Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo on Tuesday called for Franklin township and its deputy mayor, Shanel Robinson, to release all emails related to the creation of a monument part there following the publication of emails written by Councilman Rajid Prasad in the Franklin Reporter & Advocate.
“It is deeply troubling to me that someone who is running for county office touting transparency in government appears to be engaged in activity that appears to be a clear violation of the State’s Sunshine Law, and worst of all, a violation of the public trust,” Gaburo said. “That is why today I am calling on Deputy Mayor Robinson and Franklin Township to publicly release all of her emails related to the statue project. The Franklin Reporter story exposes a local government that appears to brazenly operate in what amounts to a cyber-backroom, out of the view of taxpayers.”
The emails released in the report show exchanges between Prasad and a number of others, including a representative of Martin Luther King Jr.’s estate. A statue of king, along with ones of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Teresa, are planned for the park.
Among the emails in the exchange are ones that show Prasad preemptively arranging the construction of the statues, which are being paid for by a third party, and letting the project’s supporters know about an approval vote for the park well ahead of its public announcement.