CLARK — It is the police union's turn to take Mayor Sal Bonaccorso to task over his racist comments.

Members of Clark PBA Local 125 took a unanimous "no confidence" vote following the release of audio recordings published by NJ.com that captured a myriad of racial slurs, comments, and misogynistic remarks that Bonaccorso admited making.

In a letter announcing the vote, members said they were “disheartened and outraged” by the Republican's "disgraceful" comments.

"His words reflect an attitude which has no place in our society, and more importantly, no place in a position of leadership nor elected office. We believe his disdain for people based on their gender or the color of their skin to be of the utmost concern and counterproductive to the very essence of the principles of our PBA and our profession,"  the letter says.

The union believes that Bonaccorso has "irreparably compromised his ability to supervise our membership and our Township."

“Our membership in attendance unanimously agreed that the mayor can not treat every member of ours equally and fairly based on the self-admitted comments he made regarding the gender and race that some of our very own members identify as. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that if we can not be certain that he will treat us all equally, we can not have faith in his ability to effectively lead us," PBA Local president Maz Elwardany told New Jersey 101.5.

Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso delivers an apology
Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso delivers an apology (Our Clark Township via YouTube)
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Enough is enough, union says

The union's tipping point about Bonaccorso was his participation in the Township Council meeting on Tuesday as the state Attorney General's Office has taken over the investigation of both Clark police and the mayor's comments.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, residents demanded Bonaccorso step down. Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. and Union County commissioners have already called for his resignation.

Short of a resignation, the union called for a suspension as is allowed under the township policy and procedures.

"Such a suspension is justified. We believe that Mayor Bonaccorso, by his statements, has conclusively demonstrated that his continued presence as Mayor is counterproductive to the effective direction of public services," the union says in its letter, adding that under state statutes, Business Administrator Jim Ulrich would take over as mayor.

Bonaccorso did not speak at the meeting and has not publicly addressed the comments beyond a pre-recorded apology in a nearly five-minute video.

The mayor on Monday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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The franchise was born in 1967, under the name the New Jersey Americans. They played their games in Teaneck as part of the American Basketball Association. One year later they moved to Long Island, becoming the New York Nets.

It was there the team won two ABA championships in 1973-74 and 1975-76. The very next year the Nets, along with three other basketball franchises, were absorbed into the NBA as part of a merger deal, abolishing the ABA. 

When the Nets first moved to New Jersey, they played their home games at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. Then in 1981, they moved into the home many of us remember them in the most, the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford (later named the Continental Airlines Arena, then Izod center). 

After years of losing, The Nets made it to two straight NBA Finals in 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2002-03, the final time they sniffed the championship, the team lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

It would be the last time the Nets sniffed the title, but their efforts added them to New Jersey lore forever.

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