GOP Sen. O’Scanlon goes after Judge who let off rapist

Billionaire sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein might finally be facing justice, but here in New Jersey, the administration of rapist-coddling Governor Phil Murphy has remained quiet on not only the Epstein case, but also the case of a rapist who assaulted a 16-year-old girl, video taped the assault, and then shared the video with his friends.  Instead, the Murphy administration is going after members of law enforcement who cooperate with federal authorities in detaining and screening possible criminals who are here in the United States illegally.

The Murphy administration and the Democrats have remained quiet about Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano, who refused to allow prosecutors to bring adult charges against the 16-year-old male rapist because he came from a “good family”. The Judge said he was concerned about “ruining his life”.  No thought to the effect the rape has had on the 16-year-old female victim’s life.

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Monmouth County Senator Declan O’Scanlon, a Republican, is having none of it.  He has called for the resignation of Judge Troiano.  The Senator is particularly angry over reports that the Judge had told the victim that she was not truly raped because her attacker didn’t use a firearm in the commission of his crime.

Senator O’Scanlon told the Monmouth County news website, More Monmouth Musings: “Judge Troiano’s comments are truly abhorrent and clearly highlight the fact that he needs to be removed immediately by the Supreme Court… We simply cannot stand by and allow a sitting judge to tell a 16-year-old sexual assault survivor that she doesn’t deserve justice because her attacker might get into a ‘good college.’”

A New Jersey appeals court blasted Judge Troiano and reversed his decision.  The Judge had attempted to downplay or justify the attack, even though the male perpetrator had reveled in what he had done.  According to prosecutors, he took the visibly drunk female victim to a closed-off, darkened area and then filmed himself on his cellphone “penetrating the girl from behind with her bare torso exposed and her head hanging down.”  The assailant reportedly sent the video to several friends and texted them with following: “When your first time having sex was rape.”

And where is the Murphy administration on all this… crickets!

Instead, Murphy and his appointee as Attorney General are conducting a jihad on the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office for cooperating with federal immigration officials in their on-going efforts to protect the families of American taxpayers.  NJ.com reported late yesterday that the Murphy administration had yet again threatened law enforcement in Monmouth and Cape May counties because they are following federal law instead of the fashion statements of the rapist-hiring-and-cover-up Murphy.  You can read more about it here…

https://www.nj.com/politics/2019/07/murphy-ag-warns-nj-sheriffs-dont-go-behind-my-back-to-work-with-ice.html

The Murphy administration is also in a battle with Sussex County Freeholders over their decision to allow the voters to advise their County Sheriff – who they pay for with their property taxes – whether to follow federal law or Governor Murphy’s whims.  The Freeholders are standing by the principle of democracy.  Governor Murphy wants to strip citizens of their right to vote – even as he signed millions more over to illegal aliens on Independence Day.  Even as the Democrats want to give illegals drivers licenses and violent criminals the right to vote and hire lobbyists. 

But can anything more be expected from a Governor who refused to take responsibility for the rape of one of his own female workers?  A Governor who justified, obfuscated, and covered-up instead of standing by the woman victim.  And she was someone personally known to him.  Imagine what common, every day victims of rape and sexual assault matter to him?

Senator O’Scanlon noted:  “The Supreme Court has the ability to remove a judge for misconduct in office, or conduct evidencing unfitness for judicial office. Judge Troiano’s disturbing and biased comments from the bench are a glaringly obvious display of his unfitness for judicial office.”

You can read Art Gallagher’s column here…

http://www.moremonmouthmusings.net/2019/07/08/oscanlon-calls-for-judge-troianos-resignation/


Phil Murphy tries to suppress voting in Sussex County

In a move that is rich in hypocrisy, the Murphy administration has “ordered” the Sussex County Clerk, Jeff Parrott, not to place on the ballot a public question that allows voters in that county to instruct their Sheriff on the Sanctuary State directive issued by Governor Murphy’s attorney general.  The ballot question gives voters a choice to instruct their county Sheriff to (1) obey the state directive or (2) follow the laws passed by the Congress of the United States of America, signed by successive Presidents of both parties, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. 

