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11/20/2018 - Hamilton Calls into Question State Department of Health Actions on Animal Shelter

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