Larry Schuster announced his resignation on the Jackson Hot Topics Facebook page on Wednesday night, saying that his parental obligations to his minor daughter from a previous marriage prevented him from taking part in the meetings, which are held on Wednesday nights.
But according to the Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/2xTzgv3), Schuster’s resignation came just hours before board members and the media received copies of negative and sometimes crude comments that Schuster had made about Orthodox Jews on social media.
In a second Facebook post written tonight, Schuster defended his previous comments, acknowledging that before being voted to the board he had “commented on many of wrong doings by locals.”
The 49 year old Schuster wrote that his posts consisted of pictures that were available in the public domain, enhanced with “words or phrases” of his own.
“One religion was never singled out in any post of mine as I commented or posted on facts. If you anyone is so self absorbed that you feel this is directly attracted on a particular religion, race or creed, please know that you are flattering yourself and all I have to say is DEEZ NUTS.”
Schuster’s post was accompanied by several photos, one of which had a picture of several Lakewood women arrested in last spring’s fraudulent benefits sweep and labeled “House wives of Lakewood. Free health care social security and food stamps.” Two separate pictures, one of an obviously Jewish bearded man working on the eruv, and another featuring a picture of a smiling priest, both bore crude captions.
Informed by one Facebook poster that The Lakewood Scoop had written a story about his resignation, Schuster responded “Lakewood scoop can kiss my (obscenity), I don’t live in Lakewood and never have. If any resident of Lakewood in general is offended by Jackson news then close your eyes cupcakes and move along as it doesn’t pertain to you.”
Schuster had been the administrator of the closed Jackson NJ Uncensored Facebook group, where many of his comments appeared, until this morning. His wife, Amy, is currently listed as the administrator of the group whose description bears a disclaimer saying that all opinions and comments are “made in jest.”
Schuster insisted that his resignation was completely unrelated to his Facebook posts, which he said were also taken out of context.
“I didn’t know this was an issue,” said Schuster, co-owner of the Tom’s River Schuster’s Car Wash. “I heard nothing about this for a week until after I resigned.”
The Jackson zoning board has found itself in the media spotlight on several occasions in recent weeks. Board member Anthony Marano, who Schuster had been named to replace, was arrested in September on child pornography charges, meeting officers at his house with a gun. Former board member James Burrows also made news last month when he called for Lakewood Senator Robert Singer to leave his position or “to do the honorable thing and DIE!”
“This September 10 being suicide awareness day I implore senator Singer to step up and commit suicide,” wrote Burrows on Facebook. “He is nothing but the byproduct of a human body eating matzoh and gafelta [sic] fish.”
Burrows continued his tirade by calling for Ocean County Republican George Gilman, Ocean County’s republican chairman, to kill himself, ending his rant with a message to Lakewood residents reading “pay you far [sic] share you filthy (obscenity) cockroaches!”
Ironically, the same meeting that saw Schuster named to the zoning board also had one councilman calling for better screening of all applicants for township boards positions. No background checks were performed on Schuster or Jackson resident Scott Najarian before both men were given spots on the zoning board.