amy-malletA growing controversy over spending on and by the president of Brookdale Community College has prompted Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet to call for the resignation of the chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

Mallet, of Fair Haven, asked board chairman Howard Birdsdall to step down amid questions about the board’s oversight of spending by college president Peter Burnham, who was put on leave Thursday after an audit found that “significant expenses” in his budget “may not have been directly connected to Brookdale,” according to the Asbury Park Press.

Mallet also suggested term limits for members of the Brookdale board, some of whom have been serving for more than two decades.

“I believe this will allow for new ideas and perspec­tives that are more consis­tent with the expectations of county residents and the college students,” she said in a statement, according to the Press.

Freeholder John Curley of Middletown, who recently began digging into Burnham’s spending after the college blamed a proposed tuition hike — since averted — on reduced funding from the county government, told the Press that a wait-and-see attitude should prevail while an investigation is conducted.

“We have to let the in­vestigation by the auditors go forward,” said Curley. “We’ll see where that will brings us. . . . The question for the entire board is where were they when this was going on.”

Burnham’s temporary replacement as president is William M. Toms, a retired state police officer and certified fraud examiner.