Category Archives: Monmouth University

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

>Ethics and Truth Exiled

>

The  following is a  letter to the editor I received  from Jim Grenafege, Democratic Candidate for Middletown Township Committee:

In support of candidates Fiore and Brightbill, Republican Middletown Mayor Scharfenberger continues his practice of distorting facts whenever possible. When facts cannot be distorted he will fabricate them.

In a letter published in the Atlantic Herald (Middletown Mayor Supports Brightbill and Fiore for Township Committee, October 6) Mayor Scharfenberger stated: “Pam and Tony’s opponents … bring a record of astonishingly high tax increases, vocal support for high density development through low-income housing and support for the destructive policies of Governor Corizine and the Democratic Party in Trenton.”

As an opposing candidate for one of the open seats on the Middletown Township Committee, I unequivocally state that Mayor Scharfenberger has completely fabricated everything that he attributes to the “opponents”.

In a subsequent e-mail sent from Monmouth [University].Edu (message from the mayor, October 19). Scharfenberger duplicated this letter and as part of my alleged record added: “serious ethics problems”. This is more intentional fabrication. This letter was sent, publically published, using Monmouth University electronic mail resources. This letter is signed: “Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger”. In so signing, his political status as a mayor along with his partisan political message was solidly linked to his status as a Monmouth University instructor and employee. He sent it to thirteen people with the instructions: “Please forward to as many Middletown residents as possible.”

In his zeal to have Republican candidates win at any cost, I hope Mayor Scharfenberger has not damaged the “leadership” brand image and the political impartiality important to financial standing and credibility of the University.

My concerns in this matter were discussed with the University’s Assistant General Counsel. I have been told that Dr. Scharfenberger has been reminded of the appropriate university policy. As an internal matter it has been addressed.
As an external matter the intended damage by Dr. Scharfenberger to my and my running mate’s campaign has not been publically addressed by the University, nor has Mayor Scharfenberger publically repudiated his fabrications. Who really has serious ethics and integrity problems — possibly Mayor, or Doctor, Scharfenberger?

James Grenafege
Democratic Candidate
Middletown Township Committee

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Filed under Democrats, ethics, Jim Grenafege, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth University, Pamela Brightbill, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Ethics and Truth Exiled

The  following is a  letter to the editor I received  from Jim Grenafege, Democratic Candidate for Middletown Township Committee:

In support of candidates Fiore and Brightbill, Republican Middletown Mayor Scharfenberger continues his practice of distorting facts whenever possible. When facts cannot be distorted he will fabricate them.

In a letter published in the Atlantic Herald (Middletown Mayor Supports Brightbill and Fiore for Township Committee, October 6) Mayor Scharfenberger stated: “Pam and Tony’s opponents … bring a record of astonishingly high tax increases, vocal support for high density development through low-income housing and support for the destructive policies of Governor Corizine and the Democratic Party in Trenton.”

As an opposing candidate for one of the open seats on the Middletown Township Committee, I unequivocally state that Mayor Scharfenberger has completely fabricated everything that he attributes to the “opponents”.

In a subsequent e-mail sent from Monmouth [University].Edu (message from the mayor, October 19). Scharfenberger duplicated this letter and as part of my alleged record added: “serious ethics problems”. This is more intentional fabrication. This letter was sent, publically published, using Monmouth University electronic mail resources. This letter is signed: “Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger”. In so signing, his political status as a mayor along with his partisan political message was solidly linked to his status as a Monmouth University instructor and employee. He sent it to thirteen people with the instructions: “Please forward to as many Middletown residents as possible.”

In his zeal to have Republican candidates win at any cost, I hope Mayor Scharfenberger has not damaged the “leadership” brand image and the political impartiality important to financial standing and credibility of the University.

My concerns in this matter were discussed with the University’s Assistant General Counsel. I have been told that Dr. Scharfenberger has been reminded of the appropriate university policy. As an internal matter it has been addressed.
As an external matter the intended damage by Dr. Scharfenberger to my and my running mate’s campaign has not been publically addressed by the University, nor has Mayor Scharfenberger publically repudiated his fabrications. Who really has serious ethics and integrity problems — possibly Mayor, or Doctor, Scharfenberger?

James Grenafege
Democratic Candidate
Middletown Township Committee

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Filed under Democrats, ethics, Jim Grenafege, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Township Committee, Monmouth University, Pamela Brightbill, Tony"the fibber"Fiore

Monmouth Univ. In Jeopardy of Losing IRS Tax Exemption – Scharfenberger May Face Disciplinary Action


Monmouth University has been put in a precarious positions and is in jeopardy of losing its IRS tax exemption status thanks to Middletown’s extremely partisan Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger.

