Victoria Dean apologizes for facebook post

Marlboro Board of Ed VP, under political attack, suspects that a second alleged facebook post is a fabrication

Marlboro Board of Ed VP Victoria Dean, right and Marriem,  a Muslim Marlboro High School junior at the conclusion of the March 10, 2015 BOE meeting

Marlboro Board of Ed VP Victoria Dean, right and Marriem Yousef, a Muslim Marlboro High School junior at the conclusion of the March 10, 2015 BOE meeting

Marlboro Board of Education Vice President Victoria Dean last night apologized for racially charged posts made on her facebook page on February 8, during public workshop meeting of the board in the Marlboro Middle School Auditorium.

The offensive post came to light over the weekend when Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal’s Jersey Shore Insider blog posted a story accusing Monmouth GOP Leaders of displaying racist posts on social media.  The story accused Union Beach Mayor Paul Smith of posting a “rant” calling President Obama “A Communist, a Muslim and an Illegal Immigrant,” and Dean of displaying and liking a post on her facebook page that stating that “America isn’t America anymore!  It’s run by foreigners including THIS RAG HEAD PRESIDENT!”

The Asbury Park Press picked up the story on Monday, attributing Gopal’s blog as the source without citing it as a partisan website as is their custom when they cite this website or other conservative websites.

Smith shared a meme on his facebook page that included a photo of Obama holding a pint of dark beer in one hand and while is other hand was raised with his thumb up. The meme caption was ” A Communist, a Muslim and an Illegal Alien walk into a bar……The Bartender says ‘Hello Mr. President…”

On her facebook page, Dean posted a link to a story about a Waterbury, Connecticut school district honoring the Muslim holidays Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha by not scheduling tests, field trips or major school events on those occasions.  Dean added the caption “Pandora’s box opened” and tagged fellow board member Craig Marshall. Mark Garza, a Texas resident who Dean says is a childhood friend, posted the offensive rag head comment which Dean then liked.

At last night’s meeting in Marlboro, Board President Michael Lilonsky addressed the crowd of approximately 125 residents with prepared remarks wherein he stated that Dean’s post does not represent the views of the board.  He condemned the content of the post and said that in his 5 years of serving with Dean, he had never before witnessed racially insensitive or intolerant behavior on her part.

A Marlboro resident asking for Victoria Dean's resignation from the Marlboro Board of Education.  Contrary to reports of 300 people present, there were about 125 people in the 622 seat Marlboro Middle School Auditorium

A Marlboro resident asking for Victoria Dean’s resignation from the Marlboro Board of Education. Contrary to reports of 300 people present, there were about 125 people in the 622 seat Marlboro Middle School Auditorium

Dean then read prepared remarks wherein she defended the post as “an inadvertent acknowledgement of a friend’s comment” and not her comment. She said that Garza’s comment does not reflect her sentiments or feelings and she apologized for offending the community. She said she is not a racist or a bigot, that she is a minority herself and that she understands the impact of racism.

Dean, who appeared to be fighting back tears several times during the evening told MMM that she was struggling to express her contrition to members of the community while at the same time defending herself from an orchestrated political attack upon her, her husband, Christopher Dean, the Chairman of the Marlboro Republican Committee, and Craig Marshall, a personal friend, fellow School Board Member and a past Republican candidate for both Mayor and Council in Marlboro.

Mrs. Dean’s apology did not appear to resonate with many of the residents assembled.  A public comment period went on for two hours with emotional outcries from members of Marlboro’s Muslim, Asian and Jewish communities, several of whom referred to themselves as ragheads, demanding Dean’s resignation from the Board.  Several of the speakers who identified themselves of Muslims told Dean that she was forgiven, but still needed to be held accountable.  An Asian woman said forgiveness was not sufficient. “What do we need police for,” the Asian woman asked, “if forgiveness is sufficient.  If I shoot you and then say I’m sorry, is that it? No! There has to be consequences.”

Five female speakers who identified themselves as friends and neighbors of Dean’s defended her as a good person who gives selflessly to the community and who is tolerant of all people.  Her friend’s comments moved Dean to tears.

