EDITORIAL: Truth Matters

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RAHWAY—Either somebody is lying or several government entities are acting contrary to the public interest, and although we like reporting good news there are times when citizens need to know the ugly truth in its entirety.

Kimberly Prakapas claims she is not a domestic violence victim, but Bobby Akbar pleaded guilty in a court of law and suffered consequences from which she might have exonerated him.

Both Akbar and Prakapas say there was no justification for police to conceal facts about this matter under the domestic violence laws, but they declined when given an opportunity to authorize police to disclose reports and other evidence that are currently being hidden from public view.

The Rahway Board of Education forced Prakapas to resign a job she says she “loved” despite her receiving “phenomenal” job performance ratings.
“It’s a mystery. I don’t understand it and it hurt me. I loved my job,” said Prakapas, who was interviewed about the Feb 26 incident by the Rahway Board of Education, which then determined she was unfit to continue teaching.

If that was because she became a domestic violence victim, then the school board is engaged in a travesty.

On the other hand, if a public school teacher was fired for lying to education officials, then that that person would be disparaging the character of nine elected officials by claiming ignorance.

The public needs to know the truth to hold elected representatives accountable. While legitimate domestic violence victims deserve to have their privacy protected, people who are not victims should not be rewarded for shirking their responsibility for vindicating innocent people charged with crimes.

It cannot be both ways, and for those reasons we decided to make full disclosure in this report despite pleas from Prakapas to keep her name out of it.

If Prakapas was merely a party to a harmless accident, then she is not a victim and has no need to protect her identity.  If she was fired for being a domestic violence victim, then the elected school board members have betrayed the public trust.

Akbar pleaded guilty although Prakapas could have exonerated him, had she told the same story in court she related to the News Record. On the other hand, an elected official’s criminal behavior should not be covered up just because it may be embarrassing.

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