as food, clothing, and correction officer supervision usually outweigh the $105.00 per day received. In most cases, the officers supervising the inmates are on overtime anyway.

    In the Correctional Evaluation Report, the freeholders along with the sheriff, removed as an option “privatization”–partial and in whole in an effort to reduce the huge sums of OT–all options should remain on the table.

    Bottom line: We must stop accepting federal prisoners, and re-deploy correctional resources elsewhere to reduce ot and permit officer’s to go home to their loved ones instead of getting “stuck” for an additional 8 hours. I have the utmost respect for correction officers. They are outnumbered and unarmed in a warehouse of human misery. In my many positions in law enforcement–I too was a county correction officer–I know the pain they go through.

  7. nj politics said at 1:51 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    There is a special on CNBC tonight about NJ Politics at 10PM. Should be interesting.

  8. Art Gallagher said at 2:02 pm on July 25th, 2012:


    At the risk of hijacking this thread off topic, having been a guest at MCCC, I can’t imagine that $105 per day doesn’t cover the cost. $10-$20 would cover food and clothing.

  9. Brian Dorf said at 2:21 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    It is shameful when a public official betrays the public trust. But this is what happens when oversight is brushed aside and single-party rule dominates the political landscape for decades. We have seen the resulting corruption in Freehold Township and elsewhere in Monmouth County.

    Public officials must be held to a higher standard. And only those willing to submit to public scrutiny should hold positions that require the highest order of honesty and transparency. The tax-paying public deserves nothing less.

  10. Ralph said at 2:32 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Hey Monmouth Girl – whos payroll are you on or do you just lie for a living and convince yourself otherwise? Burry et. company with the exception of Curley and Mallet were all SILENT on Brookdale. Its called google, do a search.

    Why not ask Curley how Burry made him change the press release originally? I feel sorry for people like you, you stand for nothing except getting a paycheck.

    I figured by 4th or 5th comment would attack Gopal on Vas. When you have no new material, go to old stuff – Again, a google search from Bob Ingle, Star Ledger, APP or anyone would tell you the truth on Vas and Gopal. But its what you people know best, don’t talk about the topic on hand and try to distract

  11. brian said at 4:16 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Burry is a disgrace–her and her supporters should hang their heads in shame—-she has been part of the problem for toooooooo long—retire Mrs. Howell.

  12. Jim Sage said at 4:26 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Thanks Ralph,

    It’s the old adage, when you tell a lie over and over again—it is believed to be the truth.

    Art, I hate to get off topic again, but your not factoring into the equation the correction officer overtime on top of the meals and clothing. The sheriff may say how much revenue is coming in, but revenue- expenses indicates either a profit or loss.

  13. Justified Right said at 4:57 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    How much was taken while there were Democrats on the Freeholder board?

  14. Ralph said at 5:06 pm on July 25th, 2012:

    Justified Right – Republican majority appointed the trustees, board counsel etc.

  15. Caught said at 12:54 am on July 26th, 2012:

    Fact : there were Democrats on the Freeholder board for several terms. Obviously never caught the theft.

    Fact: A Republican did catch the thief.

    Gopal is grasping.. Running on empty

  16. Name (required) said at 12:30 pm on July 26th, 2012:

    Mr. Sage,
    You claim to be this great “supporter” of corrections officers, yet when your pal Brophy was accusing them of murdering a prisoner you kept silent on that subject. If, in fact, you were ever a c.o. you would know he was wrong in his assumptions. Explain yourself.

  17. Jim Sage said at 4:28 pm on July 26th, 2012:

    I don’t break my balls or my word. I was a correction officer!

    As for Mr. Brophy, I don’t speak for him. I advised him on several law enforcement issues. It was his campaign; not mine.

    Did you go to the debate between Golden and Brophy? That was your opportunity to get answers to your concerns.

  18. Ralph said at 7:02 pm on July 26th, 2012:

    Hey caught – how do u sleep at night? Just rationalize to yourself lies?

    Freeholders Curley and Mallet, a republican and a democrat both rooted out the corruption. Burry et. company tried to sweep it under the rug. Believe whatever you want. Just because you say a lie does not make it true. Republicans appointed nearly every board member.

  19. angus said at 12:01 am on July 27th, 2012:

    This reminds me of Anna little handing town legal to oxley….. was it quid pro I dont know…. but the hole thing smelled fishy to me even for a clammers town. The 2 party system sucks. There should be no party line. If you cant remember the names of the people you are aligned with, then don’t vote…. I am still amazed how once people pick sides they are hesitant to be honest when their side is corrupted

  20. Ishmael said at 12:12 am on July 27th, 2012:

    Monmouth Girl,

    Do some real research and don’t make it up. Curley pushed the issue with Amy Mallet and Clifton got on board because he was moving on to the Assembly. Initially, Burry was mute on the issue and only long after editorials and letters were published did she become minimally involved. She was the one who drove the reappointments of those that failed to do their job as board members.

    I wonder how much of the money Burnham collected ended up as $300 or less campaign contibutions?

    This is the same Freeholder Board that did away with pay-to-play because they thought that corruption had been eliminated in Monmouth County and thought that it was to hard for business to understand how to comply (manipulate) the county law.

    Shortly thereafter, Middletown followed suite because they thought Ray O’Grady was a name that was no longer recognized and Fiore wanted to have equal opportunity campaign contibutions to thrive again in Middletown. He didn’t say one word about protecting the taxpayer from corruption.