But that wasn’t enough for the majority of the crowd who questioned Dean’s contrition. A women wearing a headscarf who identified herself as a raghead told Dean she wanted to hear her be defended by a Muslim friend.

“I wish I had a Muslim friend,” Dean said later when responding to the public comments, “come be my friend.” To which a woman wearing a scarf over her head scoffed, “I’ve lived here twenty five years.”

In addition to the ‘raghead’ comment that Dean liked, several residents expressed their outrage at Dean’s own ‘Pandora’s box opened” caption to the

Mayor Jon Hornik told MMM that Dean's February 8 post was not her first transgression. Hornik said he did not know the source of this photo

Mayor Jon Hornik told MMM that Dean’s February 8 post was not her first transgression. Hornik said he did not know the source of this photo

article she linked to which caused the fury.  Board member BonnieSue Rosenwald noted that in Greek mythology Pandora’s box contained “all the evils of the world” and suggested that Dean’s post about schools observing Muslim holidays was an indication that Dean believed such holidays and the people who celebrate them are evil.

The school holiday issue was relevant because at the time the initial post was made the Marlboro Board of Ed was considering whether to observe the Chinese Lunar New Year by closing schools.  Dean successfully argued against closing the schools for the Chinese New Year, stating that if the board observed one cultural holiday they would have to observe all, thereby opening the ‘Pandora’s box.”  Dean said she used the term to mean “opening a can of worms,” not to mean “all the evils of the world.”

While the majority of the crowd present to protest Dean’s behavior and demand her resignation were ordinary citizens, including high school students who spoke eloquently in demanding better from their adult leaders who they said should be held to the same “zero tolerance” policy that they are as students in a “bully free zone,” there was an element of politics, and political payback against Dean for the alleged actions of her husband, Christopher Dean, the Chairman of the Marlboro Republican Committee, and Marshall who was twice a Republican candidate for municipal office.

Ira Levin, a member of the Marlboro Zoning Board, was the first speaker during the public comment period.  In his prepared remarks Levin said that both Deans and Marshall had frequently asked, at the Zoning Board and at other boards, that members resign or be forced to resign because of similar transgressions on social media and elsewhere.  Based upon her own call for other’s resignations, Levin said that Mrs. Dean knows that she should resign.  He asked Marshall if he would call on her to resign.

Levin went further, accusing Christopher Dean of using the term Rag Head and freely using the N-word to describe African American is a conversation with him and another person.

Josh Pollak, a former Marlboro Planning Board member, was the second to speak, also with prepared remarks.  Pollak was caught up in his own social media controversy in 2013, when during a Planning Board meeting he posted inappropriate comments about an objector to an application who had accused him of being in a developer’s pocket. Pollak told MMM that he quickly deleted the post, but that it had already been captured by a Patch reporter who forwarded it to the Deans who in turn used it to berate him for many months before he finally resigned in February of 2014.

Pollak was clearly relishing his opportunity for payback against the Deans and Marshall. He compared Mrs. Dean to “Lucifer from Paradise Lost, Viktor from Frankenstein, Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and even my favorite Gordon Gekko.”  “Hopefully we add the name Victoria Elizabeth Dean to those who have had hubris be their downfall,” Pollak said.  Pollak went on to criticize Mrs. Dean for the ‘Pandora’s box’ comment, the rag head comment and other “discriminatory and unethical behavior.” Pollak sarcastically said that he knew that Marshall and Mr. Dean would join with members of the public in calling for Mrs. Dean’s resignation “…with elaborate speeches and displays of anguish and hurt.  Perhaps they will substitute your name (Victoria Dean) for those on the many of complaints and speeches they have made against others who have only volunteered service to Marlboro’s Boards.”

Following the public comments, the members of the Board weighed in on the controversy.  Rosenwald, a political adversary of the Deans, said she didn’t believe Mrs. Dean’s actions were inadvertent and made a motion that the Board request her immediate resignation.  The motion failed for lack of a second, prompting Rosenwald to implore the public to “remember where these people stand at election time.”

Huffington Post bloger Sami Elmansoury alleges that Victoria Dean has 'liked' racially offensive facebook posts previously.