So Phil Murphy is telling Sussex County that they must obey him – and join him in disobeying the laws of the United States of America.  And he is attempting to suppress the rights of voters to have a say in the matter.

The “order” was issued by Murphy ally Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who Murphy appointed in January of 2018.  The Attorney General is the scion of a very wealthy but controversial family of developers.  And it is no secret that Grewal is angling for a spot in some future Democrat administration in Washington, DC, if he can get past the confirmation hearings (which are a whole lot tougher in Washington than they are in Trenton).  That controversial family of developers thing again (it’ll get you every time).

The “order” to deprive the voters of their right to voice their opinions on a ballot question pits Murphy and Grewal against Sussex County’s Sheriff, Mike Strada, who has strongly supported the ballot question and opposed Murphy’s Sanctuary State plan every step of the way. Strada, a career law enforcement officer who led a U.S. Army platoon in Iraq (Desert Storm), has no time for federal law breakers like Murphy and Grewal.

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Murphy & Grewal vs. Sheriff Mike Strada

 
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New Jersey Herald reporter Bruce Scruton did a good job of covering this breaking story, which appeared on that newspaper’s website late last night.  It can be accessed here:

https://www.njherald.com/20190524/attorney-general-nixes-countys-anti-sanctuary-ballot-question

Reactions from the Freeholders have been mixed, with some clearly in the mood to stand up for the rights of voters and others a bit tepid.  Four of the five member freeholder board cast votes in support of the ballot question earlier this year, but there is a long history in Sussex County of elected officials taking the advice of “go-along-to-get-along” establishment types.  This is what lured them into the solar debacle that cost taxpayers $26 million but has yet to identify a guilty party (despite nearly $600,000 in “studies” to find out what went wrong and who done it).

You can’t put a cost on doing the right thing – and the right thing is standing up for the right to vote and the primacy of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Too often doing the right thing is dismissed on grounds of cost (unless it can be monetized, as with the $600,000 in “studies” into the solar debacle). 

This is a moment of truth for Sussex County Republicans.  We’ve heard a lot about the “walk away” movement among the Democrats.  Republicans should understand the frustrations of their own base – at least enough to prevent a “walk away” movement of their own.

Candidate brags to local media about NBC “hit job” on Sheriff

By: Sussex County Watchdog

Since its founding in 2012, the contributors here at Watchdog have generally been just ordinary citizens, not professional journalists.  Nevertheless, we have got the ball rolling on a number of big stories in Sussex County – including the illegal negotiations to sell the county solid waste facility (caught in time and prevented), the solar program that ended up going bust (which ultimately cost taxpayers $26 million), the corruption at the county college (leading to the resignation of several trustees), and environmental issues impacting the health of county workers (CWA members) in Newton (which was addressed after our report).  Whether via tips or submitted columns, we publish stories that address the bad behavior of the government and corporate establishment.  

Generally we work with for-profit corporate media, which is advertising based. As we do not run ads, we do not have a need for click-bait, as they do.  Nevertheless, we respect them for the work that they do.  So we were shocked when a local media person had a story concerning a media organization outside the county – in New York City, in fact – that was using Sussex County to attract viewers.  

Apparently, a candidate for Sheriff in the upcoming GOP primary – Andy Boden – bragged to local media that he had arranged for a “hit job” on his opponent, Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada.  It seems that Boden said the “hit job” would be about how Strada has suspended him for running, and that now he must work construction and that his wife had to take a job.  Boden claimed that the “hit job” was being done on his behalf by a friend of a friend who has a show on NBC out of New York City.  

Andy Boden is a rather sad case.  Earlier this year, 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 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.

Boden’s case has been further complicated by his candidacy, which was not his idea, but rather that of a local union fighting to preserve the jobs of corrections officers at the Sussex County jail (the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility).  The jobs of many who work at the jail were put in jeopardy by the passage of Bail Reform, a bi-partisan bill aimed at reducing the number of people incarcerated while waiting for trial.  Before bail reform, many innocent people were locked up for weeks or months simply because they couldn’t afford the cost of bail.  They often lost jobs, homes, and relationships while they were locked up – only later to be found “not guilty” or have the case against them dismissed.

