APOLOGY ENDS HARASSMENT ALLEGATION

Perry Feigenbaum, above in Red Bank’s courtroom, dropped his citizen’s complaint against Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

An apology by Sea Bright Councilman Read Murphy ended  an Asbury Park man’s pursuit of a harassment allegation Tuesday morning.

Perry Feigenbaum agreed to drop his citizen’s complaint  alleging Murphy accosted and threatened him on a Sea Bright sidewalk last June after Murphy apologized for what Murphy characterized as a “misunderstanding.”

Feigenbaum told redbankgreen before a scheduled special-session trial in Red Bank municipal court that he offered to drop the case because of “what’s going on in Sea Bright” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Murphy’s role in getting the town back on its feet.

“Obviously, that’s a bigger issue,” he said, and the residents of Sea Bright “shouldn’t suffer because he made a mistake.”

After a brief, closed-door meeting with attorney Peter O’Mara to discuss Feigenbaum’s offer, Murphy approached Feigenbaum with an extended hand and apologized for his actions during their June 9 encounter.

Murphy also agreed to “retract” unsubstatiated statements he made about Feigenbaum at the time, some of which were reported by redbankgreen and later redacted in recognition that they violated journalistic standards and should not have been published.

O’Mara said his client’s apology should not be understood as an admission of guilt. Both sides said they had been prepared to call witnesses to testify about the pair’s encounter.

“Peace has been made, I hope,” Murphy said, with Feigenbaum assenting. “It’s an apology for a misunderstanding.”