Our "exchange" included Fiore making accusations, even calling me a "poor investigative journalist," on top of several attempts by Fiore to do what I will call "sloppily rescind" previous statements.
The Republican candidate for Middletown Township Committee also said he now knew why "no one" is talking to The Courier right now (I think he meant his Republican cronies), and even went so far as to call me the "campaign manager" for his opponent.
Tony actually has two opponents, Pat Walsh and Jim Grenafege. In fact, he even has a running mate, my pal Pam Brightbill, yoga instructor extraordinaire (from what I've heard).
I am certainly not a campaign manager for either party. I obviously have enough work on my hands fielding phone calls from screaming politicians on what is appearing to be a daily basis.
In between calling my investigation "faulty" on every level, Fiore tried to call me "dear" during a pause in our exchange when he wasn't shouting.
I'd like to point out that Fiore is only 10 years older than me. Absolutely NO GROUNDS for sarcastic, endearing terms and condescension here. Even if he weren't acting like an absolute jerk on every level (professionalism thrown so quickly to the wind; so much for working under pressure), I would NEVER want to hear those words out of his mouth.
Here's my ultimate breakdown of events thus far:
- Fiore said during an interview in June he was "the recreation director" in both Linden and Carteret, a job he worked during summers between college.
- Through my "spun" investigation, records surfaced indicating that Fiore was the playground director in Linden in 1999. The only file Carteret had of Fiore was a payroll statement indicating work in some kind of "recreational" capacity during the summer of 2000.
- Today, Fiore told me that money was paid to him for being a baseball/softball referee, and that this was not the experience he meant when he said "recreation director." Woops, I don't read minds.
- To date, Fiore has not provided any form of documentation as to any other experience in either town's recreation department.
- He promised me a letter that would come from a Will Kolibas, who was apparently the recreation director during Fiore's few years in Carteret. The current director, Robert Kately, has been with the department for 10 years.
- Kately told me today in a phone conversation that Fiore was the leader of the arts and crafts program, a "day care thing."
- "I think he was more geared toward the kids, arts and crafts," Kately said.
- Fiore told me he was "the summer recreation director" in Carteret from 1997 to 1998.
- Notably, Kolibas is a relative of Fiore's.
- Fiore has not said anything as to his experience in Linden.
Fiore accused me of "spinning" a story, of having an agenda. I guess I'm just so naive, since he also reminded me I'm "new" to this. He was trying to make things "crystal clear."
Further investigation today surfaced another Fiore document: the golden resume from Middletown. I think this was for his position on the Planning Board.
Ironically enough, Fiore lists being a "member of the Carteret Recreation Commission" from 1995 to 1997 as "volunteer" experience.
Gee. This means that a) you did NOT get paid, if it's volunteer work, and b) it doesn't sound like much "directing" went on during that time. Not to mention there is nothing about any Linden Recreation Department experience.
Resumé contradictions? All over the place.
I'm tired of the fibs. Shout at me all you want, Tony, go ahead. If it makes you feel better to yell and scream at a 21-year-old, good for you. I think most people would have better things to do, but that's just me.
At the end of the day, I'm just the dumb reporter. Guess I should start working on my resumé. Get out the crayons. Maybe, if I'm experienced enough, I'll run for a seat in Middletown one day.
Below is a copy of Fiore's resume, submitted to Middletown Township in 2005.