John P. Curley’s harassment of Monmouth County employees which resulted in his censure and reprimand by his fellow Freeholder last week, has put the County GOP in the position of choosing two new freeholder candidates in 2018.
In a letter sent yesterday to GOP leaders and elected officials, Chairman Shaun Golden made it clear that Curley will not have the Party’s support for reelection in 2018:
On Friday, Freeholders Burry, Arnone, DiMaso, and Rich took the unprecedented and difficult action to censure John Curley after an investigation into complaints by county employees of harassment and improper conduct. This action was not taken lightly, rather it was taken with careful deliberation and thorough legal consultation. The Freeholders took this action to protect the Monmouth County taxpayers from John’s reckless behavior and to protect the integrity of Monmouth County government. John hired a Democratic State committee lawyer to represent him throughout the investigation and even filed a lawsuit against the county and his fellow Republican freeholders in federal court in an effort to prevent these issues from coming to light.
The Censure by the Freeholders relied upon the findings of a former Acting Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court who found that Mr. Curley made sexual and vulgar comments about a female elected official in front of county employees, publicly criticized county employees in the presence of other county employees, spoke critically in the presence of county employees about the physical appearance of certain women, and that there have been allegations that John used the following inappropriate language to, about, or in front of women and/or other county employees:
“C*nt”: “Bi*ch”; “Fa*got”; “Qu*ers”; “I’ll show you a snake show, sit on my lap and I’ll give you a show”;
“I will go down on you and won’t have to leave you a message”
He told a Monmouth County High School student that he would teach him how “sweat a pipe.”The censure also states that the investigation revealed John admitted to angrily shouting at a female county employee while in the work place, and that John likely engaged in “angry vulgar outbursts causing female county employees to flee their offices.”
Although John has done good works during his tenure as a public servant, we cannot stand for, ignore, or condone this reprehensible behavior. As a party that embraces and supports women, diversity, and equality, we cannot allow the subjecting of county employees, female elected officials, or anyone else for that matter, to intimidation, vulgar language, discriminatory slurs and sexual innuendo.
Attached is the resolution that was passed on Friday. Please take a moment to review it. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated by the Freeholders or the party, and John should not run for office on the Republican line in the upcoming election.
“This is not ‘Club Monmouth’ where inappropriate behavior will be tolerated and swept under the rug,” Golden said in an interview with MMM. “John has done some good work and been a good candidate in the past, but that is not what this is about. We won’t condone vulgar, sexist and intimidating behavior from any of our candidates or elected officials.”
In case you missed it, last June, the County hired former Acting Supreme Court Justice Mary Catherine Cuff to investigate an employee’s complaint of harassment by Curley. During the course of the investigation, five additional victims of Curley’s harassment were revealed. Cuff’s report was presented to the freeholders in late November. Curley sued his fellow freeholders in federal court to prevent the report from being released and to prevent the freeholders from acting on the report. The parties of the suit agreed that the report would not be released and that the freeholders were free to act on the report. Last Friday, the freeholders passed a resolution of Censure and Reprimand which condemned Curley’s behavior as follows:
- 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.
Curley did not show up for the Censure meeting.
Party leaders are now preparing to nominate two candidates for Freeholder in 2018. One candidate to complete the unexpired term of Freeholder Serena DiMaso who is expected to resign in January upon being sworn into the State Assembly and another to replace Curley who’s term expires at the end of 2018.
Potential candidates being mentioned by Party leaders so far are Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Hazlet Mayor Sue Kiley, Wall Mayor Nick DiRocco, Howell Councilman Bob Walsh, and Red Bank Councilman Michael Whelan. Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen, considered a strong candidate by many, has taken herself out of the running.