Category Archives: Freeholder Lillian Burry

>This Is What I was Talking About: ARTHUR Z. KAMIN: Bring out the brooms at Brookdale

>Just the other day I posted, Cantalupo’s Resignation From Brookdale Exposes Shady Ties To Lillian Burry and County. The post was about the ties between former Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Brookdale Community College lawyer John Cantalupo, who finally resigned from the college’s Board of Trustees last Friday in the weak of the Peter Burnham scandal.

In today’s Asbury Park Press the commentary written by Arthur Z. Kamin states pretty much exactly what I had stated in my earlier post. It’s all there almost verbatim, how Cantalupo was Lillian Burry’s campaign treasurer, how Cantalupo helped negotiate Burnham’s generous employment contract and how Lillian Burry sits on the college board of school estimates which is responsible for approving contracts and budgets for the college.
I’m glad to see that someone else picked up on it and has connected the dots. I think the next one to step down after Jacob S. Elkes, the Vice -chairman of the College Board of Trustees, as Mr. Kamin has called for would be Lillian Burry herself.
Burry should step down from her position as a Monmouth County Freeholder and not seek re-election this November. Too many disturbing and questionable ethical revelations about Burry have been surfacing over the past few months that need closer examination from county residents.
Below is what Arthur Kamin wrote in today’s APP:
It’s been almost one weekly bombshell after another in the aftermath of the Brookdale Community College scandal that forced the school’s president, Peter F. Burnham, to resign in disgrace amid allegations of improper spending habits.

It raised anew serious questions about whether its board of trustees was doing an effective job of oversight or just sleepily rubber-stamping for payment Burnham’s excessive vouchers. The county prosecutor’s office is now investigating how the money was spent. There is no word yet from that office on when the probe will be completed.

So far, under strong pressure to quit, the high-level Brookdale resignation casualties, in separate actions, have been the board of trustees chairman Howard C. Birdsall, a 23-year veteran of the board, and the board’s multi-faceted attorney, John M. Cantalupo, who served for two years. Cantalupo took new heat last week when it was reported in the Asbury Park Press that he had been serving as Republican Freeholder Lillian G. Burry’s campaign treasurer.

But wait. Could that be right? Freeholder Burry’s campaign treasurer, a political position?

Didn’t Cantalupo serve as the attorney representing the Brookdale board of trustees and as general counsel for the college? And didn’t Cantalupo help negotiate the generous contract with Burnham that included lavish pay and perks at the same time the board was weighing an 8.2 percent tuition increase?

And don’t the freeholders, of which Burry is the former board director, appoint most of the Brookdale trustees? Don’t the trustees, in turn, appoint the attorney? Doesn’t Burry sit on the board of school estimate that votes on budgets that include the contracts of the president and the attorney? Wasn’t Burry a strong supporter of Burnham?

Is there anything wrong here? Is this a potential conflict of interest for Burry? Doesn’t it raise ethical concerns for Burry to have the Brookdale attorney as her campaign treasurer, often said to be her spokesman, at political fundraisers?

Cantalupo, in the May 14 issue of the Press, said he resigned as Burry’s campaign treasurer because he didn’t want to serve as a “political distraction for the most outstanding freeholder in Monmouth County.”

Interestingly, I asked Burry before the resignation if Cantalupo was serving as her campaign treasurer. She and her chief administrative assistant never replied to my e-mails. Neither did Cantalupo, who I also queried about the treasurer role and what it entailed. Bill Bucco, who described himself as Burry’s campaign spokesman, asked that any questions relating to her campaign be directed to him. But he did not reply to my questions about the Cantalupo campaign post. So much for transparency.

To their credit, Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley, a Republican, and Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, a Democrat, repeatedly called for Cantalupo to resign as Brookdale attorney. Curley said he was “very concerned” that Cantalupo was working for Burry as her campaign treasurer. Mallet questioned whether it was ethical for Burry to sit at the board of school estimate table deciding on the attorney’s fees.

There is no question that the freeholders now will have to grapple with the way Burry handled this matter — especially the fact that she would not disclose the Cantalupo link and kept the other freeholders in the dark on the issue. It was poor judgment on her part.

