JACKSON, NJ – New Jersey Senator Sam Thompson said this week that there’s no reason to deploy U.S. Army National Guard Troops against the citizens of Lakewood, putting him at odds with his fellow local Republicans. Thompson and others were asked last week if they support the activation of military troops to enforce Governor Phil Murphy’s executive orders.
“No, I do not agree that there is a need to deploy the National Guard in Lakewood,” Thompson said.
That comes nearly two weeks after Jackson Township Councilman Barry Calogero, who has long opposed the settlement of Orthodox Jews in his town lashed out in a teary, voice crackling plea to Governor Phil Murphy to send the army to Lakewood Township to enforce a crackdown against Murphy’s Law violations in that town.
Barry Calogero, who also works as a politically appointed executive director of the administration of President Donald J. Trump, USDA said what has been on the minds of many in towns surrounding the Jewish enclave of Lakewood Township during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Township of Lakewood has been under scrutiny by area residents, politicians and police after a string of incidents were published in the media depicting people in that community disobeying Governor Murphy’s executive orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calogero accused Lakewood’s Jewish population of hiding behind their religion to violate Murphy’s executive orders, calling the community irresponsible and selfish.
“Unfortunately, not everyone is following the law of the land, unfortunately, there are groups of people who hide behind cultures and religious beliefs who put themselves, our first responders and quite honestly all of Jackson and all of the bordering towns at risk. For their selfishness, irresponsibility, and inability to follow the law put in place by President Trump and Governor Murphy,” he said. “How in God’s name can civilized people disrespect their neighbors the President and the Governor’s orders. It is with a sad heart I implore governor murphy to set aside politics and use your power and authority to call out the national guard to enforce the law and protect Ocean County from those who cannot seem to follow our laws.”
The Mayor of Jackson, Michael Reina and fellow council members Andrew Kern and Alex Sauicke also called upon the Orthodox Jewish bloc vote in 2018 to win his re-election campaign. In that election, Reina and his team tactfully hid their alliance with Orthodox Jewish members of the community, instead, mailed out postcards declaring their opponent was a Jewish sympathizer, costing Tracey Yostpile her election that year.
Calogero, who is known for his violent outburst during townhall is no stranger to using excessive force in his position of power within the Jackson Township Council.
In a previous election, Calogero was accused of threatening bodily harm against his political opponent Raymond Cattonar and his young son. Calogero this year took political revenge against another political opponent, decorated U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam war combat veteran Ken Bressi because Bressi opposed Calogero’s anti-Jewish actions in Jackson. In a deposition with attorneys in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against Calogero and Jackson Township, Bressi called Calogero and other members of the Jackson Township Council and Mayor Michael Reina ant-Semitic.
Calogero has even lashed out violently against Shore News Network in the past as we covered a massive pay to play scheme he has orchestrated along with Mayor Michael Reina in Jackson Township this year.
Calogero’s call for the deployment of troops to Lakewood stems from his own underlying condition. Calogero suffers from severe stages of Parkinson’s disease, which could cause complications should he get infected with COVID-19. Calogero and Reina have partnered with Rise Up Ocean County to assault anyone who disagrees with him. Rise Up Ocean County founder, Richard Ciullo, a two-time convicted criminal with a history of fraud convictions under his belt has organized an effort to stop the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community in Northern Ocean County.
Insiders within Rise Up Ocean County have told Shore News Network that Ciullo himself has been infected with COVID-19.
Reina and Calogero now have four lawsuits against them from the Jewish community including federal civil rights lawsuits. Reina is also no stranger to the court system as he is now facing at least one employee grievance at his six-figure patronage job at the Ocean County Road Department. According to county officials, Reina’s grievance stems from a harassment charge and wrongful termination suit of a female bridge worker in Point Pleasant. Reina got that job from former GOP political boss George Gilmore, who himself was later convicted of tax evasion, but is now appealing that conviction.
It’s starting to appear that corruption at the highest levels in Ocean County is tied closely to the Calogero-Reina syndicate here in Jackson. In January, Calogero and the town council approved a zoning change for Mayor Reina to turn hundreds of acres of land near Six Flags Great Adventure into high density affordble housing zoning to benefit Reina’s close friend Vito Cardinale. Cardinale envisions a city in the pines adjacent to Six Flags.