The Essex County Prosecutor’s Official Corruption Unit last Wednesday served warrants on the Township of Belleville’s for certain municipal records.
Last Thursday, Kevin Esposito, the township’s interim manager, disputed published reports characterizing the process as a “raid,” saying that the investigators called in advance to advise which documents were needed.
“Our attorney, Tom Murphy, talked to the prosecutor and everything was handled in a very cooperative manner,” Esposito said.
It took “less than an hour” to produce all the records that were sought, according to Esposito, who declined to enumerate them but advised The Observer to file an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request to get that information. The Observer filed such a request but, as of press time, the information had not yet been received.
Calls to Township Attorney Tom Murphy and Mayor Ray Kimble were not returned but one person reportedly familiar with the county probe said that at least some of the records requested involved overtime in the Public Works Department.
Local members of the Hudson County Democratic Committee were scheduled to vote Feb. 17 for one of three nominees to fill the First Ward seat on the Kearny Town Council vacated by the resignation of Alexa Arce on Jan. 5.
The winner will serve through the November general election, at which point an election will be held to determine who will fill the seat for the two years remaining in Arce’s unexpired term.
The three nominees are Marytrine DeCastro, Sonia Hill and Jenny Mach.