Friday, February 21, 2014

A Community Reacts to Friday's Newest Televised Scandal

WABC 7 broke the latest embarrassing  news during it's 5PM hour. Within hours hundreds more residents had seen the video link posted on all of our many Facebook forums. The sense of shock and outrage was felt by nearly everyone, Most residents have shared there reactions on the Citizens of Bloomfield Facebook page. Here's a selection of comments from Bloomfield's smaller forums that many may have missed:
What is going on in our town? Between the police department and the town council it sounds like Bloomfield is really falling apart. I saw on Eyewitness news about the cops that were arrested.
Jeanne Talamini DuChemin Internal Affairs needs a thorough cleaning out. And who was in charge at the time?? Chief Goul & Captain Behr.
Bill Sluk Makes me start to question Behr's claims about Bernard. How can we trust anyone in the BPD?
Maria Probst I think each situation is different Bill is just now everything is coming out...wonder if we will ever know the true story in what has transpired now or in the past...
Judy Cardona this video could be the reason the chief stepped down...U behr was put in his place u can't blame him when this happened BEFORE he was placed...this is an older case...

  • Susana Sotillo Unbelievable! Who can we trust in this town
  • Karen Banda No one it seems. What a freaking mess this place is. PD, HD, BoH...what the hell else? Where the hell are/were the mayor and council and the MANY TA's we've had? Our tax dollars at work at the local, state and federal level.

  • Donna Donofrio-Paterson Falsifying records SMH!!! This town disgusts me 
  • Brown Santa ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL!!! i hope he sues everyone involved; especially the prosecutors for their lack of due diligence!


Pat Ritchings   Unbelievable

Noreen Flaherty Reyes  Disgusted.

  • Ben Morse @#%!!
  • Peggy Jurow Holy smokes!
  • Bibi Zizic Bell Wow. Speechless.
  • Derrick Miller The Attorney Stephen Brown, is one of my clients and a close friend as well. I also have known one of the police officer, Orlando, since he joined the police force. Very disturbing to say the least for this to happen in Our town!!

  • Sandra Cummins I just saw this on the news! It's one embarrassment after another in Bloomfield lately. Not the town it used to be.
    Noreen Flaherty Reyes I also saw this earlier on the news. At a loss for words. I'm so glad for the dash cams in that this man could've faced prison time.
  • Pat Gilleran Checking on how long the 3 police have been working in our Township - Orlando Trinidad (also charged with assault) made $96,180 per year in 2012 as did Sean Courter who was also indicted.
    In 2012 the salary of a 5th year police officer and above was $89,749 so these officers have been around for a while. Will we see and Internal Affairs investigation into their cases to see if this has happened before?
  • Then there was this comment on ABC 7 reporter Sarah Wallace's Facebook page:
  • "Every time I do a story about evidence not being turned over to defense attorneys, it makes me furious. I hear it over and over. And this story also highlights why dashcams should be rolling in every police vehicle that makes a car stop. Last session, the New Jersey legislature passed a bill mandating them; Governor Christie vetoed it. It's been re-introduced. It protects everybody: both drivers and cops. No brainer."
  • Questions remain about the timing of the indictments that may never be answered:

  • Were they expedited by the new mayor who works full time for Essex County in Newark?
  • Were the revelations by Acting Chief Behr timed to rally police officers and put pressure on the council to appoint him before the indictments?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vet-Gate Linked to Latest Corruption Mess

As we indicated in our latest post, Acting Chief of Police James Behr's challenge to Bloomfield's Town Council has had the side effect of dampening the feud between Bloomfield's two police unions: the Police Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. While officers throughout NJ and beyond are urging their brethren to support Behr at Tuesday's Conference Meeting(now officially moved to the larger chamber in Town Hall), a local spokesman for the FOP is reminding their followers that the PBA dispute by veterans McCracken and Cartegena has not been forgotten:

"We hope that Bernard is disciplined and that Bloomfield also looks into who has let this behavior go on for so long and disciplines those individuals as well.
We're not sure why Behre continues to bring Cofone and Goul into the Behre/Bernard controversy. What's amusing is that we know for certain that the Bernard issue was going on while Goul was Chief and we were told he and Sierchio were well aware of it and let it go on.
We’re pretty sure that Ehrenburg "changed his mind" about Cofone about the time when both Cofone (1/17) and Sierchio (1/14) chose to make what we were told were staffing announcements with unauthorized FB posts (these posts are screen shot on our page, just go to the photos section to see them). Cofone’s post on FB prompted the Bloomfield PD to recirculate their social media policy that very same day (it was originally put in place in 2012, one would assume that these men in such positions of power would know their job’s policies and follow them- Sierchio’s latest violation of the policy happened this week). Cofone deleted his FB account shortly thereafter.
We are also pretty sure that according to policy, there will need to be a Chief’s test and normal procedure in place for Behre to actually be the official Chief of the Bloomfield PD.
We love how Behre says that “Goul had to leave because of political pressure.” Let’s remember that Goul was forced into retirement as was Sierchio (Mr. “Neutral Party”- ha!) because of the route they chose to take with the railroading of Hector and Michael. We cringe to think that Behre believed Goul and Sierchio acted accordingly with regard to Hector and Michael.
Personally, we think that both Sierchio and Goul should have been terminated vs. allowed to retire and collect their pensions (remember when they suspended Hector and Michael pending termination--- WITHOUT PAY? We do!).
We also feel that Bernard should be disciplined. There has been far too much corruption going on for far too long. And, don’t even get us started on Ehrenburg. He’s sat by and let too much go on for too long. Maybe Q1 will be a turning point for Bloomfield. We can only hope. Way too much to think about on a snowy Saturday. Tuesday's meeting will be interesting for sure."
Mayor Venezia appeared to be encouraging an even bigger turnout on Tuesday with his latest tweet:
  "... good results will come at tomorrow night council meeting, hope you can make to show support of Vets #BloomfieldNJ"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Former Mayor Blasts New Mayor for Suspension of Police Chief

As Bloomfield braces for yet another blizzard, it was announced tonight that yet another police department head has been suspended from his job.  At Monday's town council meeting, acting Police Chief James Behr used the public comment period to publicly accuse 3rd Ward Councilman Carlos Bernard of attempting to trade several favors in order to insure the councils appointment as permanent chief.

The decision to place Behr on paid leave was made by a Township Administrator whose position is also considered shaky. TA Ted Ehrenburg is one of four to hold the post in about as many years.

The suspension was explained by Mayor Michael Venezia as due to "health concerns", but this was challenged by Behr who told the Star Ledger ...."instead of taking my concerns seriously and forward them to the Attorney General's Office, they relieve me of my duties."

Complicating the situation is the suspection that the Star Ledger was apparently tipped off by a Behr supporter, well in advance of the meeting, of his plan to speak. The state's largest daily newspaper has not covered a local council meeting in several years.

A few hours after the suspension announcement, former Mayor Raymond McCarthy took to Facebook to challenge the new mayor for sanctioning the TA's action. "....this reeks of the machine rejecting those who dare to differ with them."  He urged Bloomfield residents and police to "pack the Chambers" at next Tuesday's council meeting.