MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ—In light of the dangerous, offensive, and disgusting behavior that was allegedly permitted to take place for years within the Mountainside Police Department, candidates for Borough Council Anjali Mehrotra and Ileana Montes have called for a thorough independent investigation. This investigation must look into the role Mayor Paul Mirabelli’s Administration and the rest of Mountainside’s Borough Council may have played in creating what seems to have become a culture of corruption in Borough Hall, allowing this behavior to take place and then covering it up until a costly lawsuit brought the activity out into the open.
In a letter to the Mayor and Council, Mehrotra and Montes outline what they believe is a culture of corruption that has come to permeate all branches of Borough Hall. Allegedly, for nearly two decades police officers and other Borough officials with connections to Mayor Mirabelli, Council President Keith Turner, Business Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, and the rest of the Council have been promoted ahead of more qualified candidates, been permitted to work side jobs while on duty, and continued to work despite engaging in dangerous behavior that would have been grounds for termination anywhere else.
The letter calls for:
- A thorough independent investigation of the Administration and the Council into what they knew and when they knew about the alleged corruption in Mountainside’s police department and Borough Hall,
- Criminal charges against all who are found to have broken any laws,
- The immediate firing of officers who are found to have committed offenses, and
- Denial of retirement benefits to anyone who is found to have broken any laws.
Before issuing the letter, Mehrotra, Montes, and many other residents of Mountainside attended Borough Council meetings trying to get answers, but were stonewalled by the Mayor and Council.