Accusations Continue to Fly Between Freeholder Candidates
Rosen accuses Vicari of slander
Threatening to sue Republican Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari for slander, Democratic candidate Michele Rosen of Waretown demanded he retract and apologize for claims that she was admitted into a pre-trial intervention program after being indicted for theft by deception, and had the record of the indictment expunged.
Vicari did neither, instead raising new claims late Wednesday about civil court “judgments’’ against Rosen and her history of “bounced checks.’’
He conceded he relied on “rumors’’ about her entry into a pre-trial intervention program, which can lead to the dismissal of criminal charges if the accused meets the condition of that program. Likewise, he said he repeated rumors about her having the indictment expunged.
“It’s still there. It’s been there for 22 years,’’ she said of the record of the indictment.
Rosen confirmed, in a story carried on Patch.com a month ago, that she had been indicted for theft by deception in 1989, but the indictment was dismissed in April of 1990 at the request of then Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Robert Scott. She provided copies of the indictment and dismissal order to back up her claims.
She challenged Vicari to produce records to back up his PTI and expungement claims. He threw the ball back in her court, challenging her to produce records showing the claims are false.
Rosen said the indictment was dismissed on the state’s motion “because there was no wrongdoing on my part.’’
Then Superior Court Judge Barbara Ann Villano left the door open for the case to be presented to another grand jury, but there is no record that happened.
Rosen said the prosecutor at the time was Republican James Holzapfel, now an Assemblyman running for the state Senate in the 10th District in November. She described it as a “bogus indictment.’’
She branded Vicari’s continuing to circulate the claims “despicable,’’ and “character assassination.’’
Vicari leveled new charges of bounced checks and civil judgments against Rosen, claiming “she never denied them’’ in past campaigns.
“I’ve got no judgments, no bounced checks. She’s always checking everybody else, she should be held to the same standard,’’ Vicari said.
Rosen said she believes Vicari’s claims are linked to her snooping into the fiscal affairs of the Ocean County Board of Health, where Republicans are “frightened’’ about what she may uncover.
She said she is focused on contracts between the county, the Board of Health, and Specialty Systems of Toms River for computer consulting services. The board and the county have paid the firm $3 million over the last four years, while the county has its own information technology department at a cost of $3 million, she charged.
“I’m touching something that they don’t want me to reveal,’’ she said, unable to explain what that is.