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OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK FROM BARBARA LEY TOFFLER, PH.D., COUNCILWOMAN.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2011 Today, Attorney Erik Hassing filed a Complaint on my behalf against the Township of Teaneck in the state Superior Court. Many Teaneck residents had asked whether I would formally respond to the February 8, 2011 Resolution 47-11 that censured me. Some expressed the concern if Teaneck Council could violate my Constitutional and Civil Rights, a precedent would be set for silencing any elected official whose positions differed from the majority of Council. The Complaint focuses on precisely those rights issues. Council decided its members could be judge, jury, prosecutor and even witnesses and without conducting the investigation required by the Towns Human Resources procedures evaluate matters outside its jurisdiction. When I asked that the resolution be reconsidered to defend myself, I was denied the opportunity; when I noted the Town Code requires such issues be sent to Teanecks Municipal Ethics Board, this too was summarily denied without explanation. As my complaint notes, Resolution 47-11 is rife with factual inaccuracies, misstatements, unsubstantiated inferences, gross misapplications of law and non sequiturs. Frankly, it is incoherent. At an appropriate time, I will review the real facts of the case. But what has compelled me to seek judicial redress is the fact that this Council has so brazenly exceeded its own authority. Teaneck deserves better governance. But it deserves first and foremost a governing body that adheres to the fundamental procedures that all citizens are accorded before it renders Council judgments. My attorney, Mr. Hassing, recently successfully obtained the rescinding of an analogous censure resolution against a nearby NJ Board of Education member on the grounds that the Board failed diverse due process requirements and had no authority to censure anyhow. Although the censure has damaged my professional and personal reputation, I seek NO compensation from the Township from this case other than attorney fee reimbursement. These are matters of principle. No compensation could be adequate; none is sought.