Atlantic City mayor neutered — Murphy administration runs the show
ATLANTIC CITY — Mayor Frank Gilliam, who is under federal investigation, is effectively mayor in name only after state officials exerted full operational control of the embattled city's administration.
City Council President Marty Small Sr. announced the action by the state Department of Community Affairs during Wednesday's City Council meeting, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Small told WPG Talk Radio 104.1 host Harry Hurley that the decision to take over day-to-day operations came from Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who is the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
"We gonna be making all the decisions," Small said he was told by Oliver.
Small said Gilliam cannot hire or fire personnel or spend any money.
Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Affairs, told New Jersey 101.5 that nothing has changed about the state's involvement in the city's operations. The state began oversight during the Christie administration as the resort community faced bankruptcy.
"The state has always been in charge under the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act (MSRA). Regarding Council President Small’s statement yesterday, it was said in specific reference to a question from the public about the council president’s compensation proposal for city employees, which we are still evaluating. The council president was just reminding people that the state is the ultimate decision maker and administrator of day-to-day functions in the city. The state continues to exercise its full MSRA powers as it has all along."
Gilliam has had legal trouble on two fronts during the last two months of the year. In early December, the FBI raided Gilliam's home and carted away boxes and computer equipment. No charges have been filed as a result of the raid and authorities have been tight-lipped about it.
Gilliam and Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy were issued Municipal Court summonses charging harassment and simple assault as a result of an incident in the early morning hours of Nov. 12. The Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, which handled the criminal case, declined to press charges in the case.
Small said that the het meets with the city administration and Department of Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner Rob Long every other week to discuss city issues. Gilliam was present at Wednesday's scheduled meeting, according to Small.