The Sad Case of the Blue Undies

Peering into a shop window on Main Street in Medford last week, I was taken aback by a blown-up photograph of what appeared to be my town’s mayor, Chris Myers, lounging in nothing but a pair of blue Calvin Klein briefs. The photo is at the heart of the latest sex scandal to bubble up in New Jersey politics.

According to news reports, the scandal dates back to a trip Myers made to California in October 2010. An anonymous individual—who claims to be a male escort from the listing service Rentboy.com—started a website last month with photos allegedly taken of the mayor after a clandestine sexual encounter. Supposedly, Myers promised the guy a car and “other gifts.” When the mayor didn’t deliver, the Rentboy sought retribution, posting the suggestive photo along with pictures of Myers’ township ID card and mayoral badge on the website, which is now frozen.

Myers, a Republican, denies the accusations and questions the legitimacy of the photo. “I’ve been down that road before, where a photo has been Photoshopped to look like something it wasn’t,” he told the Burlington County Times, adding that someone could have accessed his luggage after sneaking into his hotel room to take photos of him while he slept.

“I just don’t know,” Myers told the newspaper. “There are crazy people and I’m not going to justify craziness.”

The incident has garnered national attention, including a jab by Jay Leno during one of his monologues and a “worst person” designation by liberal TV host Keith Olberman.

Despite local outrage, Myers, the married father of two, insists that he won’t resign, and that the next regular township council meeting will proceed as planned.

Even if the allegations against Myers are proven false, the damage is already done. It’s another sad, morale-bruising chapter for South Jersey.

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