Judge throws out Hawkins lawsuit in West Orange

Citing the statute of limitations, U.S. District Judge William J. Martini today moved to dismiss a complaint filed by Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., against the West Orange Police Department and the Township of West Orange.

"The Court finds that the applicable one- and two-year statutes of limitation indeed do bar plaintiff’s federal claims since they arise from Defendants’ conduct in mid-2004 while plaintiff waited until late 2007 to file this complaint," Martini wrote in his decision.

Hawkins, who was elected mayor of Orange on May 13, is on a leave of absence from his job as a patrolman with the West Orange Police Department.

The suit he filed against the West Orange Police Department and the township asserted that West Orange gave hiring and salary preferences to other officers based on their Irish heritage.

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Political battle stations stand up in Rone aftermath

NEWARK - Although its members can choose to leave the seat Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Politicker file photoNewark Mayor Cory Booker: Politicker file photovacant, the City Council has the statutory power to appoint an interim replacement for Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone.

At the moment there are no obvious candidates to replace her.

The street buzz all week in Newark was that Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow would back off from her recommendation that the book be thrown at Rone, who was convicted of obstructing justice and under the law had to renounce her council seat.

Dow did back off, issuing a letter to Essex County Judge Patricia Costello to waive forfeiture in Rone’s case.

North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato: Politicker file photoNorth Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato: Politicker file photoBut Costello didn’t see leniency as an option here, and barred Rone from serving on the council - and from serving elected office, period.

If Rone’s abrupt exit leaves the field of individuals open - and sources say former Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell may be interested in running for the vacant seat - there are two obvious machines with a stake in Newark’s second largest ward.

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Obama follows the beat of a different drum

Barack Obama has shifted his energy strategy after the McCain campaign pounced on comments Obama made about properly inflating our tires.

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Judge rules that Rone must surrender her council seat; denies request for stay

Judge rules that Rone must surrender her council seat; denies request for stay

NEWARK - An incident caught on police camera a year and a half ago proved the downfall of Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone, as Essex County Judge Patricia Costello on Tuesday morning decided that Rone would have to give up her office as a councilwoman.

"The state's request for a waiver of forfeiture is denied," said Costello, in response to an 11th hour letter sent to the judge by Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow, who reversed an earlier recommendation of forfeiture.

"I find that whether an individual is fit to serve public office is not sufficient reason to waive forfeiture," the judge said to one of the arguments offered by Rone’s lawyer, Raymond Hamlin.

Costello ruled that it is "abundantly clear" that on Dec. 20, 2006, Rone used her office to obstruct justice, and contributed to heightening emotions - not diffusing them - at a Rutgers University police traffic stop of her nephew.

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GOP activist launches 'Draft Lonegan' for governor organization

GOP activist Dan Gallic today announced that he is forming an organization to draft former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan to run for governor.

"Our goal is to create a situation where should Steve decide to run, there will be a grass-roots and finance organization already in place to secure him the Republican nomination," Gallic said in a release.

"Steve Lonegan’s conservative leadership is the reason he is the Republican Party’s premier leader when so many other ‘leaders’ have been asleep at the wheel," Gallic added. "No one in New Jersey has the record of accomplishment Steve Lonegan has built: from stopping McGreevey’s gasoline tax hike to defeating two ballot questions last November and the Corzine borrowing and toll hike scheme last Spring."

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Panel meets to determine Clean Elections future

An unofficial legislative committee will meet in two weeks to figure out the future of the state’s Fair and Clean Elections program, the status of which is in serious jeopardy.

The bill renewing the program, which was tested as a pilot project in 2005 and 2007, was pulled from consideration in June after both the programs’ backers and detractors raised concerns about the new legislation.

Last month it was dealt an even more serious setback, when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Davis v. Federal Election Commission, struck down the federal Millionaire’s Amendment, which allows out-funded candidates more leeway with campaign contribution limits. At the request of Assembly Democrats, the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) wrote an opinion stating that the Clean Elections program’s “rescue funds” – meant to give a boost to candidates facing attacks from an outside group or a well-funded opponent who opted out of the program – would likely be ruled unconstitutional under the Supreme Court precedent.

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With '09 mayor's race on horizon, Hoboken's Cammarano and Mason wage political war

At-Large Councilman Peter Cammarano: Politicker photoAt-Large Councilman Peter Cammarano: Politicker photo 

HOBOKEN - Even members of his inner circle swear that they don’t yet know whether Mayor Dave Roberts plans to run for a third term in 2009.

Whatever his intentions, other Hoboken diehards are surfacing. No one’s announced yet, but fierce political battles now will undoubtedly have political consequences next year in this city stung by the embarrassment of a state takeover of its finances.

There are all of the usual speculations surrounding possible candidates. A sighting of former Councilwoman Carol Marsh at a municipal meeting provokes the conclusion in come corners that she’s definitely running. A recent inundation of photos of Mayor Roberts on the Hoboken website prompts someone else to opine that Roberts is running - bet on it.

Businessman and neighborhood kid made good Frank "Pupie" Raia?

Of course, he’s running, say Hoboken insiders. He always runs, and no doubt he will perpetuate his longstanding animus this year with Councilman Michael Russo, who clubbed him last year in their 3rd ward showdown.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

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