Entries in Election 2017 (33)

Friday
Oct202017

Sex Scandal involving the County Prosecutor's office?

There are many residents of Sussex County who acknowledge that their local newspaper -- the New Jersey Herald -- is too chummy with county insiders on the Freeholder Board, SCMUA, and in county government.  Others disagree, but the Herald has shown a less than even-handed interest in certain stories.

For instance, the Herald has yet to cover the following story.  It concerns a major accusation of wrongdoing in Sussex County.  It appeared last month in The Record of Bergen County, its Passaic County affiliate, the Paterson Press, and on NorthJersey.com -- but not in the Herald.  The Herald must be aware of this, but have been silent on the subject.

Accusations surface in sexual assault case: Was it political pressure or police mishandling?

Abbott Koloff, Staff Writer, @AbbottKoloff Published 5:00 a.m. ET Sept. 29, 2017 | Updated 10:42 a.m. ET Sept. 29, 2017

The woman was getting divorced. The man told her he was in the midst of a breakup.

After a chance meeting over the winter, the two — who had known one another in high school — decided to meet for a drink. It was an opportunity to catch up and commiserate over failed relationships.

But that January night in a Sussex County bar has led to an immensely complicated case peppered with accusations of retaliation, political pressure and mishandling of the case by police.

An investigation, including a review of police and court records as well as interviews by The Record and NorthJersey.com, shows:

  • Sexual assault allegations were brought by the woman to the state police.
  • A trooper filed the charges in a municipal court; they were dismissed the next day in Superior Court, at the behest of the Sussex County prosecutor.
  • The woman, through the police union, claimed she was pressured by the Prosecutor's Office into dropping the charges.
  • The union strongly hinted that prosecutors were motivated by the defendant’s father being a “politically-appointed executive in Morris County.”
  • The Prosecutor's Office denied those accusations, saying that there wasn't enough evidence to pursue the case and suggesting that state police overstepped their authority in bringing the charges.

As a result of the tangled mess,17 state troopers have been reassigned; a labor grievance has been brought against state police officials; and the Sussex County Prosecutor this week released a detailed, two-page statement defending the office's handling of the case.

New Jersey State Police (Photo: File / NorthJersey.com)

Mike Bukosky, a police union attorney, said in an email that the troopers "used their training and experience to act 100 percent in good faith to assist and protect the parties involved."

Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch has denied that any members of his staff acted improperly or for "any alternative motive,"  and that they all sought “solely to uphold the law,” and always take into account "victims’ rights." He specified that none of his employees knew the defendant "or anyone in his family."

Sex assault alleged

The saga began when a woman, who The Record and Northjersey.com is not identifying, walked into the Sussex Station of the state police in Frankford on Jan. 31. Her claim: she was sexually assaulted nine days earlier in the parking lot of Boomer's Place, a bar in Hampton. 

A week later, after giving his own statement to police, the man she accused was arrested and charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

Ian M. Schweizer, 35, spent one night in the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility in Newton before records show the charges were dismissed and he was released.

Records also show he was living at the same Newton address as his father — Glenn Schweizer, who recently retired as the executive director of the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority.

The case hinged on what appear to be two very different statements about what happened in the early morning hours of Jan. 22 — each version laid out in affidavits signed by a state trooper, Justin DeLorenzo.

Ian M. Schweizer spent one night in the jail in Sussex County before charges against him were dismissed (Photo: Sussex County Sheriff's Office)

Schweizer told police that he and the woman were kissing in the parking lot of Boomer's and that she touched him sexually before he put his hands down her pants, according to an affidavit. DeLorenzo wrote that Schweizer said "he went too far by doing so and it upset the victim at which time the victim entered her vehicle” and “abruptly departed."

The woman, in an interview with The Record, said she knew Schweizer from when they were students at Kittatinny Regional High School years ago.

They planned to get together after a brief conversation during a recent chance meeting, she said, when she told him she had been going through a divorce and he told her he had a young daughter and also was going through the breakup of a relationship.

She said she “never touched him in a sexual way."

She told police she backed away when Schweizer tried to kiss her, according to court papers, and that he grabbed her as she told him to stop.

The affidavit said Schweizer "pushed her against the exterior of her vehicle and forced his hands down her pants" before she "screamed and pushed him away from her. She immediately entered her vehicle and fled.”

DeLorenzo wrote that Schweizer sent a text message to the woman a short time later, at 2:47 a.m. “Sorry if I got carried away,” it said.

