Lawsuit: Ex-Employee Accuses Waretown Officials of Falsifying Timesheets, Sexual Harassment

WARETOWN – Sandra Pirozzi, a former administrative assistant employed in the Township of Ocean (Waretown) municipal government has resigned from her position and filed a lawsuit that makes a litany of allegations against her former supervisors. Pirozzi claims that she has faced “continued harassment” from Waretown Clerk / Administrator Diane Ambrosio and her husband Matthew Ambrosio, who is the director of the township’s department of public works after she reported a slew of violations of policy and state law, to include allegations of falsified timesheets and numerous policy violations.

Pirozzi claimed through her attorney that she faced the harassment and retaliation from supervisors after reporting conduct which she believed to be unlawful, and she sent an email letter to this effect to the members of the Ocean Township Committee, which included Mayor Tina Wetter, and Committeemen Ben LoParo and Daniel Collamer.

“My resignation is due to the continued harassment and retaliatory actions of my supervisors, Diane Ambrosio and her husband, Matt Ambrosio, after I complained of conduct I believed was unlawful,” she wrote in an email message that was sent to Ocean Township Committee members on March 13th, 2017.

She said that while employed with Waretown, she reported conduct that violated workplace policies and state law, to include smoking, “pornographic materials” she discovered in the bathrooms, “improper expenditures of public funds” and falsified timesheets – all of which is alleged to have occurred under the watch of the township DPW superintendent Matthew Ambrosio, and his wife, the Waretown clerk / administrator, Diane Ambrosio.

Greg McGuckin

Tina Wetter

Pirozzi claims that Waretown Mayor Tina Wetter told her that the Ambrosios became aware of her allegations through herself and Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin, and that once they found out about what was reported, Pirozzi started facing retaliation from the husband-wife duo of Waretown’s municipal government.

Pirozzi wrote in her letter to the township committee members that “the harassment and retaliation worsened” following a March 2nd, 2017 executive session meeting where she claims to have complained of the alleged misconduct purportedly committed by her superiors.

She has since filed suit in Ocean County Superior Court, and is alleging claims under the state Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and the state Law Against Discrimination for sexual harassment in connection with actions that allegedly took place during her employment with the township. Pirozzi is being represented by Kevin Costello of the firm Costello & Mains. The Costello firm has represented other Ocean County public employees in similar suits, such as the recent case out of Berkeley Township involving racist slurs.

Before filing suit, Pirozzi formally resigned from her position effective March 13th, and the amended complaint was filed on April 26th, 2017.

The former employee’s lawsuit went on to make detailed allegations regarding the conduct of both Clerk Ambrosio and her husband, Matthew Ambrosio, the DPW superintendent.

“Stolen” Taxpayer Money

In court filings, Pirozzi claimed that while employed as an administrative assistant she witnessed Mr. Ambrosio approve “false timesheets for workers appointed beneath him” in the public works department.

“Plaintiff opposed the practice of Superintendent Matthew Ambrosio knowingly and purposefully falsifying timesheets, thus stealing funds from the taxpayers of Ocean, for the benefit of the workers appointed beneath him,” Pirozzi’s attorney Kevin Costello wrote in the complain.

Pirozzi also claims that the Ambrosios used their position as Waretown officials to siphon public funds for their private benefit.

According to Pirozzi’s lawsuit, she witnessed the Ambrosios “…improperly utilizing public funds to purchase finished materials such as paint for private use on their residence.”

“Pornographic” Materials Left in Public Bathroom

In addition to the financial allegations, Pirozzi’s complaint alleged that “dozens of explicitly and graphic pornographic materials” were being left in the bathroom, purportedly by Ambrosio, according to Pirozzi’s complaint.

She claimed to have “… also complained to Township Attorney Gregory McGuckin regarding the fact that there was a proliferation and abundance of pornographic materials in open view in public bathrooms in the workplace.”

But when she reported the pornographic magazines, conditions at her township job only worsened, according to the Pirozzi lawsuit’s account of events.

Following her reports of the alleged misconduct, she claims to have been subjected to “adverse job actions” by the Ambrosios once they became aware of her reporting the violations, which are the subject of the lawsuit’s claims.

Naked Picture (WARNING, EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

Perhaps the most serious allegations made by Pirozzi and her attorney involve allegations of sexual harassment against Waretown DPW Superintendent Matthew Ambrosio. Pirozzi’s attorney claimed in court documents that Mr. Ambrosio subjected her to sexual harassment by showing her explicit pictures of himself and making comments of a sexual nature.

Some of the lawsuit’s allegations.

Pirozzi is seeking damages and equitable relief on each of the lawsuit’s counts against the township and its officials. The township officials named in the suit are expected to deny the allegations.

Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi is the editor of Ocean County Politics and a lifelong Ocean County resident, residing in Lacey Township. Gavin's work centers on the intersection of money and politics in Ocean County, with a focus on public corruption. In 2017 he created New Jersey's first statewide freedom of information portal, OPRAmachine.com. He can be reached via email at editor@politicsoc.com or via phone at (732)-504-3636 ext. 1 or on encrypted phone / text app Signal.

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33 Responses

  1. Tommy p says:

    It’s a shame that people have to tolerate this abuse when they identify Government waste and theft.
    Hope those involved lose their jobs and pensions and are prohibited from working in Government any where in NJ.
    Alleged Scumbags!

    • Im Trump the 25 Mil FRAUD says:

      They wont lose anything the tax payers will pay to settle and Happy Gilmore will shuffle them around the County if need be
      I’m selling Make America Great Again gear which is made in China

      • llewellynh says:

        Just about everything is made outside of the US. We no longer manufacture much of anything and now are classified as a nation with “Service Economy.”

        • Mercy Otis Warren says:

          Correct; this is Richard Nixon’s and Henry Kissinger’s fault. They opened up trade with China — which in and of itself is not bad. But they also pegged the Chinese currency to the dollar. This allowed the multinationals to exploit cheap Chinese labor —- (for as long as the peg continues). Meanwhile every decent manufacturing city in the northeast is a rusting and rotting shell of its former self. The architects of this economic scheme are traitors to both the US and a basic sense of common decency.

          • llewellynh says:

            Question for you is can we get any of this back here? We can’t survive without people who have no manual skills whatsoever. And are people here willing to pay triple the price of a Chinese made hammer?

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            I think manufacturing would come back if the Chinese peg was immediately lifted. First, the value of China’s currency would increase and perhaps wages would too and it would make less sense therefore to manufacture on the other side of the world. Do I think this will happen? Likely not. There is too much money at stake for the oligarchs. They much prefer controlling and exploiting a system rather than winning the business on the open market. Livingston did this in the colonies with the backing of a monopoly granted by England. Vanderbilt ignored the unjust monopoly and then got his boss (Ogden I think) to sue. Vanderbilt won. And no people will not pay 3X the price for a good quality forged steel hammer. There would be no WalMarts if they would. People want tons of cheap shit, not just a few high quality well crafted products — most unfortunately.

          • llewellynh says:

            Afraid you are right but it’s funny how the old tools and even furniture I own, last and last and don’t need to be replaced. So they are worth the money in the long run but that I suspect cuts down on the number of jobs – wherever they are.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            You are right indeed. The old stuff are gems if you can find them. I hate shopping with a passion but I have begun to stop at all the garage sales I can in the hope of finding an 80-100 year old axe, hammer or saw. I recently came upon a couple of old H. Disston (out of Philadelphia) hand saws. They are in rough shape, but I am hoping to bring them back to life if I can find the time. The steel was and still is outstanding. The new stuff is junk unless it is from Germany, Japan or Sweden.

          • llewellynh says:

            Lucky find! Now if the heat would just go down, I might run into you soon.

          • Don The Con says:

            LOL Howd that Carrier deal I brought you lol work out? gave a 7 mil take break and the jobs still went I conned you again and you fools believed me bigly that clean coal and miner jobs are coming back you ppl are really really bigly huge disaster after all I paid 25 mil for fraud and you idiots still voted for me for I am Don the Con
            Now buy my Trump gear that is made in China look at the label Trumptards
            Fear not Pineys of Lacey the Widget factory and infrastructure jobs are on the way believe me bigly

      • USAFWX says:

        If your “Make America Great Again” gear was made in China, it is a knock off from the gear the Trump Campaign sold. That was made in a factory in Los Angeles according to AP.

        • Im Don the Con says:

          Trump doesn’t make anything he sells or Ivanka sells with their name on in here in the US
          Why are the Trumptards laywering up?
          Psst follow the money
          US Banks don’t lend Comrade Trumpski money because he doesn’t pay it back
          Hey if you pay 25 mil when accused of fraud does that make you a fraud?

  2. Terry Brady says:

    This artical made my wife a little horney. Thanks Gavin.

  3. Mandi Pekarchik says:

    These names seem awfully familiar… “well organized-crime:” is getting sloppy… easy to see the connections by looking through the top people across NJ towns.

    • Habitat says:

      Next stop Toms River

      • llewellynh says:

        Every town in Ocean County seems to be run the very same way.

        • Habitat says:

          Why are these towns, it’s agencies, departments, supposed autonomous Municipal authorities allowed to hire just about every family member available? At least scatter it around, some of these folk’s have multiple family members working in the same place as indicated in this article.

