Dear Paul, Love Michael: Emails Between Lakewood Lawyer and Asbury Park Press Editor

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This is an email exchange, mostly between Paul D’Ambrosio, the Executive Editor of the Asbury Park Press, and Michael Inzelbuch, district attorney for Lakewood Public Schools. For context, last week the Asbury Park Press printed a photo, captioned  with an anti-Semitic slur, of a nurse giving a COVID vaccine. (See here for story.) The first email is from Joe Strupp, a long-time APP reporter who is currently covering Lakewood. The other emails are between D’Ambrosio and Inzelbuch. 

From Asbury Park Press reporter Joe Strupp to: Kevin Campbell, Lakewood Assistant Business Administrator

Hello Mr. Campbell,

Please see attached OPRA request and please acknowledge receipt. [“OPRA request” is a request for public information through the Open Public Records Act.]

Thanks, Joe Strupp


From Lakewood attorney Michael Inzelbuch to Paul D’Ambrosio, Asbury Park Press Executive Editor

Paul, Please see  below .

Is this a response to the Board’s actions [last Wednesday the Lakewood School Board passed a motion “to discontinue any advertising with the Asbury Park Press (APP) as well as any interactions with this publication”] and the ever growing commentary on the situation ?

Of course , you could share with your reporter the emails you have and those and other information  that surely exist on Mr Martinez’s [the reporter who wrote the anti-Semitic caption] server .

I am only sending this to you based on your assurances to the Superintendent and myself as well as the Board .

Lest there be any misunderstanding-I am not asking for any special consideration -however -the timing is highly suspect coupled with the fact all of the requested information/documentation save the last month is in APP’s possession .


From D’Ambrosio to Inzelbuch:


We look forward to the district’s full and timely response under OPRA.

Paul D’Ambrosio


From Inzelbuch (who now starts cc’ing NJEA lobbyist/Gov. Murphy’s Deputy Chief of Staff Deborah Cornavaca; Senator Bob Singer, who represents Lakewood; Avi Schnall, Director of Agudah Israel, which represents ultra-Orthodox Jews; Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles; Lakewood Superintendent Laura Winters; several Lakewood school board members; Lakewood police leaders):

As usual the District will comply .

Again -I might remind you the APP has all this information based on prior and recent  OPRA requests .

If I can help -as I have much of it -let me know . (As you do also .)

However -we are asking again -is this a result of our position ? Your refusal to share the written procedures that were in place and our now in place ?

However -we are asking for the APP to engage an independent firm to review what occurred here , the alleged systematic bias , the lack of supervision as well as a third party firm to provide cultural /sensitivity training .

Thank you


From D’Ambrosio to Inzelbuch:


Our OPRA requests are part of our normal due diligence to ensure the use of taxpayer money and resources are all above board, which I have no doubt they are in your district. As you know from your extensive legal experience, there are legal barriers to what I can discuss about current and former employees either privately or on a public email chain, such as this one. My most recent column outlined the immediate and comprehensive steps we took to rectify the terrible incident by a now-former employee. The company provides series of mandatory ethics, diversity and sensitivity training all employees must take each year.

Thank you for your email and we look forward to the district’s prompt compliance with the OPRA request.


From Inzelbuch to D’Ambrosio


Appreciate your positive comments as to the district that surely are not mere words -but -based on years of full disclosure and OPRA requests .

However -the timing is suspect -especially since the subject of the OPRA request within hours of the Board action and within minutes of our decision not to respond to your newly assigned reporter’s request for information as to the sale of pot (aka marijuana), as well all of the information being already in the possession of the APP .

The Board ,I , an ever growing amount of students ,staff , residents , public officials ,etc continue to ask :

1- what are the written procedures that were in place that somehow allowed the events to happen ?

2- what are the revised written procedures ?

3- We again request an independent review of what has occurred

4- We again request independent sensitivity and cultural training occur;

5- what sensitivity and cultural training was provided prior to the occurrence ?

6- Any and all e-mails authored by the reporter over the last year as we now have been advised that allegedly there exists evidence of similar hate mongering on his APP data base.

(partial listing )

All of the above has ZERO to do with the reporter who is NOT the focus and is copied herein .

Awaiting results -awaiting swift action -not mere words .


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