TOMS RIVER – The feud between Toms River school board members Daniel Leonard and Robert Onofrietti reached a new crescendo at Wednesday night’s public meeting, after Onofrietti interjected during the meeting and claimed that Leonard “threatened” him and called him a profanity.
The very public fight between two Toms River school board members spilled over into the public meeting of the board of education this week. On Wednesday night, Ocean County Politics obtained exclusive video footage of the altercation between Toms River school board members Daniel Leonard and Robert Onofrietti.
It started when Toms River resident Dennis Galante attempted to inquire during the public comment portion of the meeting about recent allegations of sexual harassment surrounding superintendent David Healy and how they leaked out to the public, in addition to the ongoing Onofrietti-Leonard quarrel.
When Board President Ben Giovine was speaking, he admonished the other two board members when their dispute became noticeable from the dais.
Onofrietti: Leonard Called Me A B*tch, Threatened Me During School Board Meeting
On the video, Onofrietti is seen stating that Leonard called him a “b*tch,” during the board of education meeting. “I’ve been threatened,” the board member, who has previously called for Leonard’s resignation stated, “[He] said that I better be aware that I’m a little b*tch and that I should cry go to my friend and that he’s gonna be driving over to my house.”
Following the exchange at the school board meeting, it became known that Onofrietti intended to file an additional police report against Leonard for Wednesday night’s alleged threats, which OCP is working to obtain a copy of. Previously Onofrietti filed another police report against Leonard, which we reported on.
Leonard Questions Auditor Choice, Doubles Down on Onofrietti Criticism
Asked to respond to Onforietti’s new accusations, Mr. Leonard doubled down on his criticism against his fellow board member in a statement provided Thursday.
“Why do I question every spending decision made by certain members of the Board?” said Leonard. “Mr. Onofrietti, as well as other members of the Board have collectively accumulated over One Million Dollars in personal mortgage foreclosures. Given this is Mr. Onofrietti’s election year for the School Board, he is now attempting to attack my reputation and character by making false allegations against me on a regular basis in a pathetic attempt to call my credibility into question with the public,” Leonard said in a statement.
The Beachwood school board representative said he uploaded foreclosure documents that he obtained regarding Onofrietti, and he argued that they show his rival is not fit to lead the board. Onofrietti has previously called for Leonard’s resignation.
“Recently, this member of the Toms River Regional Board of Education voted to spend $20,000 more per year on our current district auditor over several others that were much less expensive and just as qualified. I called him out publicly since I felt as though this was irresponsible given our current budget situation,” Leonard said.
The Shore News Network previously reported that the auditing firm chosen by Leonard, Holman, Frenia & Allison, came in at $20,000 lower than the district’s current auditor, but the Holman firm was a donor to a PAC that supported Leonard’s campaign.
“When you can’t handle your own finances, why should the Voters, Taxpayers, District Employees, Parents and Children ever trust your decision-making process with a $350 Million Dollar Budget! Mr. Onofrietti wasn’t someone hit by a hardship – this is a person that clearly likes to live above their means and ironically claims to run a Home Loan business as their occupation?” he questioned