Read the official minutes of illegal secret meeting where Keefe gave Montillo control of schools…
Below are the official Township minutes from February 11, 2020, which cover discussions during an illegally held closed door meeting between the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners and the Lyndhurst Board of Education President and Vice President and their respective staffs and consultants.
These minutes were obtained through a legal Open Public Records Act request by my attorney. They were never disclosed to the public, as they should have been, on the Township website.
On February 11, 2020, the public, including myself, was thrown out of this illegally held CLOSED SESSION, even over legal objections given by me in writing to Township Attorney Carmine Alampi, who said he did not have time to read them.
It was during this closed/secret February 11, 2020 meeting (minutes below) that Commissioner John Montillo and the rest of the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners appears to have assumed political control of the Lyndhurst Board of Education represented by BOE President Erin Keefe, Vice President Frank Ferrandino, State Monitor Tom Egan, Superintendent Anthony Grieco, now Assistant Superintendent Frank DeCoroso, and departing School Business Administrator Scott Bisig.
The consultant hired by the Township and Montillo’s Finance Department to oversee the development of apartments on the site of Lincoln School (which is linked to turning over the Middle School FIRST) is Mr. Bob Benecke of Benecke Economics, who was also recorded in these minutes below as giving orders to the Lyndhurst Board of Education and the BOE staff about educational priorities.
Why is the BOE taking direction from a development consultant, Benecke, whose most recent accomplishment in this area is the controversial 8-story Agnew Apartments proposed for construction near the Rutherford Train Station?
READ HOW THE SCHOOL and DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT FOR LYNDHURST IS OVERSEEING A MASSIVE APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT IN RUTHERFORD TOO:
Why did these BOE representatives also cave in to John Montillo, someone with no background in education, and who as a Commissioner has made hundreds of thousands of dollars as a NO-BID electrical contractor (story below includes Montillo’s bills) appointed by Ms. Keefe to work at the Lyndhurst schools AFTER MONTILLO WAS IN OFFICE and voting on school projects?
Why was Montillo allowed to threaten, unchallenged, that the Commissioners control school finances and have all the power? That claim is false.
In his heavy handed overreach to control Lyndhurst Schools, Commissioner Montillo has a conflict at best, perhaps far worse in legal problems. The BOE and others may also have a few legal problems of their own.
Board of Education President Erin Keefe says she’s an Attorney, often. So, Ms. Keefe should know better than this. Or, perhaps Ms. Keefe does know better, but isn’t motivated to challenge this clear overreach and ethical conflict by the Board of Commissioners, Montillo in particular.
Regardless, the fact is Ms. Keefe has yet to explain why she has allowed the Board of Commissioners and their Lincoln School apartment development consultant, Benecke, to run roughshod over Lyndhurst Schools, staff, students and taxpayers at this February 11, 2020 meeting; and, do so again with Ms. Keefe and BOE passing the Commissioner’s lopsided (in the township’s favor) Middle School Transfer Agreement on October 22, 2020, which allows the Board of Commissioners control of the Middle School along with the Lyndhurst Police Department.