Records show Middle Township employees exchanged emails in August expressing concerns about interviewing Lisa Tilton for a job because of her ongoing litigation with Galloway Township.
Tilton, the former Galloway clerk, has filed a tort claim alleging discrimination by Middle Township officials partly because of the discussions.
“I look at it from the perspective that by interviewing her, we are opening the door to potential litigation if she is interviewed and not hired and then claims she was the most qualified candidate,” Middle Township Manager Mark Mallett wrote in an email obtained by The Press of Atlantic City through an Open Public Records Act request.
The email was sent in reply to an email by current Township Clerk Kimberly Krauss. Mayor Dan Lockwood, Committeeman Tim Donohue and Committeewoman Susan De Lanzo were all included in the email chain.
“I’ve discussed this with committee, however I am unsure if we could discriminate based on this,” Krauss wrote in an email dated Aug. 6, 2012. “NOT SAYING I believe we should hire Ms. Tilton, however giving an interview may cover our bases and protect us again [sic] any later ramification. We can hire whoever we want but this way we can at least say we gave her an opportunity.”
This email was also in response to a copy of a May 11, 2012, article in The Press of Atlantic City that Mallett sent. The article describes the lawsuit Tilton filed against Galloway officials, which includes allegations of improper termination and sexual harassment.
“I would recommend not interviewing Ms. Tilton,” Mallett wrote in the body of that email.
On Aug. 10, Krauss responded in another email listing Tilton among the experienced candidates.
“We have discussed the main concerns with Ms. Tilton prior,” she said before going on to describe her thoughts on the other applicants.
Tilton had applied for open positions as deputy clerk and registrar of vital statistics with Middle Township in April, her tort claim states. After this email exchange, which seems to be alluded to in the claim, the township hired other people to the positions.
The tort claim is dated Oct. 31. Tilton’s attorney, Steven Srenaski, Middle Township Solicitor Marcus Karavan and Krauss did not return phone calls Thursday asking whether Middle has been served with a lawsuit from Tilton yet.
Tilton resigned from her position in Galloway in October 2011 after being suspended from her post the previous June. She worked in Galloway for 10 years and was clerk for about three years..
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