An individual who decried the distribution of a campaign flyer on school employee bulletin boards has yet to respond to the Toms River schools superintendent, who said a thorough investigation resulted that all came to the conclusion that the flyer was OK and not a breach of campaign ethics.
The flyer, posted on several employee bulletin boards, advertised a campaign fundraiser and "meet the candidates" night for incumbents Gus Kakavas, Jack Reuther and Jamie Jubert in September.
Toms River Regional Superintendent Frank Roselli said he received an email from Gina Thrace about the flyer, but although he responded to the emal and tried to search school databases to contact Thrace further, he has been unable to find any further information about the individual and hasn't receive a response from Thrace.
However, the email complaining about the flyer, sent to media and the state comptroller, prompted an investigation by the comptroller who found no wrongdoing, Roselli reported at this week's Toms River Regional School Board meeting.
School Board Attorney Thomas Monahan said that in his opinion, the distribution of the flyer was not a concern, as it originated from the Toms River Education Association, the teachers union, whose members have the right to use their bulletin board for such purposes, even candidate endorsement. When asked if in his opinion the flyer constituted an official candidate endorsement, he urged the question be directed to the union president, Kathy Eagan.
The endorsement question was asked by Joseph Torrone, one of the challenger candidates in a heated election season. The issue was the second campaign ethics debate for the school board, as Friday a special meeting was held to investigate how 64 employee emails were among a list of thousands of recipients to a campaign message. The matter was considered resolved Friday when Torrone and Candidate Ginny Rhine said the emails were sent innocuously and as a courtesy were then removed from the email list.
The matter of the candidate flyer is also considered resolved, Roselli said. After the superintendent's statement, Eagan used the public comment portion of the meeting to say the flyer was not used innapropriately, that it was not created using school district resources and that it was intended for use on union bulletin boards in a staff area.
Eagan said the flyer was posted to encourage union members to go and learn more about the candidates. She said that although the union regularly makes candidate endorsements, the posting of the flyer should not be considered an official union endorsement.