Jersey City Councilman-at-Large candidate Omar Perez wants his opponents – Rolando Lavarro, Daniel Rivera and Joyce Watterman – to besiege mayoral candidate Steve Fulop to release all emails showing correspondence between Fulop, his campaign contributors, and Jersey City Board of Education members.
Fulop, for his part, says he has no problem with that, already called for the email discharge, and dismissed the communiqué as distraction for the real issues of the campaign.
“Jersey City taxpayers deserve to know the truth about how six-figure Board of Ed contracts were steered to Steve Fulop’s contributors,” said Perez. “I call on Rolando Lavarro, Daniel Rivera and Joyce Watterman to demand that Steve Fulop release all emails showing correspondence between Fulop, his benefactors and BOE members.
“In the spirit of transparency and sensible pay to play legislation, I challenge my opponents to stand up for what they believe in by providing the residents and taxpayers with the truth,” the candidate added. “True reformers do not hide from transparency, they embrace it and lead by example. The residents want full disclosure, not the ‘same old do as I say not as I do’ type of politics that Steve Fulop wants to unleash on Jersey City. Being on Team Fulop doesn’t mean they have to silently stand by as Fulop seeks to continue blocking Jersey City taxpayers from learning the truth.”
Last month, Hudson County Superior Court Judge Lawrence W. Maron validated the Healy campaign’s contention that the public has a right to know the full story regarding Fulop directly connecting his campaign contributors with Jersey City Board of Education members.
The judge expressed concern over the missing and incomplete emails, and on Monday, March 25, the BOE must explain why the partial emails released were heavily redacted. The judge is requiring certifications from current BOE members, former board members, and the BOE’s IT person – compelling them to explain measures taken to look for the documents and retrieve the emails.
“Steve has called for full disclosure of the emails all along. It’s their own candidate, Charles Epps, who is standing in the way of full disclosure,” said Fulop campaign manager Bruno Tedeschi, parrying the Healy salvo.
Fulop last week called on Team Healy’s Ward A Council Candidate and former Schools Superintendent Epps to give his permission to the Jersey City Board of Education to fully release all the BOE emails, without redaction, to the public.
The board released 500 pages of emails last month that were requested under the Open Public Records Act, but redacted certain emails dealing with the failed tenure of Dr. Epps. The emails were redacted because Dr. Epps has refused to waive a separation agreement between him and the Board of Education.
Dr. Epps’ separation agreement is all that stands in the way of allowing the public to have full access to the unredacted emails, Team Fulop said.
“Fulop supports the full release of the emails, Mayor Healy supports the full release, the only person standing in the way of email transparency is Dr. Epps,” said Tedeschi.