On October 19th the good mayor, who moonlights as an adjunct professor at Monmouth University, used Monmouth’s email system to write a partisan letter of support for Pam Brightbill and Tony “the fibber” Fiore, the Republican Candidates for Middletown Township Committee. This letter also contained biased and untrue claims against their democratic opponents.

In his partisan zeal, he then emailed this letter which was titled “message from the mayor”, to a dozen of his fellow Middletown republicans and asked them to forward it to as many residents as possible.

(click here for larger view of email)

This partisan act by Mr. Scharfenberger was  in clear violation of Monmouth University’s Guidelines for Political Activity which states:
As an organization exempt from federal income tax pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, Monmouth University is prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening (including the publishing or distributing of statements) in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office. Even activities that encourage people to vote for or against a particular candidate on the basis of nonpartisan criteria are prohibited. According to the IRS, whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case.

POLICY
A. While the University encourages students and employees to exercise their civic duty by registering and voting, and further encourages political debate and discussion, the University prohibits the use of University resources to support partisan political efforts. In addition, University policy prohibits the following.

  1. Employees are not permitted to utilize University resources to support political candidates. This includes the use of University letterhead, postage, e-mail accounts, message boards, or other University resources.
  2. Employees should not post political statements (e.g., bumper stickers) on University-owned vehicles or uniforms.
  3. No one is permitted to release the names of University employees or students to an outside party, including but not limited to providing such lists for political purposes.
  4. Campaign contributions on behalf of the University are not permitted….

The penalties that may be incurred by Monmouth Univ. because of the mayor’s senseless use of the University’s email system for partisan politicking is as follows:

A. If the IRS finds that the University has engaged in prohibited campaign activity, the University could lose its tax-exempt status and could be subject to an excise tax on the amount of money spent on that activity.

B. In cases of flagrant violation of the law, the IRS has specific statutory authority to make an immediate determination and assessment of tax. The IRS can also ask a federal district court to enjoin the University from making further political expenditures.

C. In addition, contributions to organizations that lose their section 501(c)(3) status because of political activities are not deductible by the donors for federal income tax purposes.

In the coming weeks it will be interesting to find out just what the out come of this incident will be. Scharfenberger’s careless  one-upsmanship and biased partisan politicking using Monmouth University’s resources, is clearly a violation of Monmouth’s policies that govern such activities and puts the university in clear danger of losing it’s tax exempt IRS status.
This incident is just the latest example of how ethically challenged Scharfenberger is. 
Lets hope that Monmouth University decides to take the proper disciplinary actions against the mayor for putting the institution in such a potentially bad  situation.

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Filed under Guidlines for Political Activity, IRS Tax Exemption, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Republicans, Monmouth University

Monmouth Univ. In Jeopardy of Losing IRS Tax Exemption – Scharfenberger May Face Disciplinary Action


Monmouth University has been put in a precarious positions and is in jeopardy of losing its IRS tax exemption status thanks to Middletown’s extremely partisan Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger.

On October 19th the good mayor, who moonlights as an adjunct professor at Monmouth University, used Monmouth’s email system to write a partisan letter of support for Pam Brightbill and Tony “the fibber” Fiore, the Republican Candidates for Middletown Township Committee. This letter also contained biased and untrue claims against their democratic opponents.

In his partisan zeal, he then emailed this letter which was titled “message from the mayor”, to a dozen of his fellow Middletown republicans and asked them to forward it to as many residents as possible.

(click here for larger view of email)

This partisan act by Mr. Scharfenberger was  in clear violation of Monmouth University’s Guidelines for Political Activity which states:
As an organization exempt from federal income tax pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, Monmouth University is prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening (including the publishing or distributing of statements) in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office. Even activities that encourage people to vote for or against a particular candidate on the basis of nonpartisan criteria are prohibited. According to the IRS, whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case.

POLICY
A. While the University encourages students and employees to exercise their civic duty by registering and voting, and further encourages political debate and discussion, the University prohibits the use of University resources to support partisan political efforts. In addition, University policy prohibits the following.

  1. Employees are not permitted to utilize University resources to support political candidates. This includes the use of University letterhead, postage, e-mail accounts, message boards, or other University resources.
  2. Employees should not post political statements (e.g., bumper stickers) on University-owned vehicles or uniforms.
  3. No one is permitted to release the names of University employees or students to an outside party, including but not limited to providing such lists for political purposes.
  4. Campaign contributions on behalf of the University are not permitted….

