Marlboro, NJ- The Marlboro Republican candidates for Mayor and Council responded to the news of a Township Camp Counselor pleading guilty to sexting photos of his genitalia to four 11-13 year old female campers with a four point proposal to reform the Recreation Department’s Summer Camp Program.
In a statement released this afternoon, Ira Goldberg, candidate for Mayor, and Council candidates Sui Allex and John Dwyer said they would implement the following reforms should they be elected on November 3rd:
- The Marlboro Recreation Summer Camp will be conducted in accordance with the New Jersey Youth Camp Standards that private camps are required to adhere to. These standards include an investigation into the backgrounds of all employees and potential employees who interact with children.
- A thorough review of all Recreation Department and Summer Camp employees will be completed before the 2016 Summer Camp commences. Appropriate disciplinary action and assignment changes will be enforced.
- Summer Camp employment will be offered to Marlboro teachers and retired teachers who know the campers and are trained to care for and educate our children and keep them safe.
- Marlboro Township will adopt the Monmouth County government’s personnel policies regarding Sexual Harassment including ongoing anti-harassment training.
The Republican candidates’ statement is particularly critical of Councilman Mike Scalea. Scalea, who is seeking his own full term on the Council after having been appointed to replace former Councilman Frank LaRocca last January. Scalea was a member of the Township’s Recreation Committee at the time that camp counselor Matthew Kleinstein, then 18, sent pictures of his penis to the young female campers via text message and Snap Chat.
“The news that four young girls were subjected to graphic sexual images shared with them by a Township employee while participating in a Township sponsored programs is deplorable,” said former Board of Education member John Dwyer, a candidate for Marlboro council. “Councilman Mike Scalea was a member of the Recreation Committee when this incident occurred. He has failed the people of Marlboro on the most fundamental level—the protection of our children and grandchildren. He failed to take corrective action. Instead, Scalea stood by in silence while the Recreation Committee, the mayor and Township Council let the employee finish working at the camp with younger children. They kept the incident secret for over a year. “
“This is crazy! The Hornik administration’s focus has been to protect the future of the camp counselor who victimized children in his care and to avoid a scandal that would reflect poorly on the administration,” said Sui Allex, candidate for Township Council. “The right thing to do is to focus on the young girls who were harmed and their futures while making sure such conduct never happens again.”
“I’m particularly concerned that Councilman Mike Scalea was a member of the Recreation Committee when this incident occurred,” said Ira Goldberg, candidate for mayor, “Scalea is either complicit in allowing the employee to continue to work with children after his actions became known or he is not fully engaged in the responsibilities he has taken on for the people of Marlboro.”
Mayor Jon Hornik told MMM last week that he could not address sexting issue because it is a personnel matter with litigation pending. Township Administrator Jonathan Capp declined to comment to the Asbury Park Press , citing the litigation filed by one the the campers and her guardian.
Goldberg was critical of Hornik for his silence.
“The silence on this issue by Mayor Hornik and all the Council Members is unfortunate,” Goldberg said. “Hornik is acting like a lawyer avoiding liability. He should be acting like an accountable leader. He should be taking action to ensure our children and grandchildren are safe when participating in Township events.”