MIDDLETOWN – The temperatures may be cooling outside but inside the political world in Middletown they quickly hit new high. At issue are comments made and recorded involving Middletown Democrat candidate Jeana Sager. She made a statement that reference police as criminals. It didn't go over well in Middletown, including members of her own political party.
Middletown PBA Local 124 President, Adam Colfer, today called on Township Committee candidate Jeana Sager to immediately apologize for her public statement that “a lot of police are criminals.”
Sager’s remark can be heard at the 4:36 mark in the following video, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM8tqqc3LgE&feature=youtu.be), where she says, “What constitutes a criminal? Because to me a lot of police are criminals”.
“Township Committee candidate Jeana Sager’s comments are completely unacceptable,” said Adam Colfer. “All across the country members of law enforcement are continuing to face the real threat of physical violence, so the last thing we would expect is to be branded ‘criminals’ by someone who wants to serve in elected office. Candidate Sager should apologize immediately to the Middletown Police Department, and to law enforcement everywhere, for her hateful rhetoric against the very people who have chosen to take on the responsibility of protecting our neighborhoods.”
Middletown and Monmouth County Democrats condemned her comments as well. They have withdrawn support for her candidacy and a host of public statements have been issued:
The following are statements from Middletown Democratic Chairman Mike DiCicco, Middletown Candidate for Township Committee Sean Byrnes, and Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman David Brown in response to the video released on candidate Jeana Sager:
The following is a statement on behalf of Middletown Democratic Chairman Michael Dicicco:
The Middletown Democrats have acted swiftly and decisively upon seeing the video of Jeana Sager’s statements disparaging police officers. We have withdrawn our endorsement of her candidacy for Township Committee and will commit no resources to her campaign which we have asked her to end. Her comments are inaccurate, unfounded, and hurtful. We respect and honor the work of police officers, especially the officers in Middletown who make Middletown one of the safest communities in New Jersey and the United States. We are proud of our candidate Sean Byrnes who issued a statement setting forth his absolute disagreement with her comments and thanking the police for their service. In addition, we have spoken to county and state Democratic leaders who are in complete agreement with us. The Middletown Democrats will move forward from this incident and continue our campaign which is focused on restoring our quality of life that is now threatened by overdevelopment.
The following is a statement on behalf of Democratic candidate for Middletown Township Committee Sean Byrnes:
The comments my running mate made about police officers in a recently released video are categorically false and derogatory. I won't stand for that type of behavior, and if she does not agree to withdraw her candidacy, then I will drop out as a candidate for Township Committee. I cannot, in good conscience, run alongside someone with such hateful beliefs. Every day police officers risk health and harm to deal with crises in our community. They are face-to-face with substance abuse, horrific car accidents, domestic violence, unpredictable traffic stops, physical violence, and threats from the most desperate members of our society. I am grateful for their service and believe we owe them all a debt of gratitude.
The following is a statement on behalf of Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman David Brown:
The comments made Jeana Sager shouldn't be said on camera or behind closed doors, because they are unequivocally wrong. Her false and demeaning assertions do not represent the values of the Monmouth County Democratic Party or the dozens of Democratic candidates trying to better their community across our county. Our Democratic candidates focus their campaigns on fiscal responsibility, supporting law enforcement in their protection of our communities, and maintaining Monmouth County's character and values. Our Party will not stand for or support this disgraceful way of thinking, which is why we are refusing all resources to the Sager campaign and formally withdrawing the endorsement of the Monmouth County Democrats. Let it be a clear message: The Monmouth County Democratic Party will not stand for this disgraceful behavior now or in the future.