Muly: School Board 'Not Going in Right Direction'
Former board member cites 'internal discrepancies' as hindrance to job
Christine Muly, who on Tuesday became the latest member of the Manasquan Board of Education to step down, said in her letter of resignation that "internal discrepancies" were hindering the board from doing its job.
Muly also cited an "environment of uncalled for accusations" as her deciding factor for resigning. She did not return a call for comment Tuesday.
Muly joins Trish Brown, Jim Smith and Pete Kenny on the list of school board members who have resigned since the fall.
And while the reasons for resigning differ among each former member, Muly seemed to suggest the so-called discrepancies played a key role.
"This has also been apparent in the past from other recent resignations by good citizens of this community from the board," her letter, addressed to Board President Michelle LaSala, states.
Last month, Muly filed a complaint with Manasquan police alleging harassment after seeing a letter from board Member Mike Shelton, who was not yet on the board, asking her to step down or face various criminal, civil and ethics charges. Shelton was cleared by authorities of any wrongdoing.
"This decision has not come easy and has been decided on due to the environment of uncalled for accusations that have developed in recent times," Muly said. "I do not feel the board is going in the right direction and my ability to serve properly has been hindered."
LaSala, in a statement released Tuesday night, said she agreed there have been "uncalled for accusations," suggesting Muly was the actual culprit, and added that the former board member should have brought her concerns to the board before the police.
"I could not agree more with the statement Mrs. Muly made in her letter of resignation. There have been 'uncalled for accusations,' and I personally would have liked to have heard Mrs. Muly address those accusations. However, she chose to resign." LaSala said.
The board president said she was looking forward to returning the public's focus to the regular business of running the school district.
"Maybe now the media will start to report on the actual business that has been taking place at our meetings rather than distractions that had no place at the board table," LaSala said.
Shelton, in a released statement, said, "I wish Chris (Muly) the best."
He also denied having anything to do with her resignation.
"Had Mrs. Muly left the board quietly, prior to filing baseless police reports which falsely implicate district staff members, that would have been one thing. That option was clearly given to her," Shelton said. "Instead, she chose to embarrass the district, students and staff."
Muly told police last month that Shelton's June email requesting her resignation stemmed from a past incident in which she allegedly spoke to Manasquan Elementary School Principal Colleen Graziano regarding several children she had allegedly photographed vandalizing property and asked the principal to identify the kids, according to the police report.
At the board's Tuesday meeting, LaSala told the public simply that Muly had resigned. Muly's letter was not read to the public. (The letter is attached to this article above.)
Regarding the previous board resignations, Brown and Kenny had cited personal/family commitments and work-related conflicts, respectively, as their reasons for stepping down, while Smith's resignation letter cited "philosophical, educational and personal differences" with the board at-large.