Monmouth Univ. Handling Scharfenberger Email Incident and Possible Loss of Tax Exemption Internally (For Now)

I was copied as a recipiant to the following email from Jim Grenafege, Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee, sent to Monmouth University’s General Counsel Rhonda Rehm. Grenafege has been in constant contact with officals at the Univeristy over this matter and has said that he would keep us informed as to the outcome of this situation.

Dear Ms. Rehm:

I have carefully reviewed Monmouth University’s policies — available on-line — related to ethics, political campaign related activities and Monmouth University’s 501(c)(3) status. I did not do this prior to sending a letter to the Atlantic Herald — on-line newspaper. Time constraints and campaign activities have occupied my time until now.

I realize that Dr. Scharfenberger has been reminded of university policy regarding utilizing university resources for political purposes: that the issue has been addressed internally. My deep concern is that there is the external matter of the impact that using his university e-mail account (resources) may have had on my and my running mate’s campaign. The false and malicious nature of Dr. Scharfenberger’s, ‘electronically’ written statement, in my opinion, was intended to damage my campaign by denigrating my character and injuring my reputation. I cannot and do not speak for my running mate, although I would be very surprised if she were not closely aligned with my perspective on this matter.

The fact that he sent this e-mail to thirteen people with instructions to pass his message to as many residents as possible is very disheartening and disturbing and instructive. The situation would make for an interesting discussion in an ethics seminar — perhaps Dr. Scharfenberger could lead that seminar?

Although the university appears to have remedied the matter internally, my concern, again, is that the potential impact, consequences, of an university employee’s action has not been remedied externally. What might this remedy be?

An immediate (as in urgent) straight-forward without equivocation e-mail to me and my running mate, Patricia Walsh, (duplicating all those addressed in the original e-mail) from Dr. Scharfenberger, using his university account, that acknowledges and repudiates the fabrications in the e-mail that is the source of this matter?

A press release in a daily newspaper (Asbury Park Press?) from the university stating its position and possible 501(c)(3) consequences regarding Dr. Scharfenber’s use of university resources to promote partisan politics and my position regarding the elements of his message that I know to be pure fabrication?

Is it possible that both suggested remedies could be combined?

Is the the most reasonable remedy the first one noted because it best matches the incident in-kind that is the source of my grievance?

Are there other possibilities; what shall the remedy be?

As you can see I have copied others within the university’s administration. Let us hope that “where leaders look forward” is grounded in leadership in the present.

Sincerely yours,

James Grenafege

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Filed under email, IRS Tax Exemption, Jim Grenafege, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Monmouth University

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