Bradley Beach Administrator Leaving Post

By PETE WALTON

Kelly Barrett is stepping down as borough clerk and business administrator in Bradley Beach, The Coaster has learned.

Barrett, who is suing the borough and two council members for gender discrimination, will continue to be paid until her accumulated vacation time and sick leave runs out.

According to information obtained by the Coaster, Barrett has not dropped her lawsuit.

Her attorneys notified the borough of Barrett’s intention to step down in a letter.

Oakhurst-based lawyer Peter C. Lucas filed suit on Barrett’s behalf Aug. 19 in the civil division of state Superior Court in Freehold. Depositions in the case are scheduled to start in the spring.

The Ocean Township resident was hired as administrator in June of 2017. The vote to hire her was 3-2, with council members Randy Bonnell and John Weber voting no. Bonnell and Weber are the two council members named in the suit.

In the complaint Barrett said that Bonnell and Weber “sought the appointment of a younger, male candidate, rather than a female in that role.”

Prior to the filing of the suit, the borough hired attorney Nathanya G. Simon of the Scarinci Hollenbeck law firm to look into Barrett’s allegations. Simon found that no discrimination has occurred.

The suit became an issue in the November Borough Council election. The two council members who joined Mayor Gary Engelstad in voting to hire Barrett as administrator were defeated while Bonnell and Weber were reelected.

Barrett has been a longtime employee of the borough who served in the court many years before being named clerk and administrator.

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