Huffington Post bloger Sami Elmansoury alleges that Victoria Dean has ‘liked’ racially offensive facebook posts previously.

Board member John Dwyer said that he has known Victoria Dean for many years, pre-dating their service on the Board and that he has never witnessed any previous discriminatory behavior on her part.  Dwyer said that if he believed Mrs. Dean was a racist or a bigot that he would demand her resignation.  Dwyer said that Mrs. Dean needs to deal with the community’s reaction to the post and that if she can’t make it right with the community, she should question her effectiveness as a Board Member.

During his remarks, Marshall acknowledged his close personal and political relationship with the Deans as had been raised by Levin and Pollak during the public comments.  He said he was able to hold friends accountable, that had ended other personal relationships over matters of character and that he accepted Mrs. Dean’s apology at face value.  Like Dwyer, Marshall said that Mrs. Dean needed to deal with the community’s reaction to her facebook post, but he did not question her future effectiveness on the Board.  Marshall then attempted to muddy the waters by bringing up a public altercation that he had with Rosenwald’s husband several months ago.  The attempt prompted emotional outbursts from the audience demanding that the discussion remain on topic.

In her remarks following the first public comment period, Mrs. Dean reiterated her mistake and poor judgment in liking her friend’s offensive comment.  She said she was open friendships with all people, “I wish I had a Muslim friend.  Come, be my friend.”

During an adjournment of the meeting, Mayor Jon Hornik told MMM that the February 8 facebook post was about was not the first such transgression by Mrs. Dean.  Hornik had photo of President Obama altered to show the president wearing a turban with a scruffy beard and decaying front tooth that showed Mrs. Dean’s picture and ‘like’ underneath it.   Hornik said he did not know the origin of the photo and that someone had sent it to him.

MMM later learned that the Obama post was being distributed by Marlboro resident Sami Elmansoury, a real estate developer and Huffington Post blogger, according to his facebook profile.

Elmansoury told MMM that the photo was from July of 2014 and that he captured a screenshot of the Obama photo “a couple of days ago” from Mrs. Dean’s facebook timeline.   He later amended his statement, saying that he captured it from a news feed.

Mrs. Dean told MMM that she has not seen the photo, that she has no recollection of liking such a photo and that her facebook posts and likes are only viewable by her “friends.”  She said that there is no way that Elmansoury could have accessed her facebook timeline or news feed “a couple of days ago,” and that she suspects the Obama photo with her ‘like’ is a fabrication.

On follow up, Elmansoury told MMM that he did not know that source of the Obama picture or who’s post Mrs. Dean supposedly ‘liked.”  He said he would track that down and get back to MMM.   We’re waiting.

Mrs. Dean said she was moved by the Muslim students who spoke during the meeting.  At the end of the meeting she spoke with a Marlboro High School junior, first name Marriem, who said she forgave Dean and would be her Muslim friend.


Posted: March 11th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Marlboro, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

21 Comments on “Victoria Dean apologizes for facebook post”

  1. Victoria Dean apologizes for facebook post | The Save Jersey Blog said at 3:34 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  2. Those Controversial Dean's said at 4:28 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    I am sick and tired of reading about the Dean’s of Marlboro. If I recall, they shut down the boys basketball program because it lacked the proper certification to be a non-profit agency. So who suffered? the boys participating in the program.

    Chris Dean, municipal chair of the local Republicans, is always engaging Marlboro in costly litigation. Under his leadership as Municipal chairman, the Marlboro Republican Club has disbanded due to lack of participation.

    Marlboro was a staunch Republican town: No More!!!

  3. Tom Stokes said at 5:34 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    Gee, I have heard other similar remarks made by a public official at a public meeting – except it was a “democrat” public official who referred to Indians (from India) as “dot-heads”. Unfortunately, sparsely attended as it was, there was no public outcry other than a few other public officials, myself included, chastising this individual (who was not reappointed to his position when his term expired). I guess Vin Gopal would have gone nuts, if he had been around back then, if it had been a Republican who had said that.

