First we discover that Millburn Board of Ed member Jesse Liu is also a member of the Millburn Institute of Talent’s (MIT) board, the same group that is negotiating a rental agreement for the use of Millburn High School for Sunday classes. Now we understand that an additional Millburn Board of Education member, Phil Choong, has been attending MIT meetings and asserting his support for the MIT school.
Of course, all of this is counter to New Jersey’s School Ethics Act and represents clear conflicts of interest on the parts of BOE members Liu and Choong. While Mr. Liu did read a statement recusing himself from voting on the Chinese school matter, his involvement with MIT predates his recusal thus having provided Mr. Liu many opportunities to play both sides of the table and manipulate the outcome from inside the Millburn BOE for MIT’s advantage. Same for Mr. Choong, although he has yet to recuse himself from voting.
To add yet another layer of absurdity to this affair, Jesse Liu had been chair of Millburn BOE’s “Policy Committee” that was charged with reviewing the BOE’s facilities rental policies until his recusal and was quickly replaced by Phil Choong as the new chair of the same “Policy Committee” charged with reviewing Millburn's facilities rental policies.
This is a compromised Board of Education. There may be even more board members who are equally as compromised as Liu and Choong.
Given the buzz of BOE misconduct within the community, it would be best that the board immediately engage a third-party investigator to review the Millburn Board of Ed’s actions in this matter. This should include the review of each of the members, their connection with MIT or any other group in conflict with their proper discharge of their duties in the public interest, any arrangements struck by a BOE member in exchange for support, any attempt to secure unwarranted privileges on the part of BOE members, and the use of any information not generally available to the general public to the advantage of MIT or any other group.
Doing anything less further compromises this already critically flawed board and invites both scrutiny and complaints from the Millburn community. This will decisively hamper this BOE’s support in Millburn.
Short Hills, NJ