CLARK, NJ – Police were called to the Gran Centurions on Sunday, October 27, after security personnel at the Annual Union County Democratic Committee Victory Breakfast prevented Linden Mayor Derek Armstead from entering the event according to Armstead.

Armstead posted a video on his Facebook page of him and several council members outside the venue after being told first by event security and later in the video, by Clark Police that he was not permitted to enter the breakfast.  “I thought they were joking at first, until they explained what was going on,” said Armstead of being told he was not invited. “I had an invitation.”pdf

In a phone interview with TAPinto Clark Armstead, the Mayor and Democratic Chair of Linden said this was retaliation by Senator Nick Scutari for the forensic audit and subsequent letter Armstead sent to the Attorney General of NJ and the US Attorney General requesting an investigation into Scutari’s repeated failure to show up to work when employed as the Linden Prosecutor.  Armstead said an independent audit showed Scutari defrauded the people of Linden of almost $148K during his time in the position.

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Armstead said Scutari has also been telling other members of the Union County Democratic Committee that he is not a friend of the UC Democrats because he made a campaign contribution to Dover Mayor Dodd who is an Independent, not a Democrat.  

According to Armstead, the check he wrote to Dodd was never sent and instead voided when Armstead realized Dodd was running as an Independent.   He admits he forgot to tell his Treasurer not to log the donation in his Report of Contributions and Expenditures filed with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission when he decided to withhold the donation.   Armstead said Scutari fails to acknowledge Armstead’s report was amended pdfto remove the donation as a line item and Dodd’s report pdfnever showed a donation from Armstead.

The mayor says Scutari uses this as a way to get back at him and is an example of how he treats anyone that is not in line with him.  “If you are not in lock-step with the fleecing of Union County you will be dealt with accordingly,” said Armstead about Scutari and his team.

In a release issued from Amstead’s office on Tuesday, the mayor said, “It is appalling that Scutari would again use the power of his seat to penalize a leader of his party that was elected by the Committee members of the City of Linden, simply because it is obvious that he is rattled by accusations and potential investigation of his Low Show Job,” Mayor Armstead said.

When asked how the investigation into Scutari’s time as Linden Prosecutor was going on behalf of the Attorney General, Armstead was less than satisfied, indicating he hasn't seen activity on it. "It almost makes you have no confidence in the AG, I want to have confidence in that arm of the legal system, he said."

A personal message left with a member of Senator Scutari’s staff requesting comments or a phone-interview yielded no reply. 

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Editor's Note: Documents linked in this article were provided by Mayor Derek Armstead.