Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma is calling for an investigation into the likely improper use of Red Bank Borough Property, the Parks and Recreation Department’s email list, after a political email, “Election Request from Councilman Ed Zipprich” was sent to Monmouth County Recreation Commissioner Michael Harmon, a resident of Atlantic Highlands who regularly receives electronic correspondence for Red Bank’s Parks and Recreaton Department.
“Desperate people do desperate things. On the eve of losing control of Red Bank voters’ escalating property taxes, the Democratic Chairman, Councilman Ed Zipprich, apparently decided it was worth the risk of violating New Jersey Election Law, Ethics Law and to potentially commit Official Misconduct by illegally obtaining the Borough Parks and Recreations Department’s email list and using it for political purposes, ” said DiSomma. “On behalf of Red Bank taxpayers, I am calling for an investigation by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.”
“I urge Red Bank residents who received the email and who believe their privacy has been compromised by Councilman Zipprich to complete the attached complaint form and submit it to the Election Law Enforcement Commission according to the instructions. In 2014, a similar email came from Michael Ballard for his school board race. I urge Ballard and and embattled Councilman Mike DuPont to denounce Mr. Zipprich and his nefarious acts. When you lie with dogs, you get fleas.” DiSomma said.
Harmon, the former mayor of Atlantic Highlands and a long time leader of the Monmouth County Parks Department, received Zipprich’s political email which promoting his candidates for Council on Monday evening November 2 at 8:45 p.m. Harmon forwarded the email to DiSomma and Republican Councilwoman Cindy Burnham with the note, “This guy must have got the recreation mailing list from town. I regularly receive recreation updates from the town…but never one from this guy that is political.Thought you would be interested. The democrats have a lot of nerve. First they try to sell off Maple Cove Park to a developer and now they lift the Recreation Departments email list.”
Republican Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer also received Zipprich’s email via forward from a friend who subscribes to the Parks and Recreaton email list. Schwabenbauer noticed that a large portion of Zipprich was a word for word copy of an email she sent to her friends endorsing Republican candidates Mark Taylor and Michael Whalen.
“A friend forwarded to me an email drafted by Councilman Ed Zipprich this evening in support of his candidates. Unfortunately, it was the same email I had written in support of my own candidates, Mark Taylor and Michael Whalean, and sent out early this afternoon, with some words changed and some sentences added. It’s word for word identical in most places,” Schwabenbauer said.
“I spent a great deal of time crafting a message about Mark and Michael that conveyed my genuine feelings of support without saying anything negative about the other side. I take pride in my work and I do it all myself – no one has ever ghost written anything for me, and while it’s an investment of my time, it’s worth it to me because it means I stand behind every word. To have my work stolen in this way is unacceptable. I am very sensitive to people taking credit for my work, and I will have a hard time forgiving this.
“I have worked next to Ed in good faith all year, and truly believed this kind of tactic was beneath him. How sad I am to find that I was wrong.”
Zipprich did not respond to a request for comment.