Argument edited from broadcast of N.J. board of ed. meeting

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. — Television viewers didn't get to see a testy exchange between a New Jersey school board attorney and a taxpayer.

No one is saying who ordered the argument edited from the public-access broadcast of the July 28 school board meeting in Pleasantville.

Viewers didn't get to see resident Michael Dupreepaci criticize solicitor Ronald Hunt for billing the district for his firm's defense of three board members in an election-related lawsuit.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Dupreepaci waved off attempts by Hunt and Board President Doris Graves to interrupt him. The newspaper also reported that Dupreepaci’s comments were loud, but not profane.

“It shouldn't have been removed,” Dupreepaci was quoted by the newspaper as saying yesterday. “It's a public meeting. We're taxpayers here.”

Graves said she supported the removal of comments like Dupreepaci's, but she refused to directly answer the newspaper’s question as to whether she had authorized the removal.

“We are not going to be disrespected by some idiot,” Graves was quoted by the Press as saying. Graves is one of the members Hunt represents in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, board member Joanne Famularo told the newspaper: “I've always contended these meetings are must-see TV.” She said she expected the issue of editing the broadcast to be brought up at the Aug. 25 board meeting. “Good, bad and ugly, the public has a right to see it.”

The exchange was not censored from the meeting's official transcript.

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