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Freeholder Joe Vicari Named in Lawsuit

The Ocean County General Supervisor of Building Services has filed a lawsuit against the County and Freeholder Joe Vicari, accusing him of gender discrimination and harassment, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari
Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari (Rosetta Key Townsquare Media NJ)

In the suit, Rosemary Mennona alleges she was harassed because she is a female supervisor. Mennona claims Vicari orchestrated having her stalked, spied on, demoted, and segregated from her co-workers. She also accuses Vicari of creating a hostile work environment.

Vicari denies the claims, telling the Asbury Park Press, “Any and all allegations directed at me are untrue.” Vicari said he has been directed by county counsel not to comment further and said he is confident justice will prevail.

Vicari has been a Freeholder since 1981 and is serving as director this year. He’s seeking a 12th three-year term in the Republican June primary.

The suite claims Mennona filed in Monmouth County Superior Court on April 4 to avoid any bias.

Mennona’s lawyer Rosemarie E. Arnold told the Asbury Park Press that’s the case is one of the worst she has ever seen, calling it “a culture of harassment” and pointing out Mennona was “the only female supervisor.”

According to county payrolls records, Mennona was hired in 1982 and became supervisor of building services in 2007.

The lawsuit names the County, claiming Vicari’s actions were well known to Administrator Carl Block; Joseph Meyers, the superintendent of buildings and grounds for the county; Keith Goetting, personnel director for the county; all of whom were sued, as well as Joseph Veni, a consulting engineer for JMV Consulting & Inspection Services in Brick who was hired by the county and the county itself.

Mennona names Veni in the suit, accusing him of engaging in a pattern of sexual harassment against her. He had no comment on the suit, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Mennona is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, emotional distress damages, attorney fees, interest and court costs.

No trial date has been set.

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