    Unfortunately, you cannot easily change prejuduice where it has existed for far too long. As for critics, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” is an excellent instruction.

    This question must also be raised – how many of those in attendance have even once spoken out against those Muslims who believe it is God’s will that they cut the heads off of Jewish and Christian believers as well as members of a different Muslim sect?

    The real shame is that those three religions, all emanating from the Middle East, and who all claim to worship (in their own way) the God of Abraham coming to Him through three different paths – Moses, Jesus (known as Isa or Eesa in Islamic theology) and Muhammad, have fanatics in their ranks hell bent on proving that the Fallen Angel, known by many names, was right in accusing Man as not being worthy of worshipping God.

    The correct response to “Allahu Akhbar” (God is Great) should be “All the Time!”.

    Perhaps wisdom can be gained by all involved in this Marlboro incident by first examing their own conscience and coming to terms with their own inner prejuduices and hatreds.

    Pax vobiscum.

  4. Jeanne Marie guijarro said at 6:13 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    Sounds like a witch hunt to me. Doesn’t Mayor Horns and his buddy Sam have more important issues to be working on? I guess they rather spend their days copy and pasting from Facebook pages. Childish, wasteful energy.

  5. Jim Granelli said at 8:07 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    @ Tom Stokes


    Vin Gopal only attacks what serves him well.

  6. Facebook said at 10:20 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    and other social media is simply risky and very dangerous for public officials to use: as usual, Democrats are much better at exploiting those whom they choose to harass, beat and replace.. Of course, the double standard of today being what it is, any dumb thing or mistake of a Republican is considered a national tragedy or emergency, while anything Dems do, is excused, downplayed, forgotten. Hope the GOP learns to be more diligent and careful, remembering they are held to a higher standard Dems could never meet!

  7. Marlboro Lady said at 10:35 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    What disturbing posts she had liked and displayed on her social media pages, and terrible excuses and weak statements when she attempted to explain. She has successfully showed her racism against all minority groups. Horrible judgement reflected her disqualification to be sitting on the BOE to represent everyone in town for those important decisions for the kids and future of the country. She definitely should resign, immediately!!!

  8. Bob English said at 10:40 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    Not sure why some think this is a D or R issue. Putting all of that nonsense aside, the bottom line is that while freedom of speech does give people the right to show others how ignorant they are, elected officials are held to a higher standard by the people they represent and that includes not “liking” or “sharing” racist or bigoted posts on Facebook.

  9. Bob English said at 10:45 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    Forgot to mention, Art did a great job on the piece…by far the most comprehensive coverage I have seen of the story.

  10. Proud Republican said at 11:15 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    Why do people play into the politically correct stormtroopers hands by apologizing for this nonsense? You have the biggest racist anti-semite of them all in the White House and people are groveling for forgiveness for hitting a stupid like icon about a silly cartoon? When that sniveling little opportunist Gopal slams Kanye West and Chris Rock for using the n word, or Al Sharpton for calling Jews interlopers and diamond merchants, or Charlie Rangel calling whites crackers, then maybe the boy blunder can open his yap about this dopey stuff. And whoever said elected officials should stay away from Facebook hit the nail on the head. Nothing good comes from Facebook if you are an elected official.

  11. Proud Republican said at 11:31 pm on March 11th, 2015:

    And Marlboro Lady – lighten up will you? Your haughty, sanctimonious outrage over a menial, harmless cartoon (yes, cartoons in the private world are harmless) is sickening. People like you want to create a world where if people step out of line by simply saying something you don’t agree with or find distasteful that they must immediately be destroyed in retaliation. Is that the freedom of speech our forefathers envisioned and people have died fighting for? Save your outrage for the people who cut other human beings heads off, or for a president who plays golf hours afterward. Get your priorities straight.

  12. Jim Granelli said at 2:14 am on March 12th, 2015:

    @ Facebook

    You deserve an EXACTLY as well. It’s called hypocrisy, for the Democrats operate under different rules. Their mantra is “do as I say, not as I do.”

    @ Proud

    And you get the third EXACTLY of the night. There are too many sanctimonious people on the left playing a dangerous game. While we should be careful of what we say, if one slips up, they shouldn’t be crucified when there are so much more serious problems going on…

    And most of that caused by the left.

