Police & Fire

Friends Gather to Wish Judge Mulhern Happy Retirement

Judge John Mulhern with his wife Jayme at a wedding last summer Credits: provided
Judge John Mulhern at the vow renewal of Theresa and Don Critchlaw, his court administrator in Hardyston Credits: provided
Attorney Jackie O'Donnell with Judge Mulhern at the Sparta Town Hall Credits: provided

SPARTA, NJ – Nearly 150 people helped celebrate Judge John Mulhern’s retirement on Saturday night.  The dinner at the Lake Mohawk Country Club was hosted by his wife Jayme and emceed by local attorney Andrew Fraser. 

“It was wonderful,” Mulhern’s wife Jayme Mulhern said.  “We did actually surprise him.”

Mulhern retired after serving in Sparta’s municipal courtroom since 1999.  Throughout his career as a judge Mulhern also sat on the bench in Hardyston, Hamburg, Newton, Ogdensburg, and Stanhope.  At one time he was serving in 10 towns. 

Sign Up for E-News

“It was crazy,” Jayme Mulhern said.  “It is a 24 hour job.”

The dinner was attended by local attorneys, court administrators and police officers. 

“It was a humbling experience,” Jayme Mulhern said.  “My husband was touched and humbled.”

She said she was proud to see a room full of people who admired and respected the judge. 

“All of the officers at Sparta Police Department that have worked with Judge Mulhern will miss him,” Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto said. “Not only was he respected and fair on the bench, he took the time to teach and guide officers in different areas of law enforcement.  We were very fortunate to have him as our municipal court judge for all those years and wish him well in his retirement.”

A common sentiment shared by Mulhern’s many well wishers was that he showed uncommon compassion and would often give counsel in his courtroom.

“Last night was really beautiful to see all the people telling funny and even sad stories,” Jayme Mulhern said. 

Many took the podium to share stories about their experiences with Mulhern.  He received two extended standing ovations that “just said it all” according to an attendee.

“He challenged the people to do better, to do the right thing and to be safe,” Sparta attorney Jackie O’Donnell said.

“He loved the law and the judicial process,” Jayme Mulhern said.  “He really identified with that.”

His wife said that there were sacrifices along the way, especially that he was not able to socialize with the people from work.  That made it all the more special to have the people at the party, able to “realize that they are our friends.”  They are looking forward to socializing and “enjoy going out to dinner.”

Mostly Jayme Mulhern is “thrilled to have him all to myself.” 

Sparta’s new judge was sworn in at the township council meeting on Tuesday, January 23.  Paris Eliades commented that he had “some really big shoes to fill.” Eliades also said he had long aspired to be Sparta’s judge and would “do my best to do a great job.”

While Mulhern’s wife has “quite a big ‘to do’ list" they also have plans.  “People gave generous monetary gifts,” she said.  “I left it up to him how to spend it, he just can’t use it to pay bills.”  Jayme Mulhern said they are planning to travel. 

“In my 28 years as an attorney in Sparta, I never once heard him utter an unkind or terse word, whether to a defendant or an attorney,” O’Donnell said. “Judge Mulhern is loved by so many and will be sorely missed.”




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Drunk Brooklyn Man Asks Police to Shoot Him

May 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Brooklyn man was taken for observation when he asked police to shoot him after having crashed his car down an embankment on County Road 517 near the Sparta Middle School.  On May 17 around 2:06 a.m. Sparta Police Officers Brian Porter and Timothy Lynott found Joshua Lindland of Brooklyn asleep in the driver’s seat of a gray Audi against a tree, police ...

Sparta Police: Passengers Face Drug Charges in Traffic Stop

SPARTA, NJ – Two Wantage women face drug charges after the car they were in was stopped for a broken headlight on Route 15.  On May 5 around 2 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Ben Griffin pulled over Alex Torres, 22, driving a white Honda Accord with two passengers, police say.

The officer saw a metal marijuana grinder behind the driver’s seat.  The car and ...

JCP&L Latest Information, Free Ice and Water

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – As of 8:47 p.m. JCP&L is reporting 12,745 customers or 22.11 percent, are without power in Sussex County.  In Sparta 2749 or 32 percent remain in the dark.

JCP&L said they anticipate the “vast majority of the remaining customers to be restored to service by late Thursday.”

JCP&L customers without power can get ice and water ...

Ethical Or Political Stunt

May 20, 2018

On May 9th Sussex County Freeholder Director Jonathon Rose announced formation of the Sussex County Transparency Committee. A committee established to monitor the ethics of County politicians.  

Alarming is what was left out of this announcement. Besides naming the dynamic duo Lazzaro and Graham, two other names show cause for curiosity. Jonathon never acknowledged, nor did he ...

Support for Fantasia and Hertzberg for Freeholder

Dear Editor:

My name is Stephen Skellenger, and I’m writing what is my first Letter to the Editor to emphatically endorse Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg for Sussex County Freeholder. With these two, you are going to get uniquely-qualified individuals who exemplify servant leadership.

Josh is someone who seems to me to be a person who would give the shirt off his back to help anyone.

Upcoming Events


Sun, May 20, 10:00 AM

Hayke's Market, Newton

Newton Community Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sat, June 9, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, June 16, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton's Petition to Move Election Certified, Tabled to May 30 by Council

May 15, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—The petition to move elections from May to November was certified by the clerk and presented to the Newton Town Council at the meeting on Monday night.  The petition has been circulating since April and was a point of controversy in the recent council election campaigns.

According to the town attorney, the town clerk certified “369 valid signatures of qualified ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

May 20, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

Find Your Dream Home During Our DOUBLE Open House Weekend!

The forecast for this weekend is rain, rain, and more rain---so why not spend your time touring your new home?  Team Nest Builder offers 2 wonderful Open Houses this weekend, PLUS a new listing for you to check out via video tour!

27 Hilltop Trail, Sparta

Step into your own fairytale with this Lake Mohawk, storybook-sweet 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom gem! Gather in front of the rustic ...

Help Feed Hungry Sussex County Families Through Foodstock

Did you realize food pantry shortages INCREASE during the summer months? Decreased donations and increased need due to the summer break from school lunch and breakfast programs leave many Sussex County families hungry.  

Enter Foodstock:  an annual spring countywide food drive started 15 years ago through the coordinated efforts of Pass it Along, United Way of Northern New Jersey, ...

3 Tips for Making Your Home-Ownership Dream a Reality


Here's Highlights:

Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check = one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.

Living within