From today’s InsiderNJ:
From the Sunlight Policy Center:
SEAN SPILLER, THE SECOND-HIGHEST ELECTED OFFICER IN THE NJEA, IS RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF MONTCLAIR?
CAN YOU SAY “CONFLICT OF INTEREST”? WE SURE CAN.
The taxpayer-funded NJEA, the most powerful special interest in New Jersey’s special-interest-dominated political system, has run over 1,300 NJEA members for public office in New Jersey over the last five years.
We bet you did not know that!
Nowhere in the state has this grab for political influence been seen more than in Montclair, New Jersey – where Sean Spiller, Vice President of the NJEA, is running for mayor.
As an elected officer of the NJEA, Spiller owes a fiduciary duty to NJEA members to advance and protect their interests. But if elected mayor, Spiller would also have a fiduciary duty to the citizens of Montclair, creating a massive conflict of interest.
JUST SO YOU KNOW – Spiller’s conflicts of interest are nothing new to Montclair. After being trained to run for office by the NJEA, Spiller was elected to Montclair’s town council. He then attempted to sit on the town’s Board of School Estimate (BoSE), which oversees the Montclair’s school budget, most of which goes to pay its teachers. A State Superior Court ruled that Spiller’s conflict of interest was “undeniable” and disqualifying and he was removed from the BoSE.
…. In addition to his fiduciary ties to the NJEA, Spiller has also been very well compensated by the NJEA, earning an estimated $2.1 million as an elected NJEA officer.
… If elected mayor of Montclair, Spiller would have an even greater conflict of interest than as a councilman: he would appoint the entire school board, chair the BoSE, and select two council members to serve on the BoSE.
For New Jersey citizens, the question is: As Spiller climbs the ranks of New Jersey politics, just how politically powerful can a special interest become? At what point does a conflict of interest become so great that it is a threat to democratic governance in our state?
The Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey’s (SPCNJ) new report – entitled “Councilman Spiller, Mayor Spiller, Governor Spiller?” – presents the facts, all sourced and footnoted. SPCNJ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization. We do not endorse candidates. We do not get involved in campaign activities or coordinate with political operations of any kind. What we do is shine a light on the facts so New Jersey citizens can make their own decisions.