North Haledon Mayor, Police Chief Cleared For Generator Use
A mayor who used two borough generators to keep the refrigerators going at his ice cream parlor following Superstorm Sandy did nothing wrong, a special council investigation found, concluding it let him focus his time on helping the borough.
An investigative panel cleared both Mayor Randy George and Police Chief Robert Bracco of any wrongdoing for their use of borough-owned generators in the days after Sandy.
It said there was no intention by the mayor or chief to use their official positions to provide an unwarranted benefit for themselves.
Sandy left about 80 percent of the town's homes and businesses without power for nearly a week.
George used two generators for two days to keep refrigerators running at his ice cream shop. Bracco used a generator for one night at his home in Wayne, where his elderly mother was staying.
Councilman Bruce Iacobelli, who chaired the investigation, told The Record the actions by the mayor and chief were understandable given that the small town was caught in a huge emergency.
"The mayor and the chief were doing the best they could to take care of themselves, so they could take care of the public," Iacobelli said.
Critics say the scope of the investigation was limited.
New Jersey laws regarding official misconduct prohibit public officials from using the powers of their office for their own personal benefit.
The investigative panel recommended that the council establish rules for the future personal use of borough equipment.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)