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Special Meeting Tonight To Decide School District Lawsuit for Election

Issues with campaigning to school employees

Toms River Regional Schools has called a special meeting 6 p.m. tonight, Oct. 12, at High School North to decide whether to sue a candidate group.

The "Clean Slate Team" had distributed campaign materials via email to school district employee's work emails, according to the district, and the board will vote on whether to sue the individuals who make up the political team.

"Potential litigation to enjoin the 'Clean Slate Team' from using the Toms River Regional School District email system for political purposes," is the only item on tonight's meeting agenda.

The "Clean Slate Team" was first coined last year to describe the slate of candidates running for three seats at the time — Ben Giovine, Loreen Torrone and Alex Pavliv, who won the 2011 election — and is again being used this year for candidates Joseph Torrone, Ginny Rhine and Gigi Esparza. 

At issue is the alleged election ethics violation of soliciting school employees to politically support candidates, via an email sent this week.

The three current members, Giovine, Loreen Torrone and Pavliv, will have to abstain from tonight's vote, which could decide whether the district would sue the "Clean Slate" individuals.

Though that is the purpose for calling a special meeting, one board member said the district needs investigate another incident as well. Pavliv said there was a violation where a political solicitation was distributed via flyer in support of three incumbent candidates – School board members Jack Reuther, Gus Kakavas and Jamie Jubert.

Pavliv said Superintendent Frank Roselli needs to investigate a September incident where at multiple schools a candidate political event flyer was posted on bulletin boards and allegedly passed among employees.

In a letter released by the "Clean Slate Team" Thursday night, Pavliv outlines how he sees the September incident is also a violation of state election ethics laws (Editor's Note: The Pavliv documents are attached as a .pdf to this article).

The November election has the three incumbents seeking re-election against four challengers — the three "Clean Slate" candidates plus candidate Charlotte Ford Spillane, who is running independently for the Toms River board seat.

The accusations of campaigning to school district employees has heightened an already contentious election that for the second year draws the impact of disgraced former Superintendent Michael Ritacco as an election issue.

The "Clean Slate" term calls for changes in the wake of the Ritacco scandal, hoping to increase transparency for contracts and personnel hirings. Contracts and hirings were two criticisms leveled against the school district by the candidates after Ritacco was accused and eventually sentenced for accepting bribes and kickbacks for hirings and insurance contracts.

As of last night, tonight's school board meeting would decide only whether the district would sue the individuals named as the "Clean Slate Team," and so far does not address Pavliv's request. The agenda is attached to this article.

The meeting is open to the public and begins 6 p.m. at High School North.

The special meeting was called approximately 48 hours of its scheduling, after the emails from "Clean Slate" were distributed this week. The agenda does not say how much of the district's employee email system was used. The incident is in regard to an email calling to support the three challengers and outlining their political platform.

Toms River Regional School Board Meetings are regularly held 7:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, and after Friday's meeting the next one is Oct. 16 at High School North.

