Tuckerton Leader

Schlick Claims Kehm Creates Hostile Work Environment at LEH Town Hall

Threatens $1Million Suit If Continues
Sep 07, 2018

Little Egg Harbor Township Committeeman David Schlick has filed a tort claim, an intent to sue the township, claiming long-time Committeeman John Kehm has slandered, harassed and bullied him.

According to his tort claim received by the township clerk on May 17, Schlick, a Democrat, maintains that during an April 12 municipal meeting when Schlick was absent, Kehm, a Republican, called him names including “midget” and “baldilocks,” remarks that were overheard on the audio recording of the meeting.

Kehm said on Tuesday that although he and Schlick “don’t see eye to eye” on many issues, he denies that he has insulted, harassed or otherwise bullied Schlick.

“If I had hurt feelings or whatever, I wouldn’t sue the township,” Kehm added.

Schlick has said there are more statements made by Kehm that insult Schlick’s family – words that he would rather not repeat in print.

“I am not suing,” Schlick clarified. “This is merely a tort claim, which in my eyes is a strong warning to knock off the nonsense.”

According to law, a tort claim is not a lawsuit; it is an intent to sue if a dispute in question is not resolved.

Schlick states in his tort claim for $1 million that Kehm created a hostile work environment by “making fun of the way I look, the way I walk, what I wear. Some inappropriate comments about my fiancée, as well as my daughter. Name calling – called me a midget, called me baldilocks. Tells me I have bad breath. Makes fun of me for going gray, calls me an old man.

“It goes on and on. It is never-ending. It has created a hostile work environment. (Township Attorney) Jean Cipriani  has witnessed some of it and has allegedly warned him, to no avail,” Schlick states.

The claim for $1 million, according to Schlick’s calculation, is based on “my reputation as a person, as well as a LEH committeeman.” In the section asking for the method of calculation to arrive at the $1 million figure, Schlick writes, “Loss of employment, $10K a year for ten years = $100,000. Emotional distress, harassment, bullying, libel and slander, holding me in a false light.”

In another section he states, “The damages to my political career are impossible to repair.”

Schlick is running for re-election to township committee this fall. He and running mate Todd Nugent are campaigning on the Democratic ticket against incumbent Lisa Stevens and newcomer Blaise Scibetta on the Republican ticket this November. Stevens was originally elected to the township committee along with running mate Schlick as Democrats; she has since changed her party affiliation to Republican.

— Pat Johnson


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