But now it’s time for another bombshell to drop. This one should come with the resignation of Jacob S. Elkes, the former board vice chairman who is serving as its interim chairman. He is a 16-year veteran of the board.

Elkes, like Birdsall, was part of the institution’s leadership vacuum that permitted the Burnham mess to take place. It’s time for him to go. The rest of this sleepy board should make plans to depart in an orderly fashion.

On his way out, Elkes should take with him the law firm of Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer that gave Brookdale Cantalupo. It’s time for a complete culture change at the college and a new law firm, without any freeholder connections. There is no shortage of good law firms to choose from in Monmouth County.


Filed under Arthur Z. Kamin, Asbury Park Press, Brookdale College President, Brookdale Community College, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John Cantalupo, Peter Burnham

>Cantalupo’s Resignation From Brookdale Exposes Shady Ties To Lillian Burry and County

>Over the weekend, front page news on the cover of the Asbury Park Press announced the resignation of Brookdale Community College Lawyer John Cantalupo.

Cantalupo job as legal counsel for Brookdale, came under intense fire from Freeholders Amy Mallett and John Curley over the past few months, when the contract details of Brookdale’s former President, Peter Burnham, came to light back in February after he criticized the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders for funding cuts that would have lead to an 8% tuition hike(since rescinded). Both Amy Mallet and Curley called for Cantalupo’s, as well as Howard Birdsall’s (Brookdale Board of Trustees President), resignation at the time.

Some at the time questioned why former Freeholder Director Lillian Burry, remained silent on the subject and seemed to be overly supportive of Burnham. Little did they know that Burry’s support for Burnham and silence on demands for Broodale trustees to step down, was driven by guilt through association rather than a need to hear the facts first.
As I first pointed out back in April, John Cantalupo and Howard Birdsall both were/are so intertwined within Monmouth County through political donations and public contracts, that Burry must have felt it wasn’t in her best interest to speak out publicly against them at the time.
I also pointed out that Cantalupo is a close personal friend of Burry’s and was until this past week, acting as her campaign treasurer for a number of years. During Cantalupo’s tenure as Brookdale’s lawyer, he negotiated the terms Peter Burnham’s Brookdale contracts. Given Cantalupo’s status as personal friend and campaign treasurer, I found it hard to believe that Burry had no idea of over the years, what was contained in Burnham’s employment contracts.
And here’s why:
Lillian Burry has sat on the Board of School Estimate since she has been a Freeholder. The Board of Estimate is comprised of three Freeholders and two Trustees and it is their responsibility to look over the budgets presented to them by college’s board of trustees. Burry consistently voted for the college’s budgets and sang songs of praise year after year, never finding flaws. These budgets contained all expenses including presidents and attorney’s contracts.
Ethically, she should never have had a seat at that table knowing her relationship with Cantalupo. She has been supporting and is embedded in all that is wrong with this system, which is interesting when you read how Cantalupo praised her, She’s a great lady and has the highest ethical standards,” in the APP article that announced his resignation as the attorney representing the Board of Trustees and General Counsel for Brookdale.
It should be noted that Freeholder Mallet recently attended the Board of School Estimate meeting and reminded them that she called for the resignation of John Cantalupo in early April. She copied an email to all Freeholders and Board of Trustees members about it but never received a response from anyone.
The country club is still alive and well here in Monmouth County and anyone who thinks otherwise is either delusional or uninformed. The only way to change is is to support Freeholder Mallet’s petition to impose term limits on county board and commission appointees, many of whom are political insiders who have sat on these boards for twenty or more years. Having people serve on such boards for such lengths of time only leads to graft, corruption and complacency and this needs to end.
Sign the petition Here


Filed under Asbury Park Press, Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John M. Cantalupo, petiton, resignation

>Burnham Quits As Brookdale College President

>I know I’m a little late on this so I won’t spend a lot of time here discussing it, but by now everyone knows that Brookdale College President Peter Burnham resigned from his position Tuesday with a black cloud hovering over his head.

