Acting Hamilton Township Mayor Kevin Meara has fired Business Administrator John Ricci in a move that does not sit well with the township council.
Meara, who took office Wednesday in the wake of the resignation of former Mayor John Bencivengo, will hold the post for no more than 30 days.
Ricci's firing has fueled an already contentious relationship between Meara and fellow Republican Council members.
"This is an outrageous abuse of power by a mayor who will be there less than 30 days," said Councilman Dave Kenny, who has feuded with Meara in the past. "He has no support from anyone on the council for these actions and the council no longer has any faith or trust in him."
Rumors have swirled today that other firings are imminent and Meara has scheduled a press conference for 1:30 p.m.
Bencivengo resigned last week after he was convicted of taking a bribe in exchange for an offical action. Bencivengo reportedly took a $12,400 bribe in exchange for helping a local insurance broker maintain a contract with the township school board. As council president, Meara took over the post for a maximum of 30 days, while the local Republican Committee chooses three potential candidates to serve until the township holds a special election next November.
Council woman Kelly Yaede is said to be the front-runner for the job and the committee is scheduled to meet Friday to choose the three names.
After weeks of speculation, the direction of the Newark mayoral race may take an important turn today as prominent members of the Payne political family gather at Newark's Robert Treat Hotel at 11:30 a.m.
The campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has called a press conference at which both U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) and Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne will be present.Read More >
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