Inside Ocean County Government

Election 2018, Little Egg Harbor

LEH Committee Fight: Williams Slams Schlick Over Calls to “Get Out Your Pitch Forks and Lanterns” Over GOP “Political Hires”

LITTLE EGG HARBOR – There was another display at this week’s township committee meeting, with Thomas D. Williams, the Bass River representative on the Pinelands Regional Board of Education blasting social media posts made by Committeman Dave Schlick (D – Tuckerton) lambasting Chris Filiciello – former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian’s chief of staff and then a potential candidate for LEH business administrator – as an “unqualified good ol boy.” Williams also took issue with Schlick calling for residents to “get out their lanterns and torches” over the his hiring, which didn’t end up taking place. Later in the meeting, Schlick and Kehm discussed Schlick’s $1 million tort claim against the township.

Full video of the meeting, originally streamed live on our Facebook page (there is also a YouTube version with better audio):

Williams began his comments with an indirect jab at Schlick’s residency situation. “Some people on the council are confused with where they live,” Williams said.

The Pinelands Board of Education member, who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, began by questioning the township committee members as to who the administrators of the “Community and Business Buildup” Facebook page are, as the page has ties to Committeeman Dave Schlick.

He said that the administrators of the Facebook page were Anthony “Bubba” Saccomagno, Committeeman Schlick, and Schlick’s fiance, Paula Guzman-Bell (I – Tuckerton), who is running for mayor in nearby Tuckerton with running mate Skip Deckman. Schlick frequently promotes the business buildup group’s events on social media.

Williams claimed that the page administrators censored a post about a local blood drive “because of who posted it.”

Williams said that page administration’s decision to remove the post was “very alarming to me and should be alarming to every first responder and citizen in this community.”

“This is definitely not building a community,” he said. “This is deplorable.”
“When people’s motto is hometown pride, I call them a hometown hypocrite.”

Asked to respond by Williams and confirm who the administrators of the page were, Schlick was tight-lipped:

“No comment,” the committeeman replied. 

Democrat Committeeman Says GOP Patronage Is “Flagrant” In Township, But Williams Slams Him For Publicizing Hiring Process

Williams later directed his criticism at several other social media postings made by Schlick in June of this year as the township was seeking to find a replacement for recently retired Garrett Loesch. Committeeman Schlick refused to own up to being an administrator of the page or respond in detail to Williams’ accusations.

Earlier this summer, Schlick took to social media to blast an alleged GOP plot to hire Chris Filiciello, the former chief of staff to ex-Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, who is also tied to the Little Egg Harbor Republicans. Filiciello’s most recent reentry to politics saw him behind the unsuccessful CD2 primary campaign of Linwood’s Hirsh Singh.

Guardian, after losing his most recent reelection bid, was hired to replace Paul Shives as Toms River’s business administrator.

Filiciello, for his part, never ended up getting hired as the new township administrator. Instead, the township committee went with Michael 
Spadaccini of Monmouth County.  Spadaccini, who was hired as the acting business administrator, previously worked for GOP CD7 Congressman Mike Fergusen.

Williams fired back and accused Schlick of having “jeopardized the processes” surrounding the hiring of the township’s new business administrator by publicizing Filiciello’s consideration and information about the process prior to the information becoming public.

The New Gretna resident then asked the Little Egg Harbor committeeman to explain just what he meant by the phrase “get out your pitch forks and your lanterns” used in one of his postings, full screenshots of which are included below:

Williams then asked Schlick to state the qualifications of the business administrator position & criteria for candidates in light of his allegations against Filiciello.

Schlick once again demurred, offering only a brief “No thank you.” 

Schlick was resistant to engaging with Williams on the questions he posted. “This is not a courtroom, Mr. Williams. You don’t have to question me about what I do in my personal life,” he said from the dais. 

He said that wherever he goes, Williams is always there to “start trouble.”

“This is not a deposition. You are not a lawyer. This is not a courtroom where you get to depose me,” Schlick declared.

“No matter where I go you show up and start trouble,” Schlick said of Williams from the dais, before accusing the Pinelands of stalking him at one of his events at the Tuckerton library. “I will not acknowledge your nonsense, and that’s the end of it.”

“Well it’s your nonsense, Mr. Schlick, because you posted it,” Williams snapped back.

Williams, who believes state law was violated by Schlick’s postings, called on the township committee to censure Schlick for posting about the business administrator hiring deliberations prior to a final hiring being made.

Later in the meeting, the discussion turned to Committeman Schlick’s tort claim filed against Little Egg Harbor Township, a recent salvo in his feud with Republican Committeman John Kehm.

“99% of it is false,” Kehm fired back at the committee meeting, which occasionally devolved into a donnybrook of back-and-forths. Township Attorney Jean Cipriani advised the committee members not to discuss the tort claim from the dais.

“He claims that I said something bad about his daughter and his fiance, which is 110% incorrect,” Kehm said.

When Kehm called Schlick’s tort claim a “disgrace,” Schlick immediately hit back, interjecting “It is a disgrace what you said.” “It’s absolutlely a horror story. Disgusting.”

“You’re classless,” Kehm fired back. “You’re a compulsive liar.”

Audio: LEH Committeeman’s Million Dollar Insult

Schlick’s tort claim seeks damages of $1 million for alleged slander and harassment from Kehm, who has denied the allegations. After Township Attorney Jean Cipriani explained the purpose of a tort claim to the audience at the request of Schlick, Kehm surmised that the township’s sole Democratic committeeman might not actually follow through and file suit.

LEH Democrat Files Tort Claim, Wants $1 Million in Damages for GOP Committeeman’s Insults

State law requires that plaintiffs file tort claim notices six months prior to bringing certain types of lawsuits against public entities.

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