Today is the 80th Anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition of alcohol! Celebrate by having a drink of your choice today.
What is Repeal Day?
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars and taverns were vandalized. People were killed. On January 16th, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, outlawing alcohol and ostensibly putting an end to drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty.
Ironically, America's thirst for alcohol increased during Prohibition, and organized crime rose up to replace formerly legal methods of production and distribution. While proponents of Prohibition argued that the amendment would be more effective if enforcement were increased, respect for the law diminished and drunkenness, crime and resentment towards the federal government ran rampant.
On Monday, April 8, 2013, I reported that Oaklyn Borough (Camden County) Councilman Ronald C. Aron, who also serves as a police officer in nearby Haddon Township, had sued in Superior Court to challenge a police disciplinary charge that had been lodged against him.
In the same blog entry, I also reported that Aron had settled his lawsuit and appeal with the Township and agreed to: a) plead guilty to "conduct detrimental to the good order of the police department," b) accept a 10 day unpaid, disciplinary suspension, c) forfeit 80 hours of accrued sick time and d) accept a "one year demotion from the rank of sergeant to patrol officer" which had already been served.
What I didn't know then, but have subsequently learned, is the nature of the conduct that caused the disciplinary action to be taken against Aron.
Something interesting is going on with the Wildwood Crest Police Department. I've been submitting Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests to try to find out what's going on, and this is what I've found out so far.
On October 24, 2013, the Wildwood Crest Board of Commissioners passed Resolutions 1131-13 and 1132-13, which, respectively, a) hired Joseph Beisel as a "special outside investigator for purposes of conducting an internal affairs investigation concerning employees administrative proceedings," and b) hired William G. Blaney, Esq. to perform some unspecified, but apparently related, services regarding the same investigation. Yet, according to Borough Clerk Janelle M. Holzmer's November 26, 2013 responsive e-mail "no contract was entered into for Mr. Beisel."
Mayor Carl Groon, and members of the
Wildwood Crest Borough Commission
Dear Mayor Groon and Commissioners:
In response to a recent Open Public Records Act request, I received redacted minutes from the Board's November 18, 2013 nonpublic (i.e. executive or closed session). I have placed these minutes on-line here.
I invite your attention to the sentence within the minutes that states that "[d]iscussion was also had regarding the hiring of a special investigator." As you know, this special investigator was hired to investigate a police internal affairs matter. The rumors circulating throughout the Borough are that the investigation relates to a police employee who has earned the rank of lieutenant or higher. Regardless of the truth of these rumors, this is a matter of great public interest and it's very important that there is sufficient information available so that Borough voters and taxpayers, at least at some point in the future, can understand the nature of the investigation and draw their own conclusions as to whether the Borough's elected and appointed officials acted reasonably.
John Paff was interviewed on Channel 9's "Chasing New Jersey" news program regarding the lack of transparency at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. This aired last night.
Steven J. Uccio and the New Jersey Libertarian Party invite you to give Heat for the Homeless!
In Lakewood, NJ there is a community of about 100 people who live in a wooded area called "Tent City." These people have no where else to go and are not asking for any assistance from the local government. They live in tents, shacks, and are supported by mostly private charity to better themselves.
Originally published at newjersey.watchdog.org - republished under agreement. Investigative reporting by Mark Lagerkvist.
Double-dipping Sheriff Michael Saudino will ride again in Bergen County at taxpayers’ expense.
Armed with $100,000 in campaign cash, Saudino outgunned Democratic challenger James Mordaga at the polls last week. The victory assures the sheriff of nearly $268,000 a year from public coffers – $138,000 in county salary plus $129,984 from pension as retired Emerson Township police chief – for another three-year term.
Not only that, but Saudino’s posse of four undersheriffs are also double-dippers. Together, the five officials rake in nearly $1.1 million a year – $583,000 in salaries plus $512,256 from pensions as retired cops.