Home School News State Opens Investigation Into Brick BOE Campaign Complaint

State Opens Investigation Into Brick BOE Campaign Complaint

Victoria Pakala (from left), Stephanie Wohlrab, John Lamela and George White
Victoria Pakala (from left), Stephanie Wohlrab, John Lamela and George White

The state Election Law Enforcement Commission has opened a formal investigation into a complaint alleging improprieties with campaign finance reporting on the part of a ticket of Brick Board of Education candidates last year.

The complaint was filed by a citizen against four candidates who ran under the banner of the Clean Slate Team. The candidates, who were successful in their election bid, were Board President John Lamela and board members Stephanie Wohlrab, Victoria Pakala and George White.

On the condition of anonymity, a source with knowledge of the investigation provided Shorebeat access to documentation from the commission confirming that the complaint was deemed credible and that the agency had launched an investigation. The complaint made three allegations: the ticket failed to complete required campaign financial disclosures, commingled funding with the Democratic party in the nonpartisan school election, and acted improperly in awarding a series of no-bid contracts after they took office.


While school board elections are technically nonpartisan, it is not uncommon in New Jersey for parties to lend tacit support to tickets on which their members run. In last year’s election, the Clean Slate team was supported by the township’s Democratic organization.

According to the state document, the commission decided to open an investigation into the allegations of failure to complete disclosure forms and whether party fundraising was used for the campaign, but declined to open an investigation into the allegation that contracts were not properly awarded.

The complaint alleges that the campaign did not file all of the forms required that detail which persons, organizations or PACs made donations that would have had to be reported. The complaint also alleges that the campaign likely spent a significant amount of money, with the filer asking the state to look into the possibility that the school board candidates used money from the Democrats’ township council campaign to fund their own. The school board candidates sent out two glossy mailers and had lawn signs printed up that were displayed around town, yet reported raising $6,400 – specifically, $1,600 from each candidate. The complaint argued that the mailers, signs and campaign materials should have cost more than $6,400.

A spokesman for the commission has said the agency cannot comment on cases until a formal complaint is filed, which would come after the investigation, if at all. There is no timeline as to when the allegations may be considered by the commission.

Lamela, the board president, did not respond to a request for comment.

  • jo jo ormaz

    That’s bad !! wait until till everything surfaces and they connect the dots all the way to the Mayors office!! Hope they get rid of everyone up there! this is non sence to play with the public’s money, there are lives at stake here and these people are playing games!
    Two of them were NOT even Brick Residents until the day of the election! look at the taxes they raised, the on going law Suits with a big one yet to come ! Hope they dig real deep and open the investigation and shut them down, let The State take over. !!
    Someone contact the Governors office NOW !!

    • J W

      Contact the Governor’s office? The one occupied by that fat, bridge closing, loser? Are you mental?

      • Chief Wahoo

        Go Blue Team !!

      • J W

        We all know he only takes calls from Krispy Kreme or Ronald McDonald

    • Smokin

      Only 2 not living in Brick what about 175k Adm..

  • Chief Wahoo

    I see some Union County scum. That’s the worst kind for your bank account.

    • Wally Statler

      John Wohlrab, one of the company’s top New Jersey executives and a frequent spokesman, was appointed to a $27,000-a-year seat on the Union County Freeholder Board in 2003 by the county Democratic organization that has long been ruled by Lesniak.

      The appointment of Wohlrab, who has served as Waste Management New Jersey’s general manager and now is a marketing manager, sparked criticism about a possible conflict of interest in dealing with Union County waste issues. Wohlrab also served as a campaign manager for former Linden Mayor John Gregorio, another Democratic ally of Lesniak.

      Lesniak later hired Wohlrab’s wife, Stephanie Babek, as his campaign treasurer and chief fund-raiser.

      Campaign records show Lesniak, who raised more than a $1 million in staving off a tough primary challenge earlier this year, paid Babek more than $33,000 as a consultant in the months leading to the election. Babek, who has a long history as a Democratic fund-raiser, was hired last year as finance director for the Bergen County Democratic Organization.

      Babek also sells books and solicits contributions for a Lesniak non-profit organization, The Road to Justice and Peace Inc., which publishes the lawmaker’s writings on abolishing the death penalty and other pet topics. The organization’s website directs contributors to send money to Babek and Wohlrab’s address in Brick.

    • WilliamFoster8

      Hey, Chief Wahoo, did you see who was appointed to the empty seat on the Linden BOE in June?
      1. Motion to fill the board vacancy effective immediately and appoint Anthony Wohlrab to fill the vacancy.
      How convenient! Stepson of Brick BOE Stephanie Mazzella-Ross-Babek-Wohlrab, who also runs the LESNIAK CAMPAIGN FUND!!!

  • Smokin

    They better be held accountable corrupt guilty Democrats don’t let them get away with it..

  • Wally Statler

    Oh look! here are this years democrat/clean slate puppets:

    October 13th Meeting-Guest Speaker-Zach Dougherty-Started HS North Democratic Club and Daisy Haffner and Melita Gagliardi-Candidates for the Board of Education

  • Smokin

    And the Democrats ran there elections to clean up Bricktown..and now this wow..!

    • Chief Wahoo

      Go Red Team !!!

  • WilliamFoster8

    Will the new Clean Slate/Montenegro candidates, Haffner and Gagliardi, report how they are paying for their campaign and the lying mailers they are already sending out? Seim doesn’t even bother changing the font anymore. . .