NJ councilman hit with criminal charge after calling 911 on mayor, chief
PHILLIPSBURG — Democrats are calling on Town Council President Frank McVey to resign after he called 911 on the mayor and police chief when they did not respond to his messages.
Frank McVey, a Republican who works as the security manager for the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, asked police on Friday to perform a “welfare check” on the mayor and police chief because the township business administrator didn't respond to his OPRA request, according to Warren County Prosecutor James Pfeiffer.
He sent an email to a number of town employees saying that if he didn't hear from anyone about the request by 6 p.m. he would call police "asking for an officer to come to my house and to give me and answer on this inquiry," according to Pfeiffer.
Under state law, the township has seven business days to respond to an OPRA request.
When McVey did not hear from anyone on the day that he filed the request, he called 911 and requested the check, according to Pfeiffer. He told the responding officer he wanted to make sure the town was safe and he was "in charge" since the town's leadership had not been heard from.
The officer told McVey that 911 was for emergencies only and offered to provide a non-emergency number, according to the prosecutor.
McVey was charged with fourth0degree false public alarms (misuse of 911 system) with a possible penalty of 18 months in prison.
The Phillipsburg Democratic Party called for McVey to resign and said police are stretched thin because of town council cuts to the department.
"The work our police department performs is simply too important to allow Mister McVey to distract them with this kind of spectacle. If this call was a prank, then it was profoundly misguided. If it was election-year grandstanding, then it was dangerous and irresponsible," the group wrote on its Facebook page.