Hamilton Calls into Question State
Department of Health Actions on Animal Shelter
When a State Department of Health
official both verbally, and in writing, confirms a facility is satisfactory –
but then days after publicized, attempts to walk back his actions – there is
only one question.
Is it the
incompetence of a State Department or are political motives at play?
During the past month, Township officials
have met, corresponded and documented interactions with Dr. Colin Campbell of the
New Jersey Department of Health.
In October, he verbally told
Hamilton’s Businesses Administrator and Director of Health that conditions at
the town’s animal shelter were satisfactory and only needed the finalization of
a new supervising veterinarian.
More recently, Dr. Campbell not only
reconfirmed that, but sent a satisfactory
report – subject to the Open Public Records Act -- to the Township.
But just days after the report was
publicized by the Township and covered by local media, Dr. Campbell has
attempted to change his satisfactory report after the fact.
“At best, it demonstrates
incompetence at the New Jersey Department of Health, that a leading official
would provide a satisfactory report if he truly felt that he could not do so.
But at worst, it gives an impression that over the weekend, someone higher up
in the Murphy Administration, sought to change the results,” says Hamilton
Mayor Kelly Yaede.
“When you read about the issues at
the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, you have to
wonder the priorities at the New Jersey Department of Health when it comes to
attempting to walk back a satisfactory report about our animal shelter after
the fact,” continues Mayor Yaede. “How could Dr. Campbell feel conditions
were satisfactory, provide documentation of that satisfactory rating to us, and
then, suddenly, after it is publicized, change his mind?”
As a result of this suspicious correspondence,
Township officials are now requesting public documents from State officials and
taking preliminary steps that should culminate in a formal request for this
disturbing pattern of events to be investigated.
***The Following Link is a Letter Sent to the New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner: Click Here to View