To the Editor:
I was amazed to read Scott Scammell’s letter. In it, he referred to “undeniable court findings that Allen has not been credible or trustworthy.” Scammell needs to broaden his reading list to include the 2014 decision by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County, regarding the internecine lawsuit between the Solberg siblings. In it, there are undeniable court findings that at least two of the Solberg siblings are not credible and not truthful. Judge Coleman also found that they have mismanaged the airport business to the extent that the “appointment of a special fiscal agent is an appropriate remedy in this case.” (p. 48.) (All page references are to the decision of Judge Coleman in Nagle v. Solberg, dated May 5, 2014.)
This lawsuit between the Solbergs has not generated nearly as much press as the Township-Airport suit. However, the findings are scathing. The Court repeatedly found Thor Solberg’s testimony to be “not credible.” (pp 10, 11, 20, 21, 24.) Mr. Solberg’s testimony was “evasive … very evasive.” (p. 17.) Evidence “verifies [Suzanne Nagle’s] testimony that Thor is not being truthful…” (p. 18.) In addition, “Thor has improperly exercised total control over the corporation, [and] has engaged in a course of oppressive misuse and misappropriation of funds and management.” (p. 51.) The court further found that Thor and Lorraine have “wasted assets. They have failed to pay taxes. They’ve allowed legal claims to be entered against the corporation/partnership to go unanswered, leading to the entry of adverse judgments and expenditures, [and] further expenditures of money.” (p. 55.)
In sum, the court found that Thor and Lorraine had “breached their fiduciary duties and the duty of loyalty to” each other and to their sister Suzanne. (p. 47.) The court found that “misconduct is quite apparent here.” (p. 48.) It stated “there has been gross mismanagement, to say the least of the Solberg entities, . . . an abuse of trust, a dereliction of their duties. . . , depreciation of the Solberg Company assets, mismanagement of the partnership realty, failure to maintain adequate bookkeeping and record keeping and accounting, and oppression, frankly.” (p. 49.)
Contrary to airport candidates’ public representations, the Court also found that “in accordance with Thor’s testimony, that the introduction of jet aircraft is important to the establishment and continuation of this airport. It’s a better source of income. They use a lot more fuel, there’s a better profit, they pay higher rents, and it’s apparent that he’s trying to generate jet traffic at the airport, which I take it may be a problem for the local Township.” (p. 13.)
Scammell states that if Township Board members do not remove Allen from appointive position, they must “condone having an individual with a court–proven record of deception” in key positions. However, Scammell and those candidates he supports, namely Lelah and Lyons, are condoning the sworn testimony of Thor Solberg siblings “that the introduction of jet aircraft is important to the establishment and continuation of this airport.” They are condoning a plan that is contrary to the best interests of Readington Township residents. And they are trying to win by name-calling. They should remember that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.