The penalties that may be incurred by Monmouth Univ. because of the mayor’s senseless use of the University’s email system for partisan politicking is as follows:

A. If the IRS finds that the University has engaged in prohibited campaign activity, the University could lose its tax-exempt status and could be subject to an excise tax on the amount of money spent on that activity.

B. In cases of flagrant violation of the law, the IRS has specific statutory authority to make an immediate determination and assessment of tax. The IRS can also ask a federal district court to enjoin the University from making further political expenditures.

C. In addition, contributions to organizations that lose their section 501(c)(3) status because of political activities are not deductible by the donors for federal income tax purposes.

In the coming weeks it will be interesting to find out just what the out come of this incident will be. Scharfenberger’s careless  one-upsmanship and biased partisan politicking using Monmouth University’s resources, is clearly a violation of Monmouth’s policies that govern such activities and puts the university in clear danger of losing it’s tax exempt IRS status.
This incident is just the latest example of how ethically challenged Scharfenberger is. 
Lets hope that Monmouth University decides to take the proper disciplinary actions against the mayor for putting the institution in such a potentially bad  situation.

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Filed under Guidlines for Political Activity, IRS Tax Exemption, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown Republicans, Monmouth University

SCHARFENBERGER USED MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY EMAIL TO PUT OUT CAMPAIGN LIES


According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Jim Grenafege, Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger used his Monmouth University E-mail account to campaign for Middletown Republican candidates for the governing body.

“It is disgraceful to use a university’s name to debase someone in a political campaign,” Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Patricia A. Walsh said. “Mr. Scharfenberger has done nothing than attempt to lower the dignity of a great academic institution in the name of partisan politics. Of course his nonsense fails, but he should be reprimanded for the attempt.”

Mr. Scharfenberger is an instructor at the university.

Walsh, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, in Pennsylvania, and Grenafege, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, both believe that Monmouth University is an institution that is on the rise academically where it involves its prestige and brand.

“I have full confidence in the ability of the university to address this matter externally, because university officials have already assured me that they have addressed it internally,” Grenafege said. Walsh echoed his sentiments.

Grenafege said that actions, such as Mr. Scharfenberger’s, open up the university for sharp criticism and even questions where it involves its not-for-profit status, not to mention the overall objectivity of an institution that is attempting to emerge as one that polls various public questions. “I believe that Mr. Scharfenberger’s actions were quite unfortunate,” Grenafege said.

Note: I made a few phone calls over to Monmouth University yesterday to inquire about Mr. Scharfenberger’s use of it’s email system for political purposes but so far I have not received any response. I’ll keep trying in order to see how the University  feels about it.

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Filed under campaign lies, Democrats, email, ethics, Jim Grenafege, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Republicans, Monmouth University, Patricia Walsh

SCHARFENBERGER USED MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY EMAIL TO PUT OUT CAMPAIGN LIES


According to Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Jim Grenafege, Middletown Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger used his Monmouth University E-mail account to campaign for Middletown Republican candidates for the governing body.

“It is disgraceful to use a university’s name to debase someone in a political campaign,” Middletown Democrat for Township Committee Patricia A. Walsh said. “Mr. Scharfenberger has done nothing than attempt to lower the dignity of a great academic institution in the name of partisan politics. Of course his nonsense fails, but he should be reprimanded for the attempt.”

Mr. Scharfenberger is an instructor at the university.

Walsh, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, in Pennsylvania, and Grenafege, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, both believe that Monmouth University is an institution that is on the rise academically where it involves its prestige and brand.

“I have full confidence in the ability of the university to address this matter externally, because university officials have already assured me that they have addressed it internally,” Grenafege said. Walsh echoed his sentiments.

Grenafege said that actions, such as Mr. Scharfenberger’s, open up the university for sharp criticism and even questions where it involves its not-for-profit status, not to mention the overall objectivity of an institution that is attempting to emerge as one that polls various public questions. “I believe that Mr. Scharfenberger’s actions were quite unfortunate,” Grenafege said.

Note: I made a few phone calls over to Monmouth University yesterday to inquire about Mr. Scharfenberger’s use of it’s email system for political purposes but so far I have not received any response. I’ll keep trying in order to see how the University  feels about it.

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Filed under campaign lies, Democrats, email, ethics, Jim Grenafege, Mayor Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Republicans, Monmouth University, Patricia Walsh