- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Democratic mayoral candidate and councilwoman for the city of Belleville, N.J., is under fire after a forensics lab confirmed with “85 percent” certainty that she is the woman who spewed racial slurs in a recorded phone message, according to a report by the Star-Ledger.

Marie Strumolo Burke reportedly made the comments in a 2013 voice mail on Councilman Kevin Kennedy’s answering machine.

The voice mail is left by the former chairman of Belleville’s planning board, Sam Papa, who was apparently angry about changes to the town’s tax rates.

Toward the end of the message, a voice in the background thought to be Miss Burke’s can be heard screaming, “This is terrible. This is terrible. This is gonna be a [expletive] [N-word] town.”

Edward Primeau, the director of Primeau Forensics Lab where the recording was being investigated, told the Star-Ledger that he was “85 percent” sure the voice on the tape was Miss Burke’s after comparing it to public comments she made at recent town council meetings.

“It’s her. It’s the same person,” he said. “Her speaking style, her pacing. The delivery of all the words spoken in both samples are identical.”

The lab would only be able to confirm with 100 percent certainty if Miss Burke were to read the statements made on the phone call aloud.

Belleville Mayor Raymond Kimble, who will run against Miss Burke in June, said he will call for her resignation.

Miss Burke has remained firm in denying the allegations. She told the newspaper in an email: “I am outraged and I am ‘100% certain’ that Kimble’s fingerprints are all over this report. We don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to a laboratory to prove that these false accusations lead right back to Kimble.”

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