“I told him he really scared me,” the woman told The Record.

DeLorenzo filed the related complaints and affidavits on Feb. 7 in the regional municipal court in Wantage.

Boomer's Place in Hampton Township (Photo: Abbott Koloff)

A prior arrest

The woman told The Record that she waited nine days before going to police because she was "in shock" and had been replaying the incident over and over in her mind.

The affidavit says she contacted a friend who worked at the bar shortly after the incident to tell her about it. She said in The Record interview that she decided to go to police because she became afraid after learning Schweizer recently had been arrested for violating a restraining order in Morris County.

Schweizer was charged on Dec. 31, 2016 with simple assault in a domestic violence case out of Mount Olive, where he had been living, according to court records.

He struck a woman in the leg "with an unknown instrument used as a weapon," police wrote in a criminal complaint. The woman suffered an unspecified injury and declined treatment, according to an incident report. Court records do not specify whether a child who lived at the home witnessed the incident but indicate that a child was "present."

In January, Schweizer was arrested twice, on the 18th and the 30th, for allegedly violating a restraining order, according to Morris County Jail records. The status of charges related to those arrests were unavailable this week.

Schweizer pleaded guilty to the simple assault charge on March 27 in Mount Olive municipal court, records show.

Troopers and prosecutors clash over sexual assault charges

In the Sussex case, DeLorenzo consulted with other troopers before filing the criminal complaints, according to the police union. Court records show a municipal judge, Glenn Gavan, found probable cause for the charges.

Bukosky, the union attorney, said that ruling indicated the judge found police actions "to be entirely appropriate.”

It is not clear, however, whether the judge knew that prosecutors had not approved the charges. Gavan did not respond to an email requesting comment.

Koch said his office declined to approve the sexual assault charges — and then moved to have them dismissed — because "the office did not believe there was sufficient evidence to establish probable cause."

That move set off a dispute between the two agencies.

The State Troopers Fraternal Order filed an amended unfair practice charge with the state Public Employment Relations Commission, known as PERC,  a little more than two weeks ago.

The complaint alleged that some troopers were improperly moved out of the Sussex barracks because they pursued the woman's sexual assault complaint against the wishes of prosecutors.

According to a union letter to the state, at least seven of the troopers had been based in that county. They included DeLorenzo, who filed the sexual assault charges in apparent defiance of prosecutors, and Darran Crane, a union representative.

Bukosky said this week that some of the 17 reassigned troopers were sent to Sussex County to replace disciplined officers.

The union said in the grievance that Schweizer's father had “political ties” but did not accuse him of taking any actions to intercede in this case on behalf of his son. It also characterized Schweizer's statement to police as a "confession."

Schweizer's attorney, Robert Schwartz, denied that characterization, saying it “was not a confession” and “did not fulfill the elements of the crime being charged.”

Schwartz also noted that a Superior Court judge later did not approve a request by the woman who made the accusations for a final order of protection, checking a box indicating the allegations had “not been substantiated.”

This week, Koch, the Sussex County prosecutor, took the unusual step of addressing the allegations in some detail, saying in a statement that he felt "compelled to respond" even though the labor complaint was directed at state police officials who disciplined the officers and not at his office.

He said he made the decision to drop the charges after reviewing affidavits and taped interviews. He also pointed to new legal requirements — part of the bail reform law that went into effect on Jan. 1 — requiring police to get an assistant prosecutor’s approval before filing charges for indictable offenses.

The prosecutor said during a Feb. 8 Superior Court hearing that his office wanted to “more fully investigate this matter,” according to a court transcript. This week, he said he doesn't anticipate filing charges in the case.

Superior Court in Newton, Sussex County (Photo: Abbott Koloff)

Explosive charges by the union

In its grievance, the union alleged that members of the Prosecutor’s Office tried to get the woman to agree with their decision to dismiss the charges, telling her the defendant was remorseful and “didn’t ‘fully’ rape her.” They added that a jury would not believe she would have been able to fight him off, as she told police, because he is 7-feet tall. Schweizer is 6-foot-7, according to court records.

“They were trying to get me to say it didn’t happen,” the woman said in her interview with The Record, adding that she filed a complaint against the Prosecutor's Office with the state Attorney General's Office. "I know the truth, and that’s what matters.”

Assistant Prosecutor Seana Pappas and Lt. Jennifer Williams participated in the interview with the woman, which lasted 2 1/2 hours, according to the union.

