Celeste Sitarski is collecting a $70,000 salary while on paid leave as her second lawsuit continues to wind its way through the courts, but she is using her time to campaign for Mayor Donald Shaw, who has a history of supporting those generous legal settlements for the litigious borough employee known as the ‘DPW Karen’.
Sitarski won $200,000 in her first lawsuit against taxpayers, in which she amplified racial stereotypes about the Black men with whom she worked as an excuse for when she did show up at her Department of Public Works job.
In a lawsuit filed in 2016, Sitarski claimed that male co-workers casually bragged about their sexual exploits, made sexual advances, and used derogatory comments to describe women.
Sitarski, whose nephew is Councilman Brandon Bernier, claims that Black male Roselle employees made sexually abusive remarks, subjected her to racially insensitive comments and engaged in other harassing behaviors during the 13 years she worked as a laborer for the DPW.
Although her claims lacked independent proof, officials settled the case for $200,000 without going to court just one month after her nephew, Bernier, was elected to the Roselle borough council.
Sitarski has been accused of cashing in as a ‘DPW Karen’ who makes unfounded allegations against Black men as she seeks to recreate the lawsuit that made her one of the richest people in the community.
She went from being an unemployed temporary worker to a $70,000 a year sanitation job and then to a six-figure lawsuit.
Sitarsky profits from destroying Black men, based on racial stereotypes with the aid of borough council members like Wilkerson, who likes to present herself as an advocate for racial justice but she is also being sued by at least two African-American women who leveled various civil rights charges.
Adrian Williams filed a lawsuit against Wilkerson and another council member that alleged the politicians harassed her and violated her civil rights.
In another lawsuit, Councilwoman Cynthia Johnson alleged that Wilkerson was part of a conspiracy to silence her about fiscal chicanery in the borough and illegally impeded her ability to perform duties of her elected office that pertain to public safety issues.
While drawing that $70,000 salary on paid leave, Sitarski is campaigning for politicians who approved her payoff.
Residents worry how much money taxpayers will pay Sitarski, who is campaigning for candidates who could be in the driver’s seat if the borough settles her second lawsuit.
That same concern remains strong among legal observers who believe Sitarsky’s overt advocacy of candidates threatens the integrity of the entire process.
“It’s amazing that she is campaigning for the two principle elected officials who are managing the agencies that are the defendants in her lawsuit,” said resident Michael Davis.
“If the DPW is engaging in such illegal behavior and creating a hostile workplace, then why don’t Denise Wilkerson and Cindy Thomas hold their subordinates accountable?”