    Lighten up “nails it” because I only know of one person that went without sin. Holier than thou pomposity from evil Democrats and liberals fanning their own flames of hate for political reasons just reeks of an injustice in it’s own right.

    In theses famous comments:


    One could easily insert Republicans and Conservatives in place of Jews and Socialists.

    Don’t think for a moment, that Vin Gopal and Jon Salonis don’t have that intention in mind with their games.

    It’s not silliness, it is a concerted effort to attack and destroy Republicans simply because that’s the only route Gopal has to win elections. It started here with me, and it has now moved on to other targets.

    Who’s next? You?

    To close from the above link:

    “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

  13. Jimmy Jones said at 6:56 am on March 12th, 2015:

    @Proud Republican

    You said “simply saying something you don’t agree with or find distasteful that they must immediately be destroyed in retaliation”

    Then answer this for me. Why does Dean do what you are accusing others of? Don’t they deserve to be forgiven as well?

  14. Proud Republican said at 10:01 am on March 12th, 2015:

    @jimmy Jones

    Two things – one, I’m not sure I know what you are talking about and two, how would I or anyone know why Ms. Dean does anything?

  15. Jimmy Jones said at 10:51 am on March 12th, 2015:

    Look at your post made at 11:31 pm on March 11th, 2015

    You said “You said “simply saying something you don’t agree with or find distasteful that they must immediately be destroyed in retaliation”

    But that is exactly what Dean does to anyone he thinks of as his enemy.

  16. Proud Republican said at 11:08 am on March 12th, 2015:

    I don’t think we are talking about the same person. I will say that Victoria Dean is the best looking “he” I’ve ever seen.

  17. Marlboro Lady said at 12:29 pm on March 12th, 2015:

    @Proud Republican. Your outrage words are just as disgusting as when Victoria had her Crocodile tears in attempts to explain herself. She liked and posted offensive comments. This is not something an elected official should do on social media. “Freedom of speech” is not for hurting people. You have freedom to do anything, but you can not freely kill people, right? Pandora’s box, is it same as Can of worm? Seriously?

  18. Marlboro Lady said at 12:34 pm on March 12th, 2015:

    @Proud Republican. FYI. She repeatedly asked someone else to resign when that person made a mistake and apologized, would not stop until that person resigned, while she is seeking forgiveness when she made a mistake. I suggest you read more posts before making comments.

  19. Proud Republican said at 1:01 pm on March 12th, 2015:

    @ Marlboro Lady

    Your lack of knowledge and understanding all of our constitutional rights and freedoms we enjoy in this country is truly frightening. Free speech means sometimes people will be offended or get their feelings hurt. Using your logic you would prohibit film critics from panning a performance or a teacher from telling a student that their work stinks because it might hurt their feelings. This is scary dangerous stuff you are proposing. I don’t know nor do I care about the inside baseball of what miss Dean said or did in the past. My comment is directed at the insanity of destroying people’s livelihood and positions over a joke, cartoon, or some other off the cuff remark that someone in their thin-skinned world finds offensive.

  20. Ms. Victoria Dean: RESIGN! said at 2:32 pm on March 12th, 2015:

    Ms. Dean,

    You claim you inadvertently signed the “like” button on Facebook with crocodile tears coming from your face. Quite frankly, I don’t believe you! If you by mistaken belief pressed the “like” button, what else are you mistakenly doing with other documents and issues at the Board of Education?

    Go play fast and furious with someone else’s money–not mine.

    Your husband ran the Marlboro Republican Club into the ground–so much so–it no longer exists.

    Perhaps the two of you need to re-evaluate your leadership roles in government.

    BTW: I agree with the APP editorial as to why you should resign. Only, there are more than 5 reasons.

  21. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Christopher Dean resigns as Marlboro GOP Chair said at 10:57 am on March 16th, 2015:

    […] Vice President Victoria Dean, said that he was convinced that the recent controversy over his wife’s facebook posts were politically motivated attacks on his family designed to give the Democrats an issue to run on […]