Linden mayor apologizes for remarks about Jews; says former school official is extorting him

Mayor Derek Armstead says Paul Oliveira filed a lawsuit to get nearly $1 million from the city.

Matt Trapani

May 31, 2024, 12:33 AM

Updated 12 days ago

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The mayor of Linden is apologizing for antisemitic remarks he made, while also saying he is the victim of an extortion scheme.
Mayor Derek Armstead says former assistant superintendent Paul Oliveira filed a lawsuit to get nearly $1 million from the city.
According to court documents in Oliveira's case against the Board of Education, Armstead and another defendant, Marlene Berghammer made some discriminatory remarks during a recorded conversation.
The first recording shows Berghammer stating, “If it’s in a neighborhood school district, it should be, we don’t mind if it is a Black person or a Haitian-speaking person.”
Armstead is then heard saying, “That is what has to happen in order to keep our community from being taken over by guys with big hats and curls.”
The lawsuit states this comment was referring to the typical garb of Hasidic Jews.
The mayor released a statement apologizing for these remarks.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to Armstead and Oliveira for comment on the situation and is waiting to hear back.


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