Linden Mayor Derek Armstead Accused Of Blatant Antisemitism In Shocking Lawsuit

A shocking whistleblower lawsuit filed on Thursday accuses Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, school board president Marlene Berghammer, Superintendent Atiya Y. Perkins, and others of blatant antisemitism and a deliberate effort to exclude Jews from employment with the schools.

According to court filings, a secretly recorded conversation revealed the mayor and school officials discussing their preference for hiring African-American or Haitian candidates, while specifically excluding Jewish individuals.

“That’s what has to happen in order to keep our community being taken over by guys with big hats and curls,” the mayor allegedly said, referring to the growing Jewish community in Linden.

Paul Oliveira, the former assistant school superintendent, filed the lawsuit, claiming retaliation and violation of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination and Conscientious Employee Protection Act. Oliveira alleged that the mayor and school officials sought to recruit staff members of diverse races and nationalities, but with an illegal and antisemitic agenda.

The lawsuit claims that the mayor warned of Linden being “taken over” by Jews, saying, “I don’t care what they are… If they’re from the general area here, that’s what we’re trying to build here.”

Armstead allegedly also complained that Jews were moving into Linden, bemoaning one individual’s choice to sell his home to a Jew.

“Moved out of town,” Armstead said. “He sold his house to the guys with the big hats and the curls too. So, you know, everybody’s undermining the progress we’re trying to make here in town.”

The mayor denied the allegations, calling them “hogwash.”

Linden has a sizable and growing Chasidic community, with multiple shuls, schools, and yeshivos already operating there.

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