Freeholder John P. Curley did not show up to fight his censure at the Special Meeting of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Friday afternoon in Judge Patricia D. Clearly’s courtroom in the Hall of Records.
Instead, about 30 supporters and two or three attorneys showed up at the meeting and put on what appeared to this writer to be a well choreographed show that attempted to portray Curley as the victim of his fellow freeholders’ malfeasance. Curley’s supporters were wearing stickers that read “I STAND WITH JOHN” and all stood on cue when the when the Resolution of Censure was passed 4-0 with one notorious absence.
Maureen Holahan-Saling of Rumson, an attorney who did not identify herself as such, interrupted the proceedings while Jonathan Testa, Esq., the attorney the freeholders hired to respond to Curley’s federal lawsuit to block the censure, was reading the Resolution of Censure into the record. Holahan-Saling shouted “objection” from the back of the room and walked up the center aisle while shouting to Testa that he was violating a federal court order by reading the resolution.
Angelo Genova, Curley’s attorney of record, later repeated the charge that the freeholders were violating a federal court order by announcing their reasons for the censure.
Curley was Censured for:
- Making false statements to an independent investigator that he does not use vulgar, profane or strong language in public or private, conversely Freeholder Curley himself has previously bragged in the media in video interviews about calling an elected official a “fat motherf***r”, and admitted to the investigator that he angrily shouted at a female County employee while in the workplace;
- Making comments of a sexual and vulgar nature to a fellow elected official during a public speech at an event attended by numerous County employees.
- Denying to the independent investigator that he made the above referenced statement, despite being well-aware of the number of witnesses to the statement;
- The investigator found that Freeholder Curley likely engaged in angry vulgar outburst causing female County employees to flee their offices based upon an independent review of the public meeting recordings;
- Publicly criticizing County employees in the presence of other County employees;
- The investigator noted that two female County employees recounted overhearing telephone conversations of Freeholder Curley which focused on the physical appearance of, and critical comments about women;
- The investigator also noted that it has been alleged that Freeholder Curley made many other salacious and vulgar statements, such as, “I will go down on you and I won’t have to leave you a message”; “Oh that’s you who I wanted to bend over and take”; “c**t”; “b***h”; how to “sweat a pipe” to a teenager; “I’ll show you a snake show, sit on my lap and I’ll give you a show”; if proven to be true, such statements are disgusting, reprehensible, shocking, and should never be made by anyone, let alone a County Freeholder;
- Attempting to excuse such conduct by declaring the Freeholders are not subject to the County policy against workplace discrimination and harassment;
- Filing a federal lawsuit against the County of Monmouth and its Freeholders for alleged civil rights violations in the independent investigation despite having been represented by his own legal counsel throughout the investigative process;
- Since Freeholder Curley file his lawsuit, it has been revealed that Freeholder Curley has allegedly used the word “faggot” and “queer” in front of and referring to County employees;
- Making a public statement discrediting the County Freeholders and the independent investigation in press release on December 1, 2017; while at the same time attempting to prevent the County Freeholders from responding to his statement by seeking a restraining order;
- Publicly down playing his conduct, by explaining that he doesn’t “mince words,” and admitting that it “is a problem I have”, yet failing to take any action to fix this problem.
The Censure is the result of a five month long investigation which commenced last June, following an incident at a Memorial Day parade in the county. In his federal lawsuit, Curley alleged that the investigation and censure was a “political hatchet job” by Freeholder Serena DiMaso. During the public comment portion of the meeting, County Counsel Michael Fitzgerald said that DiMaso was not the complainant who initiated the investigation. Fitzgerald’s comment prompted Genova to shout “objection” from the back of the room where he appeared to be conferring with Holahan-Saling.
MMM has previously reported that the investigation was conducted by a retired Superior Court Judge. The identify of the investigator is conspicuously missing from Curley’s lawsuit and from the Freeholder’s Resolution of Censure.
Judge Mary Catherine Cuff, an Acting Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 2012 through 2016 and the Presiding Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court-Appellate Division from September 2005-October 2016, was spotted at the Special Meeting chatting with Colts Neck Mayor Russell Macnow. Judge Cuff retired this year.Curley Censure Resolution 120817
At the conclusion of the meeting, Genova distributed the following statement from Curley:
“The strength of Monmouth County is our diversity. I have been very proud over the last 8 years to serve our population of 630,000 residents in 53 municipalities. My work in exposing corruption has been unparalleled and I will continue to do so. My efforts to balance our budgets through job consolidation and outsourcing has created a better opportunity for families to survive. I am very proud of my work in Human Services and Social Services in helping to provide support to our less fortunate. Those who are hungry, homeless, suffer from mental illness or addiction have touched me greatly. In exposing corruption at Brookdale Community College and arduously working to re-build a fine institution to the level of the best community college in New Jersey. I am proud of my work with Veterans and helping to provide VA Funding through our Office of Aging Disabilities and Veterans Affairs to our 33,000 heroes. I am proud to support all people regardless of race, creed, religion, political party affiliation and to help all with just receiving a phone call or email. As the only full-time Freeholder, it is sad to say that the lack of concern by my Republican colleagues especially, Republican Chair, Shawn (sic) Golden, is despicable and a slap in the face to all of our residents. Their jealousy will not hinder me in my efforts to help all. It is sad to say that Club Monmouth continues to exist at the expense of the people. The events of today will not ever deter me from my work.”
Except today, apparently.