By Max Pizarro | October 28th, 2011 - 4:24pm
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Clerk's race gets brutal in Bergen as Dems' attack on Randall triggers GOP backlash on Ganz

Bergen County Democrats just went nuclear on Clerk Liz Randall, claiming to be at the verge of firing off a letter to Attorney General Paula Dow to open an investigation into whether Randall violated the law when she reported on her county time-sheets that she was working but was seen at her family’s law office and at home during the work day.

Republicans, who have quietly rejoiced at internal polls they say show their county candidates ahead, bubbled over with laughter at what they identify as Democrat desperation.

In all-mighty Bergen County – biggest and richest county in the state – Democrats said Randall’s car is not often parked in her county parking spot. They picked out Oct. 13th of this year, in which they say Randall stated on her payroll sheets that she worked a full eight-hour day but was seen at home and at her former law office.

“In recent weeks, an employee of the County Clerk's Office came forward stating that Lisa Randall was not seen at work more than 2 to 3 days per week,” said Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato. “We began to check into this claim and verified that rarely was her car parked in her assigned parking spot.  In the subsequent weeks we were able to attain physical proof that Ms. Randall was not working the hours she claimed.

“We are calling on the Attorney General to investigate how widespread this violation of the public trust is,” the chairman added. “I firmly believe the accounts coming from within the Clerk’s office are accurate.  Ms. Randall has been claiming to work hours that she was not working since her appointment January 1, 2011.”

GOP Spokesman Thom Ammirato identified the Dems’ Dow rattling as a desperate attempt to manufacture an issue where none exists.

“They can’t attack Lisa on anything substantial, so they are reaching at straws,” Ammirato said. “No one works harder at her job than Elizabeth Randall. No one is more qualified.  She has lowered costs at the clerk’s office, modernized it and started green initiatives.  She is supremely qualified for the job, much more so than (Democrat challenger) John Hogan who is desperate to get back into office after being rejected by the voters last year – in part  because in his first two meetings after being sworn in as freeholder, he voted for $60 million in new bonding... plunging the county further in debt.

“The fact that they allege they are following Ms. Randall around is itself an indictment of Democratic desperation tactics,” the spokesman added. “And it’s troubling. She was seen at her law office by whom? Another Democratic Party functionary?  Is that what passes for evidence today?  Should we hire a body guard to protect Ms. Randall?”

But Stellato not only wants Randall investigated. He wants her to draw the blinds, pack her bags and vacate her office.

“Ms. Randall has failed the residents of Bergen County and should immediately resign her position,” the chairman said. “Her lack of attendance in the office and the revelations of widespread mistakes with her Department warrant her resignation.”

Randall makes $140,000 a year as County Clerk and was appointed to the position in January by Kathe Donovan after Donovan was elected County Executive and resigned as Clerk. She headlines a county GOP ticket intent on eradicating Democratic leaders from the county building.

“The AG’s office should be investigating (incumbent) Freeholder David Ganz and what he knew about the mortgage fraud scheme that was going on right under his nose at the BCIA,” Ammirato shot back. “That federal  investigation resulted in the BCIA executive director pleading guilty and as far as we know, the federal investigation  is still going on – but I haven’t heard Mr. Stellato mention that. Where was Mr. Stellato  when the Democratic controlled BCIA was giving away millions in fees to Democrat donors – all documented by the Record.

“Mr. Stellato should stop wasting people’s time with this political grandstanding and start trying to defend his party’s abysmal tax record. The Democrats  raised county taxes by $130 million in 8 years and put the county a billion dollars in debt and became the patronage capital of North Jersey.”

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

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