Monday, April 25, 2016

South Jersey Mayor's abrupt resignation appears to have been a result of four employees having filed complaints against him.

When the March 15, 2016 South Jersey Times reported that Judson Moore, Jr. resigned his position as Commercial Township (Cumberland County) Mayor because he was "too busy in life" and wanted "to move on to other things," Libertarians for Transparent Government, a NJ nonprofit corporation (LFTG) submitted an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to find out if there was more to the story.

Among the records received today in response to the request was Township Solicitor Thomas E. Seeley's February 26, 2016 letter that advised Moore that "four different township employees" had filed complaints that were "directed towards" Moore and which were discussed at a special meeting held by the Township Committee on February 25, 2016.  While Township officials declined to provide LFTG access to the employees' complaints, they did provide a blank "Harassment Report Form" that was used by at least one employee.

Seeley's letter informed Moore that the Township Committee directed Seeley to "follow up on these complaints with an investigation" and that he (Seeley) would interview the alleged victims and then meet with Moore to hear his response.  Finally, Seeley's letter mentioned Moore's promise to not contact any of the complainants or enter the Township Building until the investigation was completed.

In her March 9, 2016 letter, Township Clerk Hannah E. Nichols advised Moore of another meeting to be held on March 11, 2016 "to address the complaints filed against you."  Moore's one-sentence resignation e-mail was sent to Seeley on March 12, 2016.