LINDEN, NJ - City Workers Directed to Remove Lawn Signs by Linden Mayor & Council Candidate; Council Candidate Brown and Democratic Chair Scutari Call for Investigation
Armstead & Strano Previously Investigated for Abuse of Public Resources in 2007 Campaign Sign Fiasco
For Immediate Release: (LINDEN, NJ) On Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Linden Department of Public Work employees were directed to remove the signs of Column A 7th Ward Candidate Terrence Brown from private homes. Browns opponent for 7th Ward Council is the incumbent Councilman Ralph Strano. Mayor Derek Armstead is backing a column C slate of candidates including Strano . Councilman Strano is chair of Linden public works committee.
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"This is a flagrant abuse of power," said Brown. "I began receiving calls and text messages earlier in that day from residents, who observed city workers removing the signs. Heck, they even stole the sign off my front lawn!"
Neighbors near School #2 spotted a Linden DPW truck removing Mr. Brown’s signs from several private residential lawns and private property throughout the 7th Ward. A picture of the signs in the back of a City of Linden DPW pickup truck is attached.
Brown is an educator, coach, and first time candidate running with a slate of candidates on Column A endorsed by Linden Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari. Brown has filed a police report.
"This is amazing. For the second time in a decade, Strano and Armstead were caught red-handed abusing public resources to in a campaign sign fiasco."
In 2007, Strano and Armstead, both Union County employees were photographed using a county-owned SUV to place signs in the 7th Ward. Strano was reprimanded at work and voted out of office.
One DPW employee on site indicated that he removed the signs from private property, but only at the directions of higher ups and did not wish to get in trouble.
Added Scutari: "Unfortunately, twelve years later, same story. Of course, this time the cowards had a subordinate city employees do the dirty work. Shameful."
Chairman Scutari sent a letter to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal detailing the incident and is calling for a official misconduct investigation.
"There is only one logical conclusion. That official misconduct has taken place and that the Mayor and Councilman Strano are responsible for directing public resources to carry out a political vendetta, " wrote Scutari. "I urge you to have your Office of Public Integrity conduct a full investigation of the facts and prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law. "
Nevertheless, Brown remains committed to the residents.
"My message is to the Mayor and his cronies is this: Signs don't vote and unlike you, we are confident in our campaign," added Brown. "Residents are sick and tired of your heavy-handed politics. Tuesday, 7th Ward residents will be out in force. We get the final say."
For more information contact Harris Laufer: firstname.lastname@example.org