An argument that began over President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the coronavirus could be treated with an injection of disinfectant led to Plainfield Councilman Elton Armady calling a woman the C-word and telling her that she should kill herself.
“You are the dumbest c-nt! Kill yourself trash!” Armady said in a direct message on Sunday to Karen Kalenowski-Kamaras, a onetime co-worker and a Trump supporter.
Now the East Brunswick Police Department is investigating the online threat, the New Jersey Globe has learned, after Kalenowski-Kamaras reported the exchange to law enforcement.
Armady initially denied responsibility for the message.
“No, I didn’t send that,” Armady told the Globe. “I personally didn’t send any message like that, unless one of my friends did. I’m not the only one with access to my Facebook account.”
About an hour later, Armady accepted responsibility and express regret for his comments.
“While she was the one to initiate the name calling, I do apologize for my poor choice of words to her over private message, which is out of character for me,” he said.
According to Armady, Kalenowski-Kamaras “has bent over backwards to defend Trump’s indefensible comments to me on my Facebook posts on my personal page” several times over the last re years.
“Her latest was trying to prove that Trump didn’t say that people should inject Lysol into their bodies because she was adamant that disinfectants are not Lysol,” the councilman explained. “The fact that a person, who admitted to me in one of her replies on the post, that she has worked in the healthcare field for 30 years and doesn’t know that Lysol is a disinfectant is beyond my comprehension.”
Kalenowski-Kamaras’ Facebook page is full of pro-Trump posts. While some of her comments are aggressive – “for those of you that say Trump isn’t doing anything…you’re all idiots!” –she mostly posts internet memes that have become fairly common over the last few years.
Kalenowski-Kamaras said she worked with Armady at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey several years ago, when the future councilman was a file clerk.
Armady, 33, served as legislative director to the late Assemblyman Gerald Green (D-Plainfield), whose death in 2018 triggered a chain of appointments that left an at-large Plainfield council seat open.
Linda Carter (D-Plainfield) replaced Green in the legislature and Rebecca Williams took Carter’s seat on the Union County Board of Freeholders. Armady was selected to fill Williams’ vacant council seat.
Earlier this year, Plainfield Democrats decided not to back Armady for re-election and replaced him on the at-large ticket with Council President Steve G. Hockaday, a fourth ward councilman.
While Armady will be out of elected office at the end of this year, it’s not immediately clear whether the council vice president will face any short or long term penalties for his comments.
“If he did make those remarks, I don’t condone insensitive remarks of any kind, whether the person is an elected official or a private citizen,” Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp told the Globe. “Elected officials are held to higher standards.”
Armady’s day job is with Union County, where he serves as director of operations for the Plainfield American Job Center.
It is unlikely that Armady will be a recidivist when it comes to social media disputes with Kalenowski-Kamaras. Earlier today, he unfriended her on Facebook.
“Let’s just say that we won’t be hearing from Karen anymore,” Armady wrote on his Facebook page. “While I don’t block or unfriend people because of their political views, it was a long time coming for her and she’s beyond reason at this point.”
Kalenowski-Kamaras said she and Armady had been Facebook friends since 2013 and that their last direct message exchange before today was in November 2019.