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Mayor of Linden NJ apologizes for hatred of Jews, but says the lawsuit is a bull’s-eye

(JNS) – Derek Armstead, the mayor of Linden, NJ, was caught on tape saying he wanted to prevent Hasidic Jews from taking over the neighborhood. He claims he is a victim of extortion ahead of the July 16 special election in which he is running for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District.

The 10th District, which includes Newark, is the most Democratic district in New Jersey, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index rating of D+30.

Donald Payne Jr., the district’s former representative, died April 24 at the age of 65. President Joe Biden said at the time that Payne was an “experienced public servant whose gentle strength and generosity of spirit won him love in his district and the United States.” Congress.”

Paul Oliveira, former assistant superintendent of Linden Schools, alleges in a lawsuit that Armstead, the school’s superintendent and school board president, engaged in an “anti-Semitic and illegal scheme” to “deter Linden from ‘ to be taken over’ by Jews,” Courier News and Home News Tribune, part of the USA Today network, reported.

Oliveira accused the trio of retaliation for objecting to their “nefarious and illegal agenda” to “deliberately exclude Jews” from district jobs. He also said that during a recorded conversation, Armestead said to only hire black people and people of Haitian descent and that “that is what needs to happen to keep our community from being taken over by men with big hats and curls.”

In a May 29 statement, Armstead called the lawsuit a $950,000 extortion scheme.

NJ Advance Media reported last week that Armstead said “private comments can be foolish and offensive.” The mayor “added that what he said was ‘far from anti-Semitic’” and that an offer to settle the lawsuit was a “ransom note,” he added.

“Suspicions arise about the timing and motivations behind the leak of the recorded conversation, especially given Armstead’s prominence in the Democratic Congressional primaries,” the mayor said.

“Oliveira alleged in a lawsuit that he was forced to take protected medical leave due to stress and anxiety caused by a conspiracy to exclude Hasidic Jewish individuals from employment within the Linden school district,” Armstead said. “However, Oliveira’s claims lack evidence that Hasidic Jewish candidates have ever applied for office.”

Later in the May 29 statement, the mayor denied that he had excluded Hasidic Jews. “The mayor apologizes for comments labeling Hasidic Jews as ‘boys with big hats and curls’ and remains unwavering in his commitment to diversity and inclusivity in the community,” he added.

“Armstead, as he always has, advocated for a workforce that reflects the diversity of the student population,” he said. “Some of the 32.4% of black students in LPS (Linden Public Schools) are of Haitian descent and speak only Creole, creating a need for Creole-speaking teachers.”

The mayor told NJ Advance Media that “he also spoke with a number of people from the Orthodox community, whom he has known for years, about the context of his comments.”

In a social media post, the mayor wrote: “I will not allow anyone to exploit my poor choice of words to extort nearly $1 million from taxpayers and our children.”

Armen McOmber, Oliveira’s attorney, said the mayor is “a fanatic” who has “absolutely no business running any city.”

“Last week the mayor said our client’s allegations were ‘nonsense’ and that he should ‘go to hell,'” McOmber said, according to NJ Advance Media. “This week, and hidden in his ridiculous, inaccurate and defamatory press release, is a pseudo-confession and apology from the mayor for his use of anti-Semitic language.”

The mayor’s efforts amount to a “rhetorical security dance,” Politico wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League’s New York and New Jersey Regional Office stated earlier this week: “We are shocked by allegations of anti-Semitism and discrimination detailed in a legal complaint filed last week in the Superior Court of New Jersey against the mayor of Linden, the Board of Directors. Education, Superintendent, Board Chairman and others.

“We are grateful that the legal system will review these disturbing claims,” the ADL said.

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