East Penn Press

Saturday, July 22, 2017

EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT Public calls for Julian Stolz to resign

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 by PETER MCCONNELL Special to The Press in Local News

The public is clamoring for the resignation of Julian Stolz from the East Penn Board of School Directors based on his recently revealed history of dating underage girls and using an account on a teen dating website to meet them.

Stolz, a regularly lambasted director and often controversial public figure, was asked to resign by three district parents and a concerned citizen from Bethlehem at the board's meeting Oct. 14. No public action was taken by the board and no comment was made on the flagrant remarks flung at Stolz from the public podium.

The 25-year-old director is in his second term and has no intention of resigning, he says, but no intention either of running for a third term.

In his blog, The Stolz Report, Stolz admitted to using his profile on TeenSpot.com to interact with teenaged girls. He says the last time he had a date with someone from the site was two years ago, and she was "19 or 20." Screenshots posted online at a parody site, thestolzreport on Wordpress, show Stolz in a shirtless profile picture, and that the account was inactive for 340 days.

According to his blog, the TeenSpot account was active since 2005 or 2006 up until last year. Stolz made his move to delete the account when he learned "it was about to used against [him]" but not before someone who calls herself "Anna Karina" captured screenshots and posted them online. Stolz maintains he did nothing wrong or illicit but calls his decision to retain the TeenSpot account "an error in judgment." It was not clear how Stolz had interacted with Karina from that point.

In 2008 when Stolz was 20, he met his current girlfriend, Sahrin Holderman, then a student at Emmaus High School, at an end-of-term party with some mutual friends. She was 15 and they dated for four months. Stolz says her parents were fully aware of his age and position and gave their consent. They broke up and remained so until last May, a period of time Stolz regrets only as a missed opportunity of spending time with Holderman because he chose to remain in his seat on the board instead.

Between 2009 and 2011 Stolz was dating another girl who was 16 when they met, and he freely admits in a blog post he was unfaithful to her but asserts he had no relations with anyone under the age of 18.

Jessica Hughes, a parent of three children, one in the district, addressed Stolz first Monday evening. "Mr. Stolz himself openly admits to…numerous behaviors that I as well as others would deem inappropriate and inexcusable for a professional in a leadership position such as a school board member."

Hughes says the worst part is Stolz isn't appearing to take the issue seriously, treating it as a joke in his blog and on his Twitter account, @TheStolzReport. "There's a party tonight, and I'll be here!" Stolz tweeted on Monday.

Hillary Smith, of Macungie, called Stolz's behavior "a gross neglect of his duties as a school director," and asked that he "please save the rest of us from exposure to your disgusting behavior."

Justin Burkhardt, of Bethlehem, railed Stolz as "disgusting and immoral," that he "should never be allowed around children again," and said of Stolz, "He's a threat to the community and needs to be voted out to get the help that he deserves," (followed by applause). "A real man would resign," Burkhardt said. After the meeting, Burkhardt again approached Stolz, who insisted he had done nothing wrong and refused to resign.

Stolz apologized to his fellow board members for "the three ring circus that some things in my past have caused tonight."

At present, Pennsylvania has no mechanism for removing an elected official by voter request. A state officer may be removed from office for conviction of an infamous crime, misbehavior in office or reasonable cause. Robert's Rules of Order, by which the board operates, also makes provision for the governing body to discipline a member who has done something that may be damaging to the body. This is called a censure and must be reached by majority vote. The member in question may defend himself in discussion but cannot vote on it. The censure is merely a reprimand, though, and an indication by the governing body that it does not condone or approve the member's illicit action.

The East Penn Board of Directors did not give any indication it would publicly censure Stolz or file a complaint with the attorney-general or senate, the first step in a process that might see him removed.