Newark supt. blasts union chief for alleged fraudulent fundraising


Abeigon to Cerf: ‘You’re wrong!”

Newark  schools boss John M. Abeigon HD swung back at the city’s superintendent, laughing off Christopher Cerf‘s  claim that the union created a fake fund drive to raise cash.

“There’s nothing fictitious about the GoFundMe account,” Abeigon declared.

The tiff broke on:

Cerf, in a searing three-page letter to the union chief, accused Abeigon of creating a GoFundMe website under a “fictitious” foundation called ERC Foundation designed to raise $100,000.


Excerpt from Cerf letter blasting Abeigon. (


Supt. Christopher Cerf says Abeigon’s money-raising campaign a fraud. ( photo)

“When asked by the press,” Cerf charged, “you did not answer questions.”

Cerf was referring to a previous interview that Abeigon gave this blog’s editor, during which the union leader defended the fund-raising campaign. Abeigon at the time denied it was a fictitious foundation.

The website eventually went dark, with Abeigon saying at the time that it had been up temporarily only for testing purposes.

He stood by that assertion in the latest interview with us, saying, “We are working with our accountants to make certain that it complies with state and federal laws for accepting contributions.”

Cerf’s letter:




Reporter to Cami, Cerf: “Open those files;” appeal imminent?

TRENTON, N.J. – A veteran newspaper reporter – fed up with the administration”s stonewalling over disclosing Turnaround for Children Inc.’s finances in its cozy government relationship – is threatening to file a denial-of access complaint with the New Jersey Government Records Council here for an open-records request from the Newark Public Schools.

Ted Cohen said that before he files the appeal, he is “exhausting all legal remedies.”

Cohen has refiled an open-records request to give government officials one last chance to make good on their refusal to come clean.

“If it becomes necessary to appeal, I will name the chief records custodian – Newark schools Superintendent Cami Anderson,” Cohen said.

Cohen said that, if an appeal becomes necessary, he will insist that Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf recuse himself from review of the complaint.

“He sits on the council,” Cohen pointed out, “so he would be in clear conflict by ruling on his own department’s business.”

Cerf serves as one of four council members.

Cohen added: “Anderson reports to Cerf and I have without success filed numerous open-records requests. It’s high time for some accountability.”

-From staff reports

ted mug2

Ted Cohen