          • llewellynh says:

            It would take a law which obviously these people would never vote for.

            I think each house should only be permitted to have one civil servant whether local, county, state or federal. That would fairly spread the jobs around because civil servants in the US are making considerably more than those who do similar work in the private sector.

            And only one public servant job for any one person.

            And there is a law on the books that the Town Attorney should live in the town itself. There is a waiver for special circumstances and that’s how George Gilmore is representing 8 communities, some right next to the other which can lead to a conflict of interest situation if the game is played honestly.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            If 80% of the public jobs were eliminated, then the problem would go away almost entirely. And if the work can be done in the private sector, it should not be done in the public sector at all. I am afraid another law will not do the trick. We have hundreds of thousands already. Simply eliminating government jobs will do the trick 😉 Unfortunately that will not happen until the people step up and refuse to pay more taxes.

          • outtahere says:

            Refuse to pay more taxes? How do we do that? Not pay the bill we are handed and be immediately slammed with a lien? Start with a law preventing the hiring of relatives. Cut of their lines of entitlement. DEMAND to have these laws added to your municipality. I would say if the committee or governing body refuses to adopt a law of that type, then vote them out, but we all know in OC that’s impossible. That too needs to change. The entire County needs a clean out.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            Not paying the bill would be one way, though as you point out, it does carry some risk. What if 50% of the town residence were actually able to agree to such a protest. The town would be forced to shut down until things got squared away (meaning until they send the guys with the guns out to force you to make your involuntary contribution). What I meant though was that people ought to vote out politicians who keep raising their taxes. But apparently the people do not care as these clowns keep getting voted in.

          • outtahere says:

            Some risk? Are you a homeowner? Do you know what it costs to have a tax lien removed? My house is paid in full and my taxes always paid on time, even when I was told I had to pay “in cash”, but I know others that had a hard time making their payments, and they said the cost is astronomical. I do care and try to vote them out. Then you have the liars that claim they want to do something, make a difference, help, GET ELECTED, and jump right into the swamp. Deceitful campaign based on flat out bold faced lies. Since my property value is so low and taxes are high, I may become a landlord; rents are up there. Make $ and get the hell out of here.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            I agree with you; it is lot of risk. But sometimes such risk is what is required in order to win back some liberty. But as your screen name suggests, getting out of NJ is probably the best bet. It is a politically irredeemable state — where the politicians are criminals that walk with impunity. If your house is paid off, I would sell it. Don’t feed the beast here. Take your capital somewhere that appreciates it.

          • outtahere says:

            Risking my house for a possibility is foolish. I’d rather make money off it than give it away. Let them deal with the ever plummeting property values, broke schools, etc. The beast created this mess with all their corruption and nepotism, now let them live in it and let their values plummet even further. Let’s see, 4 kids section 8, 2 pitbulls seems to the norm.

          • Im Don the Con says:

            I’m in for the Section 8 and the check wont bounce
            Lets let the King and his puppets deal with it as they vote themselves a raise and add to the Friends N Family Plan and hope another fast food place on Rt 9 will cover the tax increase it wont
            What exactly does the Community Development do?
            Take a look at the medium income of Lacey which will drop when the plant closes
            Build the rest of the road so we can all get the hell out of here

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            ….perhaps it is foolish, but somewhere in this country’s history, I recall that a few brave souls “mutually pledged to each other, [their] lives, [their] fortunes and [their] sacred honor.” And what they wrought was “…a Republic if [we] could keep it.” We could not.

            At any rate, I would get what you can now and move out. Who is going to be able to afford those kinds of rents and for how long? As long as you own property in town, you are going to have to deal with their taxes and their stupidity. As for me I am going to check out that beautiful expensive water front park down off of Beach Blvd tonight while licking a delicious ice cream cone.

            Let the good times roll!

          • outtahere says:

            These towns are not worth the battle since the corruption is so deep.

            I will collect rent until, when and if, that market bottoms out. Supply and demand. If I have to give the house away I may as well make something off it until I give it away permanently. Even paying taxes, I make a profit.

          • Mercy Otis Warren says:

            Thank you for the warning neighbor; you saved me from a drenching. I do wish you well with the rental. You’re in a better position than I am so for all I know you may be right. Best.

          • outtahere says:

            And to you too.

          • Im Don the Con says:

            That’s exactly what I am going to do rent it out

          • outtahere says:

            They don’t need to because no one stops them.

  4. TRWatch says:

    McGuckin pay his tax liens yet?

  5. Tony C. says:

    Tip of iceberg…..where there is smoke there is fire….

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