Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mayor, Top Cop off the Hook

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mayor, Top Cop off the Hook

Article excerpt

NORTH HALEDON - A special council investigation has cleared North Haledon Mayor Randy George and Police Chief Robert Bracco of any wrongdoing for their use of borough-owned generators in the days following Superstorm Sandy.

The Municipal Investigatory Committee, which released its report on Wednesday night, found that George's use of two borough generators at his ice cream parlor and Bracco's use of a generator at his home immediately following Sandy were "justified," given the extraordinary circumstances wrought by the storm. The committee excused George's and Bracco's use of town equipment because both men were working practically around-the-clock in the aftermath of the storm.

The committee found that "there was no intention of either Chief Bracco or Mayor George to utilize their official positions to consciously and solely provide an unwarranted benefit for themselves."

"In each case, while there is no doubt there is a personal benefit to each of them, that personal benefit allowed both leaders to function for the greater good of the Borough and its residents without the distraction of these individual circumstances and situations," the report said.

Both George and Bracco have publicly acknowledged using the borough generators in the days immediately after Sandy struck. George received two borough generators, one from the Fire Department and the other from the Public Works Department, and used them for a couple of days to keep the refrigerators on at his ice cream parlor on High Mountain Road. Bracco used a borough generator to keep the electricity on at his house in Wayne, where his elderly mother was staying after the power went out at her North Haledon home.

While the report does not take either man to task for using the generators, it does recommend that the council establish rules for the future personal use of borough equipment.

Councilman Bruce O. Iacobelli, the chairman of the investigatory committee, said George's and Bracco's actions were understandable given that North Haledon is a small town with few paid workers that was caught in the throes of a huge emergency. …

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