TOMS RIVER, NJ – Last night, the Toms River Township Council bickered over members of the township government who had approached school board members to lobby their choice for the permanent replacement for superintendent of schools. It went as far as Councilman Terrance Turnbach threatening a criminal investigation against members of the township who ‘meddled’ in school board affairs.
Yesterday, we reported about School Board Union Boss Kathy Eagan’s lobbying efforts for former Ritacco underboss Michael Citta. We also have evidence that at least a dozen other high-ranking members of municipal, local, and county government officials directly lobbying school board members on behalf of Citta.
Today, Toms River Chief of Police Mitch Little said he also lobbied for Citta.
“Chief Little has worked with Assistant Superintendent Jim Ricotta and Principal Michael Citta professionally in the past, but has more contact with Mr. Citta over the years through certain events,” said Jillian Messina, spokesperson for Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little. “He was asked to supply letters of recommendation from potential candidates. In lieu of a formal letter, he did reach out to two board members who he became acquainted with through their campaign.”
Little admitted he also contacted school board members to push for Citta.
“Chief Little expressed the desire for a local candidate for the superintendent position based on his personal experiences with them, and appreciating the long-lasting and continued partnership with the school district,” Messina added.
We reached out to Councilman Turnbach today to see if he would expand his criminal investigation to Chief Little, but the Democrat councilman has not responded to our request. Neither has former Toms River Police Officer and Township Councilman Kevin Geoghegan who also suggested a criminal act had been committed when township officials lobbied school board members about the next superintendent.