Brick residents were hit with the first “robocall” of the 2015 township council campaign Wednesday – an attack on two Republican candidates who are currently serving on the Board of Education.
The call from Friends of Brick, a Democrat-affiliated political action committee, takes aim at Frank Pannucci Jr. and Michael Conti and attempts to link them to suspended Brick schools superintendent Walter Uszenski, who was indicted with three others Tuesday on charges of official misconduct and theft in an alleged scheme to provide free educational services to his granddaughter. The call focuses on both Uszenski and Andrew Morgan, who is accused of helping Uszenski in the alleged scheme and then covering up a past conviction of drug dealing in New York. Morgan – as well as his wife, Lorraine Morgan – were hired to administrative positions in the Brick school district on Uszenski’s recommendation.
The call consists of a female voice saying, twice, that the charges involve “drug smuggler” Morgan who was hired by the Board of Education, on which Pannucci, Conti, and five other members sit. Only Pannucci’s and Conti’s names were mentioned.
“Haven’t they done enough damage already?” the voice asks, and urges residents to attend a special Board of Education meeting Wednesday night to “demand answers” from the board.
While the call attempts to link the two GOP candidates to the controversy surrounding Uszenski, neither Pannucci nor Conti were serving on the board at the time of Uszenski’s hiring. Pannucci said Wednesday that Morgan was hired shortly after he and Conti first joined the board, but he did not vote in favor of the hiring.
“That’s politics at its worst,” Pannucci said, of the call. “They’re more interested in the politics of destruction than the politics of the township.”
“We’re there now, so it’s up to us to try to fix the situation,” he continued. “Once this all came to light, we did all that was necessary to remove him and move forward in the district. To blame us for [Uszenski] is such an outrageous thing.”
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the district’s Technology Training Center at the board office, 101 Hendrickson Avenue.
Hear the call: