As reported by The, an employee at private halfway house Albert “Bo” Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center, better known simply as Bo Robinson, is again being accused of having inappropriate sexual relations with an inmate.

This is the second time since June a Bo Robinson worker was terminated for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with an inmate, according to The Trentonian.

The employees, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said the affair took place when the supervisor visited New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) inmate Samantha the inmate at a Ewing restaurant recently. The inmate was employed at the restaurant under the halfway house’s work release program.

The workers claimed the supervisor would ask to speak to the inmate outside because she was her counselor. The pair would then hang out in the supervisor’s vehicle where the alleged sexual relations occurred and drugs were exchanged, the employees said.

The inmate, 22, purportedly tested positive for a substance when she returned to the halfway house, and that’s when the relationship surfaced.

In fear of being returned to jail, the inmate spilled her beans about the romantic involvement with the supervisor to the halfway house’s authorities. A photo of the pair was also allegedly recovered from the inmate’s locker, the employees said.

“The supervisor was walked and escorted out the door on Wednesday,” one of the workers said. “This is gross misconduct on behalf of the employee.”

Both NJDOC and Community Education Centers (CEC), the service provider at Bo Robinson which employed the supervisor, declined comment on the incident, citing an ongoing investigation. NJDOC contracts inmates to the 982-bed facility as they approach their release date.

Despite concerns from workers, CEC spokesman Charles Seigel said the appropriate authorities were notified. He said NJDOC’s Special Investigation Division was contacted “the day (the company) discovered this.”

“Once we contact them, it’s out of our hands,” Seigel added.

The for-profit company spokesman, however, was unable to provide the exact day the agency was notified.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office only learned of the alleged sexual relationship after being contacted by The Trentonian for comment.

Jennifer Downing, chief of the Special Victims Unit, said Tuesday the agency would “follow up” on the situation.

Bo Robinson drew similar publicity back in June when Lamar Norman, a Bo Robinson counselor, was charged allegedly performing unwanted oral sex on an inmate during an elevator ride after a police investigation.

The owner of the Ewing restaurant where the more recent misconduct is alleged to have occurred blames the private halfway house’s lack of communication for the issues.

“Nobody comes out to talk to me anymore,” he said of the halfway house. “Nobody returns my phone calls. Nobody returns my emails. We lost contact, that’s why this problem is building.”

Bo Robinson has recently been subject to several unfavorable news stories involving allegations of employee misconduct or inaction.  In April of this year, The Trentonian reported that drug abuse inside the halfway house was allegedly widespread and “uncontrollable.” Then in June of this year, Mercer County pulled all its inmates out of the institution due to what it described as “facility mismanagement.”



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Photo of Donald C. Barbati Donald C. Barbati

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues…

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues litigated before the courts and administrative tribunals throughout the State of New Jersey. In addition, Mr. Barbati also routinely represents individuals in various types of public pension appeals, real estate transactions, and general litigation matters. He is a frequent contributor to the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog, a free legal publication designed to keep New Jersey public safety officers up-to-date and informed about legal issues pertinent to their profession. During his years of practice, Mr. Barbati has established a reputation for achieving favorable results for his clients in a cost-efficient manner.

Mr. Barbati has also handled numerous novel legal issues while representing New Jersey Public Safety Officers. Most notably, he served as lead counsel for the Appellants in the published case In re Rodriguez, 423 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2011). In that case, Mr. Barbati successfully argued on behalf of the Appellants, thereby overturning the Attorney General’s denial of counsel to two prison guards in a civil rights suit arising from an inmate assault. In the process, the Court clarified the standard to be utilized by the Attorney General in assessing whether a public employee is entitled to legal representation and mandated that reliance must be placed on up-to-date information.

Prior to becoming a practicing attorney, Mr. Barbati served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Linda R. Feinberg, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage. During his clerkship Mr. Barbati handled numerous complex and novel substantive and procedural issues arising from complaints in lieu of prerogative writs, orders to show cause, and motion practice. These include appeals from decisions by planning and zoning boards and local government bodies, bidding challenges under the Local Public Contract Law, Open Public Records Act requests, the taking of private property under the eminent domain statute, and election law disputes. In addition, Mr. Barbati, as a certified mediator, mediated many small claims disputes in the Special Civil Part.

Mr. Barbati received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, magna cum laude, from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Upon graduating, Mr. Barbati attended Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. In 2007, he received his juris doctorate, magna cum laude, graduating in the top five percent of his class. During law school, Mr. Barbati interned for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas, Senior United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, assisting on various constitutional, employment, and Third Circuit Court of Appeals litigation, including numerous civil rights, social security, and immigration cases.