Mayor Albert Akerman tells TLS he has been in touch with Jackson Mayor Michael Reina following the recent anti-Semitic incident involving several teens from Jackson.
“I’m in touch with the Mayor, and another district official, and we’re hoping to build a better sense of understanding between Lakewood and Jackson,”Akerman told TLS.
The Mayor also respected the Prosecutor’s Office decision not to press charges against the teens, adding that he didn’t feel threatened by the teens – one of whom is the daughter of a State Trooper. But that fact had no impact on the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office.
“Her parents employment had no bearing in this case,” Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Al Della Fave told TLS.
Della Fave added that “There were and are corrective actions being taken in this case.”
Some bloggers criticized the Prosecutor’s Office for not taking more actions, but that hasn’t and won’t impact their legal decisions.
“This was not a matter to be taken lightly, however we are not guided by public opinion,” Della Fave told TLS. “Our department must have the courage to dispense justice solely within the legal statutes of our state and the full consideration of a persons’ first amendment rights,” Della Fave said.
Further, the Juvenile Justice statutes are rehabilitative not punitive. No juvenile under these same circumstances would ever be given a jail sentence, Della Fave stated.
Mayor Akerman says he hopes to keep the line of communication open in regards to this matter, and hopefully prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.