A meeting of the New Providence Business and Professional Association aimed at promoting cooperation among town merchants was disrupted by a public dispute between Mayor J. Brooke Hern and former Mayor Al Morgan.
Patch was at the meeting and captured this dispute on a digital recorder. The following is a transcription of the fight between Morgan and Hern:
Morgan: “I think all of us have seen the posting about Don Murphy’s business. It was quite upsetting to me. I’ve known Don for a lot of years. This guy is a great community partner, going to every single organization in this town and for him to get a blog, 'Boycott NP Fuel,' is outrageous!”
Hern: "I didn’t post anything."
Morgan: "You know what I’m talking about, Brooke... don’t dodge it."
Hern: “I’m not dodging anything. I didn’t post anything. Next question!”
Morgan: “No, you’re not getting away with that. It was your girlfriend pushing your name around.”
Hern: “What are you talking about?”
Morgan: “You know what I’m talking about.”
Hern: “I saw a post and I was accosted by the nice owner of NP Fuel when I walked in here, who actually physically threatened me. Al, this is ridiculous. This is ugliness that nobody needs to see. You’ve got to admit that.”
Morgan: “You’re right, it is and I’m not going to sit around… excuse me, sir! I am not going to sit around and watch somebody else’s business in this organization that does so much for this town being demonized! I’m not going to do it!...”
Hern: “I know nothing about the situation that you’re speaking of. I had no involvement in it and this is the same…”
Morgan: “You know what, Brooke? There’s not one person in this room who will believe what you just said!”
Hern: “I don’t care. I told you the truth and that’s all there is…”
Morgan: “That’s not the truth and you know it’s not the truth. You know it’s not the truth, Brooke.”
Hern: “I think for you to raise that issue here and attack me in this way is as close to despicable as anything could possibly be.”
Morgan: “You’re quoting [Newt] Gingrich?... Because you’re not going to demonize me for what happened.”
Hern: “I’ll quote him because this is wrong and you know it. Al, this is wrong. Enough.”