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Another Campbell Scandal?

Or what Democrats refer to as “Bad Press”.

We all remember the infamous lost $1600 wedding ring reimbursed by the town and then re-reimbursed back to the town when the story broke.  Well that was Officer Mike Campbell of the Belmar P.D.

His father, also named Mike Campbell, is chief of the Belmar D.P.W. and now he’s made the paper.


From a story in today’s Coast Star:


BELMAR — Belmar Elementary School employees are expected to attend the next council meeting to voice their concern about the treatment of a borough employee.

Joe Latesta, of Lake Como, has been a crossing guard for Belmar Elementary School for almost 19 years, working at the 12th Avenue post all those years.

Crossing guards are hired by the borough.

On June 21, the last day of school, Mr. Latesta was manning his post, waiting for the children to be dismissed, when a car came “barrelling down 12th Ave. at a high rate of speed,” according to a letter written by Mr. Latesta and Katherine Brown, who witnessed the incident. The letter was sent to borough administrator Colleen Connolly, Police Chief Thomas Palmisano and Mayor Matt Doherty. The letter was dated June 21.

The letter continued, saying the car went through a stop sign and pedestrian crossing when Mr. Latesta told the driver to slow down several times, but he did not.

The driver was Mike Campbell, according to the letter. Mr. Campbell is the director of the Belmar Department of Public Works and is in charge of the beachfront.

According to the letter, Mr. Campbell got out of his car, pointed his finger and said Mr. Latesta had cursed at him and “that he was going to take care of me and that I can’t work for the beach this summer.”

Mr. Latesta said he has been a gate attendant at the beach for the past 16 years.

Mr. Latesta did not return to the beach this season, he said.

“I never even reached the beach because he [Mr. Campbell] fired me,” Mr. Latesta said.

Colleen Connolly, borough administrator, said she does not believe what Mr. Latesta said is accurate in regard to him being fired by Mr. Campbell. She confirmed that Mr. Latesta was not a gate attendant this summer season.

Ms. Connolly declined to comment further, saying it is a personnel matter under review by the borough……………………..

………………..Several members of the Belmar Elementary School community are “very upset” about what has transpired and have decided to attend the Aug. 6 council meeting to voice their concerns, said Jackie Dahrouge, a pre-kindergarten integrated teacher at the school.

“The only one getting backlash is officer Joe for doing his job,” Ms. Dahrouge said.

“We want Joe to be our crossing guard,” she said. “Joe has taken care of us for years.”

Ms. Dahrouge said Mr. Latesta is a dependable person who takes his job seriously and is always there for the school.

“So now we’ll take care of Joe,” Ms. Dahrouge said.

School community members are expected to attend the Aug. 6 council meeting and present a petition to keep Mr. Latesta as the 12th Avenue crossing guard. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.




  1. BelmarsFinest wrote:

    Disgusting cronyism behavior.

    Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  2. joegoofinoff wrote:

    This is not good. If true, Mr. Campbell should at least apologize for his behavior to a man doing his work as he saw it.


    Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  3. Residentforlife wrote:

    I was born and raised in Belmar…lived there for the past 38 years…it has always be as corrupt as the day is long. I can remember when a certain ex police chief was serving as both the Chief of police and head of DPW…at the same time. Drawing both 6 figure salaries at once…
    If you know the right people there you can dig in like a tick and make quite a nice living for yourself.

    Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  4. Alice wrote:

    I know all the people in this story. Many mornings I pass the guard on 12th and Main. He is not only good with the children. He is great at directing traffic. No matter the time I pass from morning till 3pm he is there. I believe it is a disgrace and a stain on Belmar for him to be treated this way. No One is Above the Law!

    Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

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