After bail reform became law in New Jersey, jail populations began to diminish drastically and elected officials started to consider shared services agreements that would allow them to close or scale-down some facilities and save money for taxpayers.  The August 2014 “needs assessment” on the Sussex jail (Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility), conducted by Pulitzer/Bogard Associates LLC, clearly outlined the devastating impact keeping the jail open would have on county taxpayers.  Making the jail compliant with basic standards would cost $11 million in short term and $64 million in long term expenditures. 

At the insistence of county Freeholders, Sheriff Strada has been working to scale-down the jail and enter into shared services agreements with Morris County. An agreement to house Sussex County’s female inmate population has recently been reached (and the quality of life for female inmates markedly improved, according to media reports).  

A working group that includes county bureaucrats, elected officials, and union leaders has been working to place every corrections officer likely to be displaced by the plans for the jail.  It is our understanding that County Administrator Greg Poff will shortly announce that positions have been found for every officer likely to be displaced.  Unfortunately, some union people have continued to oppose any changes to the jail.  They’ve complained about the length of the commutes to other facilities and such.  And it is this group who recruited Andy Boden as their candidate and spokesperson.  

They have been using their media contacts to shop around “dirt” on Sheriff Strada and even used a fake Facebook account to distribute a fake video of an “incident” between the Sheriff and a female firefighter, which was later found to have been doctored by the media (including the Star-Ledger/ NJ.com and the New Jersey Herald).  After the media spoke with the female firefighter, who confirmed that the incident never happened, Andy Boden claimed to have had no knowledge of it – despite the fact that Boden’s campaign managers had met with the local party chairman and threatened him with the release of the video some 48 hours before it was released.  This according to a legal statement given by the party chairman.

Boden’s managers went to a well-known statehouse blog in Trenton with their “dirt” – but after the reporter reviewed the transcript of the public hearing Boden asked for regarding his “unfit for duty” status – the story that was written was not to Boden’s liking:  

Incumbent Sheriff Mike Strada faces a challenge from corrections officer Andy Boden, who suspended earlier this year after a police psychologist ruled he was unfit for duty.

Following his suspension, Boden has mounted an offensive against the three-term sheriff, accusing him of endangering his deputies and misusing public funds.

“My decision to run is to end the culture of harassment and mental abuse that Strada has created and fostered. His actions, along with his posse’s, will come out in the upcoming weeks,” Boden said. 

Boden has been suspended since early March. The New Jersey Herald first reported his suspension.

In testimony provided to the New Jersey Globe by Strada’s campaign, a police psychologist said he or she could not rule out the possibility of Boden harming someone if he was allowed to continue working while receiving therapy.

The psychologist recommended the corrections officer receive additional treatment to restore fitness for duty.

“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,” the psychologist said.

For further reading, visit New Jersey Globe at…

https://newjerseyglobe.com/local/sussex/mud-flies-in-sussex-sheriffs-race/

Watchdog is attempting to find out just who the NBC person is who Andy Boden was speaking about when he told local media that a “hit job” was being done on Sheriff Strada.  Stay tuned…

Sussex video shows how easy it is to punk the media.

The day after the Andy Boden for Sheriff campaign attempted to shake down the local Republican Party, a doctored video was distributed purporting to show their opponent in a compromising #MeToo situation.  The Boden campaign had specifically referenced said video in its shake down attempt.  They claimed that the video had been obtained by off-duty corrections officers (men with badges and guns) in an unofficial political surveillance operation.

The doctored video was released to more than 150 media outlets, using a fake Facebook account, under the name of someone who does not exist.  The Boden campaign refused to comment to the media.  Candidate Boden likewise refused to comment.   

In published stories, the media admitted that it could not locate any person associated with the fake Facebook account.  48 hours after the doctored video was posted, the fake Facebook account disappeared.

Nevertheless, several media outlets not only published the doctored video, but published a long, rambling press release – issued on a fake Facebook account by an entity that does not exist – treating it as a factual statement.  And they did so despite the fact that they could not locate any actual person who would vouch for its authorship.

