Inside Ocean County Government


Amato Administration Hit With Discrimination Suit

Township Administrator John Camera, Mayor Carmen Amato, and CFO Frederick Ebenau are seen at a Berkeley Township Council meeting.

BERKELEY – Township recreation supervisor Debra Reuter has filed a lawsuit making allegations against Mayor Carmen F. Amato and senior Berkeley officials. Reuter’s lawsuit cites a number of instances where she claims officials attempted to “punish” her for being Jewish & having a disability.

Mrs. Reuter, through her attorney Rosemarie Arnold, is alleging that she has faced a “severe and pervasive pattern of mentally abusive and offensive behavior” as a result of her Jewish faith and disability. “This improper and intentional behavior constitutes religious discrimination and created an openly hostile work environment for [Reuter],” the lawsuit alleges.

Reuter’s complaint cited a litany of instances where she claims to have faced “severe religious and disability discrimination and daily harassment” from Mayor Amato and Berkeley officials:

Reuter’s attorney wrote in court filings that the allegations listed above were not meant to be an exhaustive list of everything that took place, but are instead a “representative sample” of what she faced while employed as the township recreation supervisor.

Reuter is the wife of Gerard C. Reuter, a past member of the Berkeley Township Board of Education. State court records indicate the suit was filed in late November. A response has yet to be filed by Berkeley Township.

This latest lawsuit is not the first personnel problem or discrimination suit that Mayor Amato’s administration has had to deal with. In 2016, two employees of the township’s tax office alleged that they faced anti-Itallian slurs among other improper conduct by township employees. Prior to that, Mayor Amato previously had a falling out with former Township Administrator Chris Reid, who landed comfortably in his hometown of Lacey – where he served as Republican Club president – as that township’s community development director after being replaced by Camera.

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