College trustee in racist tweet flap takes leave after 'death threat'

A trustee at a New Jersey college says he’s taking a leave of absence while authorities investigate a death threat linked to racist tweets on his Twitter account, which he claims was hacked.

Brookdale Community College Trustee Joseph DiBella claims he’s “under attack” by the faculty association at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft and the Asbury Park Press for allegedly “liking” tweets that used a racial slur and referred to President Obama as a “monkey.” In a letter to the newspaper posted Sunday, DiBella maintains his account was hacked and claims he’s turned over evidence to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office to back that up.

“To be clear, I did not ‘like’ the racially charged tweets I have been accused of,” DiBella wrote in a letter to the newspaper. “I have been steadfast from the beginning of this smear campaign that my account was hacked and compromised and I have turned over to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office evidence that substantiates that.”

DiBella, 47, claims he’s been unfairly “tarred” as a bigot since reports on the tweets surfaced. Students from the college’s newspaper, The Stall, called for DiBella’s resignation last month after it found as many as 36 “clearly wrong” tweets that were written on or “liked” by a Twitter account under his name dating back to 2014. Some of the posts included derogatory comments about Obama and transgendered people, staffers told the Asbury Park Press.

Read more at New York Post.