Over a year after the former publisher of Galloway Township News ran his first story, the person who was the focal point of that story has taken over the publication of the blog.
Former Galloway Township Clerk Lisa Tilton has purchased the Galloway Township News blog for an undisclosed amount of money, Tilton announced on the website Friday morning, Jan. 18.
Former Publisher Harry Scheeler put the blog up for sale in December, and Tilton purchased the blog as of Dec. 23. According to Tilton, she’s written every story published on the blog since Dec. 24.
Scheeler started the blog in 2011, and the first story that appeared on the blog concerned the township releasing Tilton's personal information to a third-party source who had no connection to either Tilton or the township.
Many of the stories that appeared on the site concerned Tilton, leading to speculation that Tilton and Scheeler knew each other, and may be working together.
On Friday, Tilton stated that Galloway Township News had already launched before she first spoke to Scheeler.
Tilton filed a lawsuit against the township last year. The actions of former Township Manager Steve Bonanni and former Councilman Dennis Kleiner were the focus of the lawsuit. Township Council voted to enter into a settlement agreement with Tilton on Dec. 11, and details of that agreement were released on Jan. 7. The township and Tilton settled for
The settlement didn’t include a gag order for either side. However, Tilton said she wants to use the blog for the betterment of the community, and not necessarily to reveal details of the litigation between herself and Galloway.
She didn’t report on the details of the agreement when released by the township, despite owning the blog at that point in time.
“I want to give back to the community,” Tilton said. “I kept hearing that taxpayer money was going to the lawsuit. I wanted to create a public service, to create a community-oriented website.”
With Scheeler as publisher, the blog uncovered corruption in Galloway Township government.
According to Tilton, she didn’t reveal that she was the owner of the site until Friday because of pending legal paperwork.
On the website, Tilton stated “additional opinion writers and extremely experienced investigative reporters will also join in contributing” to the site. On Friday, she didn’t state who those opinion writers and investigative reporters would be.
Tilton said the website is not a permanent part of her future. She said her future goal is still to get a government job somewhere, and that the website is more of an advocacy position for her.
As part of the agreement, Tilton isn’t permitted to seek employment in Galloway Township. However, the township will provide a letter of recommendation for her should she use the manager as a reference, per the agreement.
Tilton was employed by Galloway Township for 10 years, and believes her experience as a clerk, registrar, notary and planning board member will work to her benefit where investigative reporting is concerned.