Delran Township has been at the center of a great deal of controversy over the last several months, which is all due to the exposure created by a local advocate for government transparency, Patrick Duff, who began his inquiries into the town last October. Since that time Duff has uncovered several unethical, immoral, and even illegal acts that were committed by Township Officials, mostly pointing directly to Delran’s Mayor, Gary Catrambone. Last year Catrambone created the position of Communications Director, and filled the position with a person who lacked any real credentials for the job, Wendy Mitchell.
Mitchell was terminated yesterday by Delran Officials after Duff outed her as the owner of a blog that was written in January of this year that claimed Duff faked having cancer to steal money from other cancer patients, and unsuspecting others. The blog also contained a story about how Duff stole money that he raised for a memorial in Maple Shade dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr and his first civil rights battle.
Last July Duff was diagnosed with having colon cancer after a colonoscopy found a massive tumor that had been misdiagnosed for several years as diverticulitis. Just a week after being diagnosed, Duff underwent a ten and a half hour surgery where they removed a perforated cancerous tumor that measured nearly ten inches, which meant the tumor was leaking cancer into his body. Miraculously the cancer did not spread to the Lymph-nodes or any other organ, yet the chances of the cancer returning were high, and Duff was diagnosed as a high risk stage two cancer patient.
Duff recently filed suit against the Executive Director of the Burlington County Bridge Commission, who is also the Chairman of the Burlington County Democratic Committee, Joe Andl, for feeding documents and information that appeared on the once anonymous blogger’s website, who was named as a John Doe in the suit. Now that the identity of the owner of the blog has been identified, the John Doe name in the suit will now be replaced by the name of Wendy Mitchell, as well as adding Delran Township as a defendant in recently filed defamation lawsuit. (Case # CAM L-1716-22)
While Mitchell was listed as a Communications Director for Delran, her responsibilities and activities showed that she was much more of a private assistant for Delran’s Mayor, Gary Catrambone, who has been the target of the investigations by Duff into corruption involving Delran’s government. Catrambone released a statement on January 4th of this year where he said “I have personally requested an audit by the State Comptroller and a review by the State Ethics Board.”, a statement that was only compelled by Duff’s investigations into the Township.
The day after the Mayor called for his own investigation the political hit blog was created against Duff, with the very first story claiming he stole money from a memorial that Duff lobbied the township of Maple Shade to install that was dedicated to Martin Luther King, and two days later the blog posted a story that claimed Duff was faking his very real cancer to steal money from other cancer patents.
Months have gone by since the blog was published, with Duff thinking nonstop about how to bring the blogger to justice, which happened yesterday after Duff devised a plan that would prove the bloggers identity. It was only hours after Duff figured out how to identify the blogger ,and shared it with Delran officials, that Mitchell was terminated. Mitchell, who claims to have consulted an attorney, released her own very odd, and very long, statement regarding her getting fired, where she claimed that someone set her up, and also makes strange comments about “waiting in the tall grass”.
Council President Tyler Burrell released a short statement yesterday that simply said “Please be advised that WLMitchell Consulting is no longer Delran Township’s Communicator Director. In the interim, all communication will be handled by the Administrator and his office.”, yet nothing has been said since.
We now await an official statement from the Township of Delran regarding the extremely controversial situation, which will just be one more chapter in what has been dubbed, The Delran Debacle. (Netflix series soon to come.)