Sarah Wallace is a Bergen County Democrat. She is what’s called a “hard” Democrat – totally loyal to her party, never missing an election, always supporting whatever Clinton or Murphy that appears on the ballot. And she is proud of it.
Given the public information available about her, we were surprised when we learned that NBC – the parent company of Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC – chose her to do a segment on the primary campaign between Sheriff Mike Strada and Jail Guard Andy Boden. Especially as Boden had previously bragged to a member of the local, Sussex County media, that the interview was going to be a “hit job” on Sheriff Strada.
Further complicating matters is Sheriff Strada’s central role in opposing Democrat Governor Phil Murphy’s Sanctuary State scheme. In the past, Sarah Wallace has done interviews that were very favorable to illegals and against members of law enforcement. In fact, Sarah Wallace is currently being sued by a police officer for her conduct and behavior.
Last November, a New York judge accused someone championed by Sarah Wallace – named Manny Gomez – of “coercing a witness to a gang slaying not to testify.” According to the New York Daily News (November 3, 2018), police have suggested that Sarah Wallace and Manny Gomez have “an apparent relationship” and that Wallace does stories that favor Gomez.
Why did Boden go to Wallace, a Democrat, and why was he so sure she would do a “hit job” for him on Sheriff Strada?
In any case, the resulting story did more to harm Andy Boden than it did to help him. On camera, Boden was induced by Wallace to lie about two important aspects of his story.
The first is that his psychological examination was the result of him picking up petitions to run for office. The County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, disputes Boden’s contention that he came to his office to obtain the nominating petitions. It appears that Andy Boden is lying about this and that he lied in testimony given at his fitness hearing. As this statement by his attorney shows:
According to the County Clerk and his office, Boden did not come into the office to pick up the nominating petitions – he accessed them on line, so that nobody could have known that he was running.
In fact, Boden’s psychological evaluation came after a series of incidents including some that left female employees intimidated and fearful of having him over them. After a police psychologist found him “unfit for duty” and he was placed on leave, Boden went to Sheriff Strada and asked him to restore him to duty – which meant giving him back his power over people, a firearm, handcuffs, and badge. The Sheriff’s office told Boden that he needed to get well first and re-evaluated by a mental health professional, before he could be re-instated.
Boden’s claim that he was ruled “unfit for duty” because he was running for office, repeated again in the Wallace interview, is clearly a lie. The public testimony of the police psychologist who ruled Boden “unfit for duty” makes it very clear that Boden is not being honest:
A. The whole point of the
fitness-for-duty evaluation in many cases is to
avoid things getting to that point. We are --
you know, as the IACP, we're looking for
conditions that are going to impact someone's
ability to safely and effectively do their work.
We want to keep that environment safe. We also
want to treat people compassionately. And if we
see that someone is under duress, to try to
intervene and help them.
Fitness-for-duty evaluations are
often seen as punitive in nature, but they don't
necessarily have to be or need to be. The idea
is to intervene much in the same way as an EAP
and get someone help before there's an incident,
before someone does get injured or before
something becomes career ending.
Q. Based upon the information that
you had received and gathered during the course
of this assessment, could you rule out that
Lt. Bannon (sic) wouldn't hurt somebody
prospectively if allowed to work while getting
A. I could not rule that out.
Q. At any point did you tell
Lt. Bannon (sic) that he had passed the
assessment? Boden. I'm sorry.
A. No. We don't give anyone results,
pass or fail, at the end of the evaluation.
Q. Does somebody pass?
A. They are found fit to return to
Q. Right. Or unfit.
A. Or unfit. And then when unfit,
they are given conditions with the goal of
Q. And your case -- and in this case,
what were those conditions to restore fitness?
A. Lt. Boden was to engage in
individual treatment outside of the treatment
that he had already been receiving with his wife
with the sole purpose on managing his stress
level, identifying coping mechanisms that work
for him so that he could return to his position.
Q. And in the meantime, as an
individual who was unfit for duty, he should not
be working while receiving that initial
A. You cannot return to duty if you
are found unfit.
Boden’s case mirrors the current national debate concerning mental health and gun laws. Should employers act when they observe traumatic stress in employees (in this case, confirmed by a mental health professional) or should they wait until after something actually happens? It is a complex issue.
In the Wallace interview, Boden also claimed to have had no knowledge of the doctored video that was sent around in an attempt to damage Sheriff Mike Strada’s family. The video also attempted to destroy the reputation of an innocent young firefighter. It was found to be a FAKE and totally false by the media and law enforcement. Despite Boden’s lies in the Wallace interview, a statement from Sussex County Republican Chairman Jerry Scanlan makes it very clear that it was the Boden campaign behind the release of the doctored FAKE video:
The above is the direct testimony of the Republican Party Chairman regarding the attempted shakedown that occurred before the FAKE doctored video was released. Clearly Boden’s campaign knew all about the video that later nobody wanted to take credit for.
So why did Boden tell Sarah Wallace that he knew nothing? Why did he lie?