On April 22, 2016, a Department of Public Works employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Borough’s Clerk alleging, among other things, that the Clerk would ask him he was wearing a thong and say “Hubba hubba hubba.”

In his lawsuit, Stratford DPW employee Andrew Marano claimed that Borough Clerk John Keenan has been sexually harassing him and other employees “for years.”  Marano’s lawsuit, which was filed on April 22, 2016, claims that Keenan would repeatedly comment on “how tan he was,” rub his shoulders and back while they were in Borough Hall and sometimes “grab or rub Marano’s rear end.” 

According to the lawsuit, Keenan, who reportedly oversees the DPW, asked Marano who was soaked after changing a lightbulb in the rain, to “take his jeans off and wear a yellow thong for the rest of the day.”  According to Marano, Keenan “frequently made it known that he was homosexual” and “would text Marano while he was on vacation and ask Marano if he was ‘at the nude beach’ [and] to take pictures for him.”

He claimed that Stratford had no meaningful sexual harassment policy and that “Keenan would frequently hire people to whom he was sexually attracted, even if they were not qualified or otherwise prohibited from working for Stratford.”  Marano’s lawsuit alleged that one of Keenan’s favored hirees “would work during the summer with just a vest, without a shirt underneath” and said that “If I blow him [Keenan], he’ll get me a motorcycle.”  According to the lawsuit, the hiree soon ended up owning a motorcycle shop.  Marano claimed that Keenan’s sexual harassment compelled to go on a leave of absence and ultimately lose his job.

Marano’s suit also claims that Keenan retaliated against him after he complained that Keenan allegedly stole “hundreds of pounds of metal from Stratford.”

The lawsuit is captioned Andrew Marano v. Borough of Stratford, et al, Docket No. CAM-L-1577-16 and Marano’s attorney is Leo B. Dubler III of Mount Laurel.  On June 21, 2016, Stratford Borough and Keenan, through Ian C. Doris of the firm of Keenan & Doris in Rutherford, filed an answer to the complaint.  No proceeding are presently scheduled for the case which was assigned to Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel.

Marano’s allegations are just that–allegations.  Nothing has been proven and Keenan and the Borough are entitled to civil discover, their day in court and to a trial by jury. 

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]