The New Jersey Herald is reporting that Andy Boden, a challenger to Republican Sheriff Mike Strada, was suspended from duty in January, per a determination by Undersheriff John Tomasula and Dr. Matthew Guller of the Institute of Forensic Psychology, and is awaiting a "fitness-for-duty evaluation”. You can read the full story here:
We would love to hear Andy Boden’s side of things and offer the use of this website for that purpose. We will publish whatever he sends.
The tribulations of Andy Boden aside, this year was already promising to add to Sussex County’s long list of what can politely be called “controversial” candidates for public office. There certainly are some curious people running, although nothing so remarkable as some of the curiosities of the past… like Chris Thieme.
Don’t remember Chris Thieme? Once-upon-a-time he was the "next big thing" in Sussex County politics. Yep, Chris Thieme, who came out of nowhere to grab 3,000 votes against Gary Chiusano in the 2002 Republican primary for Freeholder. Some people got so excited about Thieme that they forget to check him out. Then a funny thing happened on the way to becoming the "next big thing." We'll let the New Jersey Herald take over from here:
A Newton man and former Sussex County freeholder candidate has been arrested by federal authorities and charged with attempting to pay a hitman $25,000 to kidnap and kill a Paterson woman, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Christopher Thieme, 35, was arrested on Monday and charged with one count of murder-for-hire and one count of attempted kidnapping.
The murder-for-hire charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and the attempted kidnapping carries a maximum of 20 years. Each charge also carries a $250,000 fine.
"During multiple telephone conversations and text messages exchanged during this time period, Thieme explained to the individual that Thieme wanted the victim kidnapped and held for a week or two, during which time Thieme would empty the victim's bank accounts and sell the victim's real property for his own profit," a criminal complaint against Thieme said.
The complaint alleges that after two dates, the victim attempted to cut off contact from Thieme.
Thieme allegedly told the undercover agent that he would make the victim's death look like a heroin overdose, the complaint alleges.
On Jan. 4, Thieme took the undercover agent to the victim's home and other frequented locations before being dropped off in Caldwell and being arrested shortly after by the FBI.
No, that didn't end too well at all. Thieme's barnstorming of Sussex County will have to wait a few years – until after he gets out of prison.
Sussex County has a long history of candidates who came out of nowhere, with nothing really on offer beyond a smile and a handshake. One got as far as being elected a local mayor before it was found out that he improperly used state time and property and he went to jail, another got six months in prison for corruption, another was convicted of abusing two girls… Take the case of former Byram Councilman Rick Meltz. He was the quintessential "nice guy" and small town "goodfella". Everybody liked the guy – until he was arrested in 2013 for his involvement with New York's infamous "cannibal cop", the NYPD's Gilberto Valle, who planned to stalk, kill, and eat his female victims.
In January 2014, Meltz pleaded guilty to planning to kidnap, rape, and murder women. According to the New Jersey Herald, Meltz and his co-conspirators planned to "attack and kill multiple victims, including the wife, children and other family members of a co-conspirator." Meltz and his co-conspirators also discussed what they referred to as the "snuffing" of "women, children, and infants." With the FBI's tapes rolling, Meltz dispensed tips on how to kill without getting caught, such as "removing a victim’s teeth to avoid dental identification, taking off the fingers to avoid fingerprint identification, and chopping off and disposing of the head."
Yes, this is the same Councilman Meltz who nearly won the Republican primary for Sussex County Sheriff, getting 4,406 votes to the incumbent's 4,752. That was a close call for Sussex County.
Let’s hope we have nothing so “interesting” this year.