Home>Governor>Murphy replaces three members of board that restored license to convicted sex offender

Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy replaces three members of board that restored license to convicted sex offender

By David Wildstein, March 04 2021 2:25 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy has replaced three members of the embattled State Board of Chiropractic Examiners after a controversial vote to reinstate the license of a convicted sex offender from Paramus.

Murphy is dumping Brett Wartenberg, Thomas Senatore and Paul Lyons and replacing them with Kelly Blunder, Uchenna Abba Onyeani  and Michael Kaufman.  All six are chiropractors.

Despite warnings from the attorney general, the board voted to reinstate the license Dr. Bryan Bajakian, who in 2008 was convicted on charges of luring or enticing underage girls and illegally possessing a firearm.

He was accused sexual misconduct against an underage patient and admitted to the board keeping child pornography, attempting to meet children online and continuing to see underage patients after an order to cease.

Grewal sought to block his reinstatement, arguing the board relied on an improperly conducted psychosexual evaluation, but the board on Thursday shot down the attorney general’s motion.

Bajakian remains on parole and must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

Several legislators are seeking to dissolve the current board and reconstitute it, a move that would dump all of the sitting members.

If confirmed, Blundy, Onyeani and Kaufman would still represent a minority of the board’s membership.

Chiropractors David Allen, Rosemary Calio and Albert Stabile are on holdover status, as is public member John Traier, a former Passaic County Republican Chairman.

Allen, Calio, Lyons,  Senatore and Wartenberg voted to restore Bajakian’s license.

All are expected to be replaced, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The Senate confirmed a new nominee, Westfield chiropractor Pasquale Pucciarelli, on February 19.

Blundy is a member of the Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education in Bergen County and owns the Spine & Health Center of New Jersey.

Onyeani lives in Union.  Kaufman is from Lawrence and is a former president of the Montgomery Township Fire Company.

Blundy declined to comment on Bajakian’s license restoration, but said she’ll answer any questions senators have during her confirmation process.

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