In a phone conversation with DeLorenzo, Pappas allegedly threatened to "start a war" if the trooper went ahead with the charges. The union said troopers also received calls from First Assistant Prosecutor Greg Mueller, who allegedly said there would be repercussions for their actions, and from Koch himself saying that he intended to dismiss the charges.

The union alleged that unidentified “members of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office” contacted high-ranking state police officers about the matter leading to "every member of the Sussex County State Troopers Unit involved in the case” being transferred on or about March 1 “in retaliation” for actions taken related to the sexual assault charges.

The state police have not yet filed a response to the grievance and declined to comment on the case, citing a “pending internal investigation.”

The state Attorney General’s Office also declined to comment.

The dispute will now work its way through the administrative law system, with a conference set for October.

Joe Malinconico of Paterson Press contributed to this article.

Wednesday
Oct182017

Weird algorithms over at the NJ Herald

Now this is some weird stuff.  If you use Google Images to find the Herald article titled  "Perez, Hamilton best choices for Sussex County" the following photograph comes up:

Seriously weird, but a picture is worth a thousand words... and when you think about it, the taxpayers will be in for a Friday the 13th style mauling if Democrat Dan Perez and his "bride" ever get the power to raise people's taxes.

Tuesday
Oct172017

Democrats lie about minimum wage. Pay less.

Kate & Gina -- the ANTIFA twins -- got caught lying when they said they supported a $15-per-hour minimum wage. 

They say that, but when it comes to THEM paying THEIR workers $15-per-hour, the truth is something quite different:

Yes, that is Matteson-Trish campaign manager Ben Silva, the Democrat Party State Committeeman for Sussex County.  The guy Democrat party boss Leslie Huhn hired for ANTIFA twins Kate & Gina. 

Why don't they practice what they preach?

Congenital liars... or just typical rich one-percenters who play at being for the working class but in reality, treat their own workers like dirt.

Monday
Oct162017

Why Does Phil Murphy hate average Americans?

Unable to embrace his neighbor, he embraces the world.

 

The sneering contempt that many in the American "elite" have for average working Americans has been extensively documented.  It comes, quite naturally from the lips of say, a Chelsea Handler, when she says that incest doesn't happen among people like her but only in places like the South and among the working class. 

 

Of course, this is in marked contrast to the excuses the same "elites" make for violent criminals, cop-killers, terrorists, totalitarians like Stalin, Mao, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Pol Pot.  Excuses, excuses... some even make excuses for Sharia law and for its advocates -- like Women's March co-chair Linda Sarsour.

 

It was Linda Sarsour who called for "jihad" against the government of the United States of America.  She did so in a speech in which she praised Siraj Wahaj, a controversial New York imam who federal prosecutors alleged was a possible "co-conspirator" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.  You can catch her act here:

Did candidate Phil Murphy distance himself from Linda Sarsour and her organization?  No he did not.  He did not criticize her at all.

 

When Linda Sarsour made some horrible remarks about a Black woman, a victim of genital mutilation, and noted reformer in the Muslim world, did candidate Phil Murphy say a word about it?  No he did not.  He continues to support Sarsour, her organization, and its goals.

In contrast, candidate Phil Murphy has been quick to play holier-than-thou over a band banner and the word "bitch" used in a private conversation that was illicitly recorded.  Apparently these are worth endless commentary but calling for Islamic "holy war" against the elected government of the United States -- while we have American military men and women in the field -- is not worth candidate Phil Murphy batting an eyelash over.  Apparently, candidate Phil Murphy has no opinion on whether or not Linda Sarsour was out of line when she told a female victim of genital mutilation that she "wanted to take her vagina away."  Maybe Murphy thought that was "cute"?

 

Now candidate Phil Murphy is complaining because average working Americans can't understand why he would further erode their standard of living in New Jersey.  He and his allies in the establishment media have taken to calling these average working Americans names like "racist" because they don't agree with Murphy's plans to make New Jersey a "sanctuary state" for illegal aliens. 

 

Former Mayor Steve Lonegan explained what making New Jersey a "sanctuary state" would do to average working Americans living in New Jersey:

 

Lonegan quoted from a recent letter as to what the Democrats' "sanctuary state" policy would mean to the average taxpayer:

 

"A 'sanctuary state' will mean a huge influx of people who will need the social services safety net more than average.  The Democrat gubernatorial ticket has promised to impose a so-called 'millionaire's tax' that will chase away those who currently fund the state's social safety net.  Those who are left... the middle class who can't leave because of a job, or because they can't sell their home for what they paid for it, or because their child wants to finish school -- they will have to make up for the shortfall in higher taxes.

 

That won't be easy, because at 26.1% of income, the cost of living in New Jersey is, according to Bloomberg, by far the most expensive in the nation.  Meanwhile, state household income is nearly seven percent lower than it was in 2008 and has only grown by a little more than one percent since then. 

 

Those coming to the new 'Sanctuary State' of New Jersey will enter the workforce of the gray economy, where the minimum wage doesn't apply.  But for everyone else it does -- which will leave trade union workers, manufacturing, medical care and health workers, service industry workers, and mothers with part-time jobs all at a disadvantage when competing for a job.  It will be bad news for people trying to pay their mortgage, their property taxes, those hoping to avoid foreclosure. 

 

And just where will all these newcomers to the 'Sanctuary State of New Jersey' reside?  Why in subsidized sanctuary housing -- courtesy of COAH and its plan to build tens of thousands of new subsidized no-questions-asked units throughout New Jersey. 

 

This will require massive infrastructure investment by taxpayers -- and an increase in property tax collections.  To pay for it, the Democrats intend to scrap the 2-percent cap on local government spending.  Under the Democrats property taxes rose an average of 6.1 percent a year -- triple the rate of inflation.  Since the cap, property taxes have gone up an average of just 2.1 percent a year."

 

"If the Democrats are successful with their idea, they will have to build a wall to keep taxpayers in," Lonegan said.  True enough.  But it still doesn't explain what candidate Phil Murphy has against average working Americans and why he is so determined to make the lives of those living in New Jersey more difficult.


Thursday
Oct122017

ANTIFA's Kate & Gina support Corzine-era school aid

New Jersey has the most inequitable system of education funding in America and, as a result, the highest property taxes.  The income tax -- which was passed 40 years ago on the promise of reducing property taxes -- is a failure and a scam that subsidizes the property tax bills of well-to-do professionals in places like Hoboken and Jersey City, at the expense of working families in rural and suburban towns.

 

New Jersey is rated as just about the worst place in America to start a business and the state has lagged in job creation because of a putative regulatory regime and a tax structure that compares unfavorably with the rest of America.  This inability to create employment for its citizens leads to a cycle of despair that includes high unemployment, underemployment, debt, foreclosure, record levels of poverty, and child hunger.

 

The politically-appointed, unelected state Supreme Court has destroyed the ability of suburban towns to determine their own future and it has deprived people in rural communities of the use of their land without compensating them for their loss of rights.  The unelected Court has stripped the elected Legislature of its primary role of determining how the people's money is spent and it has moved power away from the voters and into the hands of the political bosses who are responsible for their appointment.

 

And Kate & Gina... they are cool with all this.

 

At Tuesday night's debate in Ogdensburg, the ANTIFA twins drooled all over the legacy of faux-liberal Governor Jon Corzine (Democrat - Goldman Sachs).  It was Corzine, it will be remembered, who raped the working families of rural and suburban New Jersey, in order to feed the political patronage machines of urban school districts.  Under Corzine, less money made it into the classrooms, while administrative overhead ballooned. 

 

At Tuesday's debate, "Dishonest Kate" Matteson explicitly defended the Corzine era-school funding formula -- specifically praising the corrupt and essentially unaudited free lunch program and the program that provides extra-funding for non-English speaking children.  Matteson defended the fact that the so-called Abbott school districts absorb most of the available state school funding, even though half the state's economically disadvantaged children live outside the Abbott districts.  In so doing, "Dishonest Kate" Matteson merely confirmed that she is, in fact, no different than any other urban Democrat in wanting to screw over the taxpayers of Sussex and Warren Counties.

 

Meanwhile, the other ANTIFA twin -- Gina Trish -- attacked her Warren County neighbor, Senator Mike Doherty, and his Fair School Funding plan, which would which cut property taxes in Sussex and Warren Counties by backing up every school child in the state with enough school funding to cover the basics -- instead of a few urban districts getting all the money to fund a bloated administration, political patronage, and non-educational bells and whistles.  ANTIFA Trish is fine with the current formula that makes working families in Sussex and Warren Counties subsidize the property taxes of rich one-percenters in Hoboken and Jersey City.

 

Senator Mike Doherty says ALL CHILDREN'S LIVES MATTER.

 

The ANTIFA twins Kate & Gina support the current Democrat mantra that wants to keep the subsidies going to rich one-percenters, political patronage hacks, and well-connected corporations -- at the expense of people like us.