There is a lot of finger pointing going around between the the Monmouth County Freeholders and Brookdale’s Board of Trustees as to who was responsible for overseeing the reimbursement of Burnham college expenses and his generous perks.
Freeholder Lillian Burry before Tuesday was quite on Burnham’s plight, until she was quoted as saying, “He disgraced himself in the eyes of his students, in the eyes of his peers, in the eyes of everyone who believed in his vision for Brookdale and every Monmouth County taxpayer, he has to be held accountable for his actions.”
And Freeholder John Curley, who’s job it is as a Freeholder to oversee the goings on at the college and who exposed Burnham’s contract to the public after Burnham called out the Freeholders for being responsible for a proposed 8% hike in tuition and fees last month, chimed in as well according to the Asbury Park Press:

…Freeholder John P. Curley said he was pleased that Burnham resigned. Now it’s time for the college board and its attorney to step down as well, he said, adding that the public does not have faith in the college leadership anymore.

“They are policing themselves at this point and that’s unacceptable,” Curley said….

What I find unacceptable in that quote is that fact that it has been Curley’s job and others, who have been the liaison between the the college board and the Freeholders, to police and oversee what the college board does on behalf of tax payers. Curley and others should have been acting as the police, watching over and policing the college’s board of trustees instead of maintaining a hands off policy expecting the board of trustees to do what was right for students and county tax payers.
The only Freeholder that has come out of this situation unscathed seems to be Freeholder Amy Mallet, who when she heard of Burnham’s extravagant contract and perks called for the immediate resignation of the college board’s President Howard Birdsall.


Filed under Board of Trustees, Brookdale Community College, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Freeholder John Curly, Freeholder Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Peter Burnham

>Jersey Scandal – Could Another Operation Bid Rig Be Far Behind In Monmouth County?


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Filed under Freeholder John D'Amico, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John Curley, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, New Jersey, Operation Bid Rig

Quote of the Day

“A campaign at war with itself cannot fight its opponent effectively.”

— GOP strategist Ed Rollins, writing for CNN, using the presidential campaigns of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain as examples. 

 Locally you can also add the feud between Republican Monmouth County Freeholder Candidates, Lillian Burry and John Curly, into his example.

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Filed under CNN, Ed Rollins, feud, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John Curley, John McCain, political wire

>Quote of the Day

>”A campaign at war with itself cannot fight its opponent effectively.”

— GOP strategist Ed Rollins, writing for CNN, using the presidential campaigns of Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain as examples. 

 Locally you can also add the feud between Republican Monmouth County Freeholder Candidates, Lillian Burry and John Curly, into his example.

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Filed under CNN, Ed Rollins, feud, Freeholder Lillian Burry, John Curley, John McCain, political wire

Monmouth Republican Freeholder Candidates at Odds

Back on Sept. 25th I posted about the bad blood and animosity between the two Monmouth County Republican Freeholder Candidates, Lillian Bury and John Curly. I mentioned how Burry and Curly did not get along and that the both could not stand each other. I also mentioned that Curly was snubbed by Burry and was not invited to a fundraiser of hers.

Well, it seems as though the bad relations between the two have been noticed by others. The Asbury Park Press’s Bob Jordan wrote about it in yesterday’s paper:

“Republican Lillian G. Burry is running for another term as a Monmouth County freeholder, but don’t go to the Burry campaign Web site’s five pages of text and 21 pictures if you want to learn about her running mate.

That’s because John P. Curley isn’t mentioned on the site or included in any of the photographs. Indeed, there is no hint that the Republicans have a two-candidate ticket in the Nov. 4 county elections.

The county elections annually feature heated Democrat versus Republican contests, but this year’s version has added Republican vs. Republican fireworks.”

This obvious split between the republican ticket should be a boost to their democratic rivals Glenn Mason and Amy Mallet, dissention amongst the ranks this close to an election is never good. Lets see if Mason and Mallet can capitalize on it.

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Filed under Amy Mallet, Asbury Park Press, Bob Jordan, Democrats, Freeholder Lillian Burry, Glenn Mason, John Curley, Monmouth County Freeholder, Republicans