Lisa Tilton has filed an intent to sue against the Atlantic County Board of Elections alleging “damage to personal and business reputation, shock, humiliation, emotional distress, loss of past and future income, attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.”
“The Board of Elections and the individual members and agents authored and published a false and misleading letters to claimant’s employer with malice and an intent to torturously interfere with claimant’s prospective and economic advantage and contract with her employer Galloway Township,” reads the notice of intent to sue, which was filed July 14 with the county board of elections.
“Invasion of privacy, libel, slander and defamation" as well as violation of federal and state statutes, election law and authority of the municipal clerk, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, are among the charges in the claim.
Tilton will seek $3 million in damages in a lawsuit, according to the tort notice.
The claim has to do with election maps posted by Tilton in her capacity as municipal clerk for Galloway Township, a position she has since resigned from, effective Oct. 3.
According to David Castellani, the attorney representing Tilton, the county board of elections contacted the township in reference to the posting of the maps it says she had no authority to post.
“That resulted in her final discipline,” Castellani said. “It was within her rights to do that. The county didn’t have the map they were supposed to have, and Lisa posted a map.”
The map was unofficial, and was released to several media outlets, including Galloway Patch. Shortly after its posting, Tilton contacted Galloway Patch to clarify the map as unofficial, a disclaimer that was promptly posted to the website.
Jim Ferguson, the Atlantic County Board of Elections' attorney in this matter, was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.
According to Castellani, he hopes that the proceedings will also reveal that the board was “instrumental in getting township officials to pressure Lisa to withdraw,” an OPRA request she had filed with the county board of elections.
“We believe that’s what this discovery will reveal, but this is not against Galloway Township,” Castellani said.
Castellani would not reveal the nature of Tilton's public-records request.
Galloway Township Manager Steve Bonanni had no comment on this issue when contacted Thursday afternoon.
Anyone who intends to sue a government agency in New Jersey must first file notice within 90 days of an occurrence.
Tilton was suspended on June 10 of this year, and at a special hearing on July 18, she resigned from her post as township clerk and registrar of vital statistics following a deal struck between her attorney and attorneys representing Galloway Township.
As part of the deal, Tilton resigned in exchange for the township dropping all disciplinary charges against her. Also as part of that agreement, any and all claims involving Tilton, the township, members of council, Bonanni, other agents, servants and employees of the township and counsel of the township through July 18 were released.
Tilton, who has been employed with the township since 2001, served as clerk from 2008 until her suspension earlier this year. Her salary was $64,429 a year.