I am very surprised at some of Plainfield’s leaders, elected officials and residents who should be more outspoken on the real issue regarding Dan Damon’s arrest for soliciting oral sex from a young man in a car recently. What ever happened to fighting for what is right! To date, Mayor Mapp’s response has not expressed any concern for any laws that Mr. Damon may have broken during his “tryst” with the victim/participant / 23 year old young man. Is this the kind of representation that we feel the citizens of Plainfield deserve? The fact that he is accused of a sexual act on the streets of Plainfield in a residential neighborhood in eyesight of other people is appalling to say the least and worth honorable mention at best. It is also (allegedly) the second time that such an allegation has been made against him in the last decade. Since he seems to be habitual at this kind of behavior it would appear that he is suffering from some type of social sickness at the very least or to some degree putting the public at risk by performing sexual acts in public.
Furthermore, since Mr. Damon was appointed to the Library Board, served as the chair for Mayor Adrian O. Mapp’s Transition team and writes a blog that is less journalistic and investigative and more opinion based, full of conjecture and made up fluff- it is safe to say that he should be held to the same legal standard as well as a higher moral coding.
An official statement which appeared in MyCentral Jersey.com, was an opportunity for Mayor Mapp to demonstrate true leadership, however Mayor Mapp chose to remind us in his statement that, “I appoint lots of people to boards and commissions but have nothing to do with their personal life”. Is this the type of lackluster leadership that Plainfield deserves from its chief executive officer? The Mayor’s statement is a shallow attempt at trying to create some distance between himself and Mr. Damon who is also a self-proclaimed cofounder of the New Democratic Party of Plainfield. Should we really believe that Mr. Damon’s personal life and decisions have no impact or bearing on his ability to accurately represent the best interest of the people while serving in these official roles and duties? …. If yes, well then I have a bridge to sell you pretty cheap (see ex- Rep. Anthony Weiner, NFL running back Ray Rice, Elliot Spitzer, etc.)
What is more disturbing about the lack of action taken by the administration and the “shrug the shoulders” approach from The Mayor, the “live and let live” theory from on-lookers or even the fail safe, “Jerry set him up” excuse – is that none of these holds Dan Damon’s feet to the fire or makes him socially responsible to answer to the citizens of Plainfield NJ.
I am aware that many are not fond of Jerry Green, which mandates the opposition to turn every discussion into a blame game involving Assemblyman Green, who also serves as the first African American Chairman of the Union County Democratic Party (like him or not). Would Former Mayor, New Democrat stalwart and father of young 20 something young men Al McWilliams, have displayed stronger leadership regarding Damon’s arrest? I’m pretty sure he would not have blamed it on Jerry Green.
I also realize that by condemning Dan Damon for his abhorrent behavior and bad decision-making will ultimately cause damage to Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. Since the Mayor thought enough of Mr. Damon and his ability to make good decisions by appointing him to the Library Board and the Mayoral Transition Team -this incident reminds us that these appointed positions are not frivolous and require a certain level of responsibility to the general public. Particularly where sensitive matters like youth and young people issues (Library Board) and personnel issues (Transition Team) are paramount and depend on good, clear decision-making.
It is disappointing and embarrassing to see how so many are quick to try to politicize this matter in an effort to save current administration face, do damage control or simply deny the severity of the implications of Mr. Damon’s actions not only for his family, friends, followers and business associates but for all Plainfield citizens as well. Shameful!
The truth of the matter is that Dan Damon has been accused and arrested for an act that could have easily been done in private, however, because of his general disrespect for the community and his disregard for the law, he conducted his transgression on a public street in a residential area in front of other consenting adults. Were children and elders exposed to this exchange as Damon allegedly performed oral sex in a parked car? Because it happened in Plainfield are we to ignore the illegal nature of the accused act and its impact on the public?
The real question is why aren’t more people outraged and disgusted by Dan Damon’s behavior? Why hasn’t the Mayor or others not called for his immediate removal for something that could have easily been avoided and kept private? Finally this is not about Damon’s sexual preferences. Many articles have been written in an attempt at diverting the attention of the good citizens of Plainfield while placing the blame on others who were not present in the car when Mr. Damon decided to solicit a 23-year-old man for oral sex. So the question remains, should we overlook a publicly appointed official’s behavior while his supporters attempt to divert public attention by talking about things that have no bearing on the situation?
Lamar David Mackson