(November 23, 2021)--New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Colligan today called for the immediate suspension and investigation of South Toms River Business Administrator Joe Kostecki (photo)as a result of his confrontations and questionable actions toward various members of the public at last night’s council meeting.
Kostecki can be seen in various videos taken by concerned citizens violently slamming his hand on the table to prevent South Toms River PBA attorney, Stuart Alterman, from continuing to speak at the public forum before rising to physically block and push Alterman. These actions were deliberately meant to interfere with the council’s lawful authority to run the meeting by Roberts rules while using his office to cover up his shortcomings as Township Clerk with regards to collective negotiations with PBA Local 368. Once Kostecki was finally, physically, separated from the attorney the South Toms River Business Administrator then derisively blew kisses to the people in attendance from his official seat at the front of the room.
Colligan today released the following statement calling for the Business Administrator to be suspended by Mayor Gregory Handshy and the Borough Council pending an investigation of official misconduct by a public official by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. The PBA President also called on Kostecki to apologize for physically preventing someone from exercising their right to free speech and for his completely unacceptable conduct as a public official.
“Stuart Alterman was exercising his Constitutional right to speak at the South Toms River council meeting on an issue that impacts not only his clients, but the entire community,” said Colligan. “Business Administrator Joe Kostecki’s actions were wildly out of control and Mayor Handshy and the Borough Council should take the immediate, appropriate, step of suspending their Business Administrator until the Ocean County Prosecutor can take a thorough look at Kostecki’s conduct last night. Physically intimidating, blocking and pushing a member of the public attempting to speak at an open Council meeting is simply unacceptable and should not be condoned by this mayor and council.” The PBA has learned that Tort Claim Notices have been served on the Borough for Kostecki’s actions, exposing the Borough to civil litigation and judgements.
Colligan continued, “Last night at the South Toms River council meeting, Business Administrator Kostecki apparently thought a hockey game broke out. Physically preventing someone from speaking and then proceeding to blow kisses to the stunned members of the community in attendance is the work of a professional wrestler, not an official charged with serving the public. Mr. Kostecki should immediately apologize for his completely and totally unacceptable actions.”