Does Sussex County government have its own #MeToo problem?
Which member of the Freeholder Board majority told a Franklin councilwoman that she belonged on a pole in a strip joint? Was it George Graham, Jonathan Rose, or Carl Lazzaro?
In a letter printed in the Sparta Independent today, Franklin Council President Dawn Fantasia recounts some of the things said to her, a Republican local elected official and mother of three. Fantasia writes:
"...my opponents' supporters have labeled me a 'political prostitute,' 'pimping' a message as a 'spokesperson.' I've been in a public meeting when referred to as a 'lackey' who 'belongs in a cage like the animal you are.'
It's been said directly to me by a currently elected county official and those in his circle that my name 'sounds like you should be dancing on a pole.'
And last: that 'you don't belong in MY Republican party.'"
Fantasia called the comments, "crass buffoonery," adding:
"If you know anything about me, you know that in my life, I've overcome significant obstacles and raised three outstanding children as a single parent. I've been a teacher, mentor, volunteer, advocate, and a school principal in a public charter school, empowering students and families to believe that with hard work and discipline, anything is possible.
I fully support - and am supported by - those who also want to strengthen our infrastructure while protecting the most vulnerable: our seniors, veterans, and children. I'm a fierce advocate of our police and first responders; I've made it a priority to ensure those who protect us have adequate staffing and resources to do their jobs with fidelity.
I support a strong, skilled workforce, and above all, our taxpayers. I'm proud of my record of fiscally-conservative spending, differentiating needs vs. wants, and I'm secure in my own moral compass, knowing the decisions I've made are good and right.
My personal experience and interactions with the Republican party have been logical, principled, and based upon mutual respect. That is the Republican party I know in Sussex County. Regrettably, I cannot say that sentiment applies to my direct experiences with my opposition."
We are informed that details of the abusive and bullying behavior towards women by some county higher-ups are about to break into the open. We're told that Councilwoman Fantasia's is only one account among many.