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Letters To The Stall: Focus On Frank Lawrence Case

October 30, 2013 by admin

     To the Institution of Brookdale Community College and especially the people that make it possible...
     You collectively are a friend that I spent and continue to spend my entire adult life with, since I was 17 years old. I write this letter in response to several instances that occurred over the last few weeks.
     Dr. Murphy, in her October Board Update, said this referring to me, “Jack also spoke eloquently to the matter of his friend, Frank Lawrence, and the recent court decision affecting his situation. “ Inadvertently, she made it seem that it was friendship that led to my defense of Frank Lawrence, and that I would defend his position on the basis of friendship, not the facts. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I speak because this case represents an example of gross injustice. If I thought Frank was treated fairly under the law of New Jersey and policies of Brookdale, then I would act as a friend. I’d advise him, counsel him and support him to be better. I wouldn’t speak at meetings of the Board of Trustees, the Chosen Freeholders, Governance, Unions or especially under oath in the court of Administrative Law Judge, Stein. So, to the institution of Brookdale Community College, my friend of over 40 years, I advise you to do the right thing, I counsel you to stop listening to your legal counsel and stand up for what is just, and I support your decision to cease acting like some selfish corporate entity and begin acting like the bastion of educational excellence by following your own rules, regulations and Code of Ethics.
     When Dr. Murphy sent a missive to the college on October 16, 2013, it read in part, “The court has remanded the case to the Board of Trustees . . . “ A more informative version for the college community might include these two omitted words that preceded “remanded” in the court decision, “reversed and.” These types of omissions led me to uncovering the very depths of the injustice in Frank Lawrence’s case. The college claimed many things that were patently false, all of which could have been resolved with a 20-minute meeting with someone that had 33 years of experience running the Shore Conference Tournament, me. Thus, it would have saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money. However, the most damning evidence that Judges Stein, Parrillo and Messano found was the College Administration’s false claim that he violated “Cash Management Policies.” It was later discovered that those policies did not exist until 51 weeks after Frank supposedly violated them. Here is a discussion amongst two students and the Board of Trustees Chair Elkes after a decision to ignore the findings of Judge Stein had already been reached:
     “Timothy Hart (Graduate Trustee-Elect) said he wanted to ask where any of us could find policies and procedures to follow so that something like this doesn't happen in the future. Chair Elkes stated there are policies and procedures, laws and case law. When one combines all of that it is where one will find what one is looking for. He said there is a Code of Ethics at Brookdale as well. One must combine all of these. Trustee Moran asked where the specific policy is in writing. Mr. Hart said the College has things in a few different places-different from something set in stone.  Mr. Elkes asked Mr. Hart to read the Code of Ethics and if he does not find what he wants there to come back in his role of Graduate Trustee.  Graduate Trustee Moran asked where the written paperwork is regarding a cash flow policy and facilities policy. If you don't know, divert to someone who does know. Mr. Elkes said this is not the venue to do legal research-to ask a question where is this and where is that. The judge found Lawrence guilty of doing things that are spelled out.  Mr. Moran said you have invited him to look into things. Mr. Elkes stated he had only invited comments today.” This is quoted from the Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees minutes on May 4, 2012; the day they fired my friend, Frank Lawrence.
Sincerely,
Your long-time friend,
Jack Ryan
 

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