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N.J. High Court to Consider Conflict Over Mayor-Police Job

Associated Press

November 24, 2010

WILDWOOD – The New Jersey Supreme Court is expected to consider whether someone can simultaneously serve as a police officer and mayor in the same municipality.

Wildwood Mayor Gary DeMarzo contends he should be allowed to do both as long as he’s on unpaid leave from the force, but an appeals court ruled otherwise, forcing him to choose between jobs.

DeMarzo was elected to the Wildwood City Commission in May 2007 while he was working as a police officer. He became mayor in 2009.

Former Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. and former Commissioner Bill Davenport challenged DeMarzo’s job status, claiming multiple conflicts of interest.

DeMarzo told the Press of Atlantic City that he was happy the high court would hear the case.

He said restrictions that would prevent municipal employees from holding elected office while on a leave of absence “preclude a segment of the population from getting involved” in their government.

“I know it’s a bigger issue than Gary DeMarzo,” he said.

Attorney Matthew Priore, who represented Wildwood in its initial case against DeMarzo, has said that if DeMarzo had remained a city employee, despite the leave of absence, “he would have control over [his superiors’] jobs, their duties, and their compensation and simultaneously be under their command on a daily basis.”

New Jersey law does not prohibit dual office-holding by an employee and commissioner in the same town, but no law expressly permits it. Wildwood argued that the two offices should be deemed incompatible.

“I don’t think that you can honestly do both,” Troiano said. “I think, for the good of all governments, no employee that is on the books should be a commissioner or council person.”

No date has been set for the Supreme Court to hear arguments in the case.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Anonymous is now gone!!!!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    HEYSARGE made the following comments in reference to a 15 year old Asian boy, Henry Dang, who was killed by an off duty officer. Witnesses said the officer had been drinking all day and there is allegations responding officers, including the off duty officers own father, hindered the investigation of one of their own.
    Here is HEYSARGE's comments

    "Another one sided story......This is what I would like to know:

    1. Who caused the accident? ( Just because they allege speed and drunk driving does not mean this is the causation of the accident )
    2. Why was the 15 yr old riding his bike at midnight ?
    3. Was he wearing a helmet if required?
    4. Did the bicyclist leave a point of safety into the path of the vehicle?
    5. Did the bicyclist have a front facing head light?
    6. Did the bicyclist have all the require rereflector for proper night operation ?
    7. What was the bicyclist conduct prior to the accident, what had he been doing? Drugs or alcohol on board?
    8. What's the parent's responsibility for not having proper supervision and having their son on a bicycle at midnight?
    I guess I could go on but won't, I guess the media just is happy as a lark to bash an off duty police officer!!
    I'm not saying the off duty officer should not take responsibility for what ever actions that contributed to this tragic loss of life but I'm just tired of a one sided story................Gee"

    I noticed these comments about policelink after the following story FYI

    You know some of your policelink members have a rep for making really hateful comments...You guys should really clean it up. Dumping HEYSARGE would be a good start

    This email is just my opinion

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This person sounds like he is on a real power trip. I see a peck of problems with this set up. No way.

  • Aaa_max50


    over 3 years ago


    No one who runs for public office needs to have their previous position retained by taking a leave of absence to assume the elected position. Mayors and commissioners make laws, Police Officers and Chiefs enforce these laws. Conflict of interest.

  • Me_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This is a badly written article. "New Jersey law does not prohibit dual office-holding by an employee and commissioner in the same town, but no law expressly permits it." What? Simple there is no law against his holding the position. Since when do we need laws giving permission to do things? Given that he has taken a leave of absence from the police force, he does not work at the police department until that leave of absence is over. In many cases the individual CAN"T go back to work until the leave of absence has ended. He has already served as a Commissioner with no complaints. This is similar to the situation that reservists or National Guardsmen, when the military senior works for the military junior. It is not that uncommon. The real issue is a mayor who didn't like losing and is vindictively trying to take away the winner’s accumulated retirement and benefits. Simply a waste of time.

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 3 years ago


    He needs to decide where he thinks he can do the most good.

  • Thinker_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Can't have your cake and eat it too! Make up your mind, Police or Politics...

  • American_flag_eagle_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sounds like a conflict of interest.

  • Vpsomourningband_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump Irishcop1961

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sounds like Mr. DeMarzo needs to make a decision here .....

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Yeah, you can't really be a boss and a low-level employee at the same time. He needs to choose one or the other. Leave of absence doesn't cut it. He would have to quit his LEO job and then re-apply for it after he is done playing Mayor. If he is a good cop then he should have no problem being re-hired.

  • Policememorial---a_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I agree. DeMarzo needs to make up his mind about which job he feels he could better serve his community and do that one. Be a cop or be the mayor but not both.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Not a good position..................

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Had this in my town with a paid firefighter. Its a conflict of interest and he resigned from the city counsel. Fighting this is another example of a waste of taxpayers money.

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