Despite clear evidence of alteration and it lack of provenance, these media outlets failed to test the technological accuracy of the doctored video.  Surprisingly, they behaved as if they operated sometime in the 1950’s – before technological changes, particularly in digital technology, had turned the old phrase “seeing is believing” on its head.  For instance, does anyone really believe that Tom Hanks is shaking the hand of President Kennedy in this video?

In September of last year, Bloomberg reported on the threat to authenticity posed by “deep fake video technology” and warned media outlets that “fake videos and audio keep getting better, faster and easier to make, increasing the mind-blowing technology’s potential for harm if put in the wrong hands.”  The story suggested that all video should be closely examined and vetted by technological professionals before being cited as a source. 

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is clear: 

-       Ethical journalists take responsibility for their work.  Verify information before releasing it.

-       Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.

-       Identify sources clearly.  The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.

-       Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information.

-       Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.

-       Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort.  Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

-       Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves… Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.

-       Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.

-       Expose unethical conduct in journalism.

-       Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

Those media that reported on this, handled it like a #MeToo situation.  In fact, there was no complaint by anyone claiming to be a victim.  Instead, the complaint came from the illicit surveillance operation.

Sources claim that the corrections officers who conducted the operation took what they had to the home of a former elected official/computer expert, and that he “cleaned it up” or “enhanced” it.  The backstory here is that the corrections officers are angry with the incumbent Sheriff because the county jail is being downsized, which has placed some of their jobs in jeopardy.  Off course, this downsizing is a consequence of Bail Reform passed as a ballot question in November 2014.  With a dwindling jail population, the Sheriff cannot justify maintaining high levels of staffing and the consequent cost to property taxpayers in Sussex County.  Estimates of the cost to refurbish the jail for other purposes run upwards of $60 million and the Freeholder Board is in no place to raise taxes or debt to accommodate such costs.  The doctored video is seen as a desperate move by a few, very disgruntled, corrections officers.

That said, the role played by the media outlets tricked into distributing this video – and their willingness to be punked by a fake Facebook account – is a matter for concern, especially as it will only get easier to fake videos in the future.  Perhaps this is a case for the Ethics Committee of the SPJ?  Stay tuned…

Pro-Sanctuary Democrats try to take down GOP Sheriff.

Earlier this year, within days of the Sussex County Freeholder Board signaling its intention to rebuff the Murphy administration’s plans to turn Sussex County into a Sanctuary State, the allies of Governor Murphy were out to replace Sheriff Mike Strada, the current conservative Republican, with someone who would block the Freeholders’ plans to place the Sanctuary State question on the ballot and ask the voters to opt out.

They found just the pawn they needed in Corrections Officer Andy Boden, who had been placed on leave after a psychological examination found him unfit for duty.  The Democrats knew that Sheriff Strada had run afoul of the Corrections Officers’ union – which endorsed Leftist Democrat Phil Murphy for Governor in 2017 – after cutting spending at the county jail.  The Sheriff’s cuts – amounting to nearly $2 million – helped to hold the line on county property taxes this year.

Sources claim that after reviewing some of Boden’s Facebook posts, his Democrat handlers suggested to him that he remove such crazy “selfies” as the one below, which shows the candidate on a bear rug, in a state of undress.  Hey, we try to be open-minded about such things, so we won’t comment further.

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Earlier this month, after the Freeholder Board took the historic vote to place the Sanctuary State question on the November ballot – giving the Sheriff the power to ignore the Murphy administration’s directives – the Leftist Pro-Sanctuary forces really went nuts.  Andy Boden’s campaign attempted to shake down the Republican Party Chairman and targeted Sheriff Strada’s family with threats.

And just as they did with President Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and Assemblyman Parker Space… they came up with false accusations designed not so much to win a political campaign as to cause personal damage to the Sheriff, his wife, and children.  And all because he opposes the Democrat Governor’s plans to make Sussex County join his pro-Sanctuary State, pro-illegal immigration, bandwagon.

Remember how these same forces tried to smear Donald Trump in 2016… Parker Space in 2017… and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.  Once again, conservatives need to fight back.