HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Hasbrouck Heights Mayor John “Jack” DeLorenzo is running for Bergen County Sheriff as the Republican Party nominee.  The seat became open after Sheriff Michael Saudino resigned after being caught on tape making offensive comments about minorities. All of his undersheriffs, who were in the room at the time, also resigned.

As Election Day draws closer, the question that has Hasbrouck Heights buzzing now is, “What happens if DeLorenzo wins?”

So here is a primer of what would happen, should Mayor DeLorenzo win and become Sheriff DeLorenzo. TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro spoke with Borough Attorney Ralph Chandless to find out what happens next.

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Is the Mayor required to step down as mayor if he wins?

Yes, the Mayor would be required to step down if he wins election.


Okay, the Mayor has won and stepped down.  Who fills his seat?

Initially, the Council President will assume the role of the Mayor until a replacement is  put in. Since DeLorenzo was heading into a reelection year, the Bergen County Republican Committee will choose three names to nominate for the mayor’s position.  The Council will then choose from one of those three names.

It would have been a different process if the Mayor was not entering a re-election year.  There would have been an election at the next election to determine a new Mayor.


Who is the Council President?

Councilman Russell Lipari is Council President.  However, he is also up for re-election in November.  


Who is eligible to be one of the three selections?

According to Chambless, the Committee can choose anyone it wants.   It can be a member of the Council, it can be a former member of the Council.  It can be someone who has no political experience at all.


What happens if they pick a sitting Councilman to be one of the three candidates.  Do they have to resign immediately?

The Councilman would only have to resign if they are selected.  You are not required to resign to be considered.


A member of the Council is selected to be the new Mayor, what happens next?

It depends on who is selected.

If the Council person is heading into the last year of the term, the Bergen County Republican Committee will kick off the same process as they did for Mayor.  This was done when Councilman Peter Traina was replaced by Councilman David Gonzalez last year.

If the Council member selected is not heading into his final year, the seat will remain vacant, and there will be an election held to fill the vacancy.  


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