TOMS RIVER — A Toms River School Board member that is catching national attention for all of the wrong reasons now has a petition to vindicate him of any wrongdoing, which was shared to the "Team Leonard" Facebook page.

After Daniel Leonard was involved in a road rage incident and crude behavior on social media, Board President Joe Nardi asked for his resignation.

Leonard declined and stated that he would be more cautious with what he posts on his social media accounts.

In April, Leonard posted an image portraying U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and a headline that asserted she called "for hunger strikes to end ICE" and then added the personal caption, "My life would be complete if she/they die..."

In another post, also in April, Leonard shared a video that featured U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., with a personal caption, "Terrorist... 100%."

Leonard also made derogatory references to Sharia Law.

The petition, started by user Chris Borino, wishes to exonerate Lenoard of any wrongdoing and states that he, "has been the subject to a witch-hunt perpetrated by an extremist group intent on tarnishing Mr. Leonard's sterling reputation as a military hero and selfless, unpaid civil servant."

The petition claims that in signing it, you will pledge support for free speech and Daniel Leonard himself, "Mr. Leonard has been the target of a coordinated international campaign to disparage his integrity and fitness for his position on the school board which government organizations have been tied to known terrorists."

None of the claims alleged in the description of the petition can be validated by Townsquare Media News.

Leonard recently posted a video of Brigitte Gabriel, an anti-Islam speaker. He also criticized previous reporting from WOBM. 

The petition currently has just under 250 signatures, and a rally has been planned.

Editors note: due to the circumstances, and the nature of the petition and rally, links have been omitted from this article.

Vin Ebenau and Erin Vogt contributed to this report.

Mark Anthony is a reporter for Townsquare Media: Mark.Kowalski@townsquaremedia.com

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