Lawsuit Claims NJ SDA Chairman “Anti-Semitic”


LAKEWOOD-A report this weekend in the Lakewood Scoop could spell trouble for the embattled New Jersey Schools Development Authority and its chairman, PBA Lobbyist Robert Nixon, of Jackson.   Nixon oversaw the past year of corruption at the SDA that included rape allegations by Katie Brennan against Al Alvarez and dozens of illegal patronage jobs to friends and family of former CEO Lizette Delgado.   He is now named in a lawsuit that claims the chairman engaged in anti-semitic behavior as a municipal councilman in his hometown of Jackson Township.

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A lawsuit filed against Nixon by Agudath Israel of America last Friday claims he targeted Orthodox Jewish Residents in his community.  The lawsuit alleges Nixon as saying it would be “reprehensible” and “not acceptable:” for Orthodox Jews to move into Jackson.

The lawsuit also claims that the township violated the rights of religious Jewish residents when it issued code enforcement violations for constructing Sukkahs, temporary tent-like structures used by many in the Jewish community during the holiday of Sukkos.   Township Code Enforcement Officer Jeffrey Purpuro testified that he was directed by township officials to investigate those complaints.

Nixon at one point told residents of the community, ” “the threat [of Orthodox Jews] can be eliminated if people held their ground and refused the offers being made on their properties and remain committed to Jackson Township and their neighbors.”

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At a township council meeting in July of 2016, Nixon reaffirmed his stance of keeping Orthodox Jews out of Jackson by stating, “Everyone in this room is on the same page.”  Some residents in attendance had criticized the township council for not being tough enough on the rapidly growing community within Jackson.

Nixon also eventually sold his Jackson home two years later at 15 Jefferson Court for $539,000.

According to the lawsuit, former Jackson Township Councilwoman Anne Updegrave said she believed Nixon’s actions while serving on the Jackson Township Council were anti-semitic.

Nixon serves on the all-Republican Jackson Township Council and has served as chairman of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority since 2018, appointed to the position by Governor Phil Murphy.  Nixon was originally appointed to the board by former governor, Democrat Jon Corzine.  He also works as a PBA lobbyist for the New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association.

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Photo by Lakewood Scoop