Jersey City school board meeting canceled after president busted
JERSEY CITY — The Board of Education meeting scheduled for Thursday night was canceled without explanation after the board president was charged by state officials in a corruption bust.
The canceled vote delayed any official action against board member Joan Terrell-Paige, who has been criticized for an inflamatory comment on Facebook that referred to Jews as "brutes."
In an email to the Hudson County View, board president Sudham Thomas said the cancellation was a security concern as more than 50 children were supposed to perform at the meeting at Dickinson High School.
The board also canceled meetings for Dec. 23 and 30. The next meeting is the annual organization meeting on Jan. 2. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Jan. 30.
Thursday morning Attorney General Grewal Gurbir released news about the arrests of five New Jersey politicians including Thomas for accepting more than $74,000 in cash bribes.
State prosecutors said Thomas, who was preparing to run for City Council this summer, accepted $10,000 and $25,000 in cash in return for making the cooperating witness a special counsel for the school board. Thomas lost his bid for re-election in November and his term on the board expires at the end of this month.
Thomas said in an email to the Associated Press that he was going to introduce a resolution at Thursday's meeting censuring Terrell-Paige over her comments. He said he would also request her resignation.
The post by Terrell-Paige, who is black, brought up the practice of "blockbusting," in which residents are aggressively and unscrupulously encouraged by salesmen to sell their homes.
“Where was all this faith and hope when black homeowners were threatened, intimidated and harassed by I WANT TO BUY YOUR HOUSE brutes of the Jewish community,” Terrell-Paige wrote in a post that is no longer publicly available.
Terrell-Paige wrote about the aggressive manner in which black residents are being intimidated and the "assault on the black communities of America."
The post went up just days after Douglas Rodriguez, Leah Minda Ferencz and Moshe Hersh Deutch were killed in a shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket on Dec. 10. Jersey City police officer Joseph Seals was shot dead at a cemetery moments earlier.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Gov. Phil Murphy both called for Terrell-Paige to resign.
Meanwhile, Estee Lauder fortune heir Ronald Lauder, founder of the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project and president of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement that Terrell-Paige's comments "fan the flames of hate" and that ASAP will spend “the resources necessary” to make voters aware of her comments to ensure she doesn’t win re-election to office 2020.
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