Report: Township Paid Mayor's Former Aide for Her Silence in Harassment Claim
Newspaper report states Toms River paid $143,000 for silence; mayor denies allegations
A former aide to Toms River's mayor claims that she was sexually harassed and paid $143,300 for her silence, according to an Asbury Park Press report published Friday.
Mayor Thomas Kelaher denied the claims made by his former spokeswoman, 41-year-old Angela Santoriello, calling them a "shakedown" scheme by a "disturbed person," the paper reports.
Township Attorney Kenneth Fitzsimmons told the paper that Santoriello made the harassment complaint the same day she was to be fired after disciplinary issues including tardiness, verbal abuse and using her job title for personal reasons.
Kelaher denied wrongdoing and told the paper that he wanted to help Santoriello, who worked for the township from 2008 to 2010, following the death of her father.
The money was paid as a worker' compensation settlement and Santoriello signed confidentiality and non-disparagement agreements, according to the paper. Santoriello said that she came forward with her story now to "tell the truth."
More information is available on the Press website.