JD October 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM
The Ritacco 9 made Roselli super... he is a clone of Ritacco... This is Ritacco 101..
1stcav October 12, 2012 at 01:27 PM
This IS what happens when those" connected " have soooooo many FAMILY members working for the BOE.......BOE members WHO can't vote, GRIP already ! Get out and VOTE them ALL out !DO you really have to be hit over the head with a frying pan ???You vote the same people in , and expect a different result...really !
Fedup October 12, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Ritacco steals millions of dollars, the 2 million the Feds went after is just a drop in the bucket, and these clowns running the school system want you to believe they were doing a good job. They are a mockery to anyone with half a brain.
JD October 12, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Quite frankly, I hope the clean slate sends out more emails... just to piss them off!!
TRman October 12, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Sit quiet while Ritacco robs us blind...no problem. Send out e-mails to campaign against the corrupt or incompetant fools...problem!!!
Project Bluebeam October 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
If you want to "clean up" the school board, then demand ethical behavior, transparency, and accountability. Saying "they did this so we can do that" is a childish argument and counter to your argument of taking out the trash and injecting new blood in.
Bottom Line October 12, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Pavliv-Giovine can vote. Torrone cannot. APP made it clear that these e-mails were sent by a 3rd party, so the Clean Slate may not be in any violation. A simple apology would have sufficed...why should TR taxpayers pay for frivolous lawsuits to line the pockets of Monahan & co!
Pavlivdogs October 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Torrone is bringing a pile of baggage with him. Trail of shame from Brielle & not starting out do clean here in TR. this guy is badder than bad & Ginny is blindly goin along for the ride.
Torrone is spinning a load of nonsense October 12, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Torrone used his home address on the email. I guess if his kid hit send on the computer it would make it a 3rd party. JD is working for them on blogging & doin a pretty bad job. Perhaps that idiot sat in Torrones living room & hit the keys after all he knows exactly where to find the email list
Dirty Slate team rots from the bottom up October 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM
JD is all over the Patch as the expert on everything. No wonder Pavliv hired the unemployed moron to blog for them. Too bad they didn't realize he's an expert on nothing. Hard to make 2 disgraced ex educators look good enough to win a seat
RPtoTR October 12, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Vote for the independent . These two groups are two sides of the same corrupt coin.
How low can Rhine & Torrone go October 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Rhine used her HSN old contacts to get the emails goin. I hear from a number of friends there that today they are asking for clean slate supporters who are teachers to come out tonight to the meeting. Drinks on Ben afterwards
Pavlivdogs October 12, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Paviliv & Ben can vote but its still a major conflict. They cry about honesty but the "clean slate" team is the dirtiest bunch since Haelig ran Henry
Robert Bressman October 12, 2012 at 08:00 PM
@Project Bluebeam, surely you can't be serious comparing voter intimidation by Ritacco and his crew and the use of District printing and postage for campaign purposes to get their people elected to what was done by the clean slate. What should be looked into is why are District employees using their school emails for personal use, because that is how the company the clean slate hired got their email address, not through and district list.
Big night out for JD October 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Bress you make no sense as usual. The district email addresses are listed on the TRRS web site for parental contact purposes. Ginnys friends at HSN provided her with additional home email addresses of teachers, many of whom also got the email at school. Torrone screwed up and Ginny followed him into the fire. Now Paviliv is going to try and defend them? It's like a criminal defending themselves in liu of a lawyer. And after all that "The Clean Slate Team" has Ginny ask friends at HSN to gather supporters to come tonight. I was there in the faculty room I heard it myself.
Robert Bressman October 12, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Your comment that I make no sense as usual is perplexing as your post, when I ran in 1999 and 2000, if people would've have listened to what I was saying then, millions of dollars would be saved to help the kids get a better education and lower the tax burden, but supporters like you couldn't see what was going on and it was right in front of your face or maybe you did know but were protecting your job. Just like how you now claim those emails were gotten. I suggest you get the facts before you decide who makes sense and who doesn't
Laci October 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM
This school board election now being held on Tuesday November 6th is going to be very interesting as compared to the past one's held in the month of April. Imagine 13 hours of voting time instead of 7. The deck is nolonger stacked. Too bad with the move the school budget couldn't be voted on.
What a joke October 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Ginny & Ben look like 2 kids goin to the sock hop together Why don't we just let the high school student councils run the BOE?
a b t r October 13, 2012 at 01:22 AM
the group "taxpayers for a better toms river" made mass computerized phone calls today to toms river residents......It is illegal to make those calls to people on the Do Not Call List, unless it is for political or charity........so they are not any better than those they complain about
ed crowley October 13, 2012 at 02:16 AM
They qualify as political so no problem calling.
ed crowley October 13, 2012 at 02:18 AM
To bad the Board doesn't have the equipment to broadcast their meetings.
Fedup October 13, 2012 at 03:10 AM
What worked for Ritacco ain't going to work again. Just tells you, there needs to be a top to bottom cleansing. They can start with Roselli.
Robert Bressman October 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Does it really matter what they look like, Ritacco looked like an adult and was the the Gold standard of Superintendents and he took off with millions, so, yeah let's let the ones who look like adults run the district. If you're going to support those incumbents. come up with something better than what the opposition looks like.
JD October 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Because they don't have nothing else to use RB... Just using childish bully type games... That is Ritacco 101... seems the teachers union and admin are following it to a tee!
Kids night October 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM
At the last meet the candidates Ben acted like an 8th grader. He giggled @ remarks & was speechless when someone brought up a valid point that showed they were twisting the truth. No different last night I thought he was gonna say "nana nana phoo phoo" Pretty sure I hear Ginny say " whatever " as she got up & waved
JD October 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I've been critical of Giovine... but last night... he did a very good job in his opening statement...
Pavlivdogs October 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Bens statement was scripted as are all of his, Torrones,& Pavilivs comments @ every mtg. They can't form an independent thought if their lives depend ended on it
Mike L October 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Project blue beam, you should read the story again. This is what all the taxpayers are up against....MISS INTERPERTATION? The clean slate team is the GOOD GUYS less Torrone ...who's wife is on the Board) it's the Rittaco 6 who is on the Board and three are up for re.election and causing all this confusion to you and others. When the ballots come out check the against the present listing of those on the board and vote the existing out and put in anybody who is not presently on the board.....
teatleytea October 13, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Pavlivdogs are you sure that you aren't Linda Garvey or Betty Vasil or Kathy Eagan, or our 90k+ PR person Tammi Millar? What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid that the taxpayers are tired of picking up the tab for all of the mismanagement that has been going on for more years than we can count? What's up will all the venom that is being spread for a non paying job? What makes someone want to sit on the BOE for 20+ years for no pay oh, wait I know what it is its jobs for their family and friends. Yeah, Yeah that's the ticket!! Just stop with all of the name calling and if you have something to say come out with FACTS at a meeting and not on a blog!!! And, before you ask or insinuate I am not RELATED TO ANYONE RUNNING FOR THE BOE or RELATED TO ANYONE WHO IS ON THE BOARD NOW!!! I am just one of those SUCKERS who is left holding the bag paying for all of these rolex watches and trips and money ect, that was stolen while the BOE knew nothing. So, yes, you can say that we need change!!!
joe jones October 21, 2012 at 06:28 PM
SUcker????? Move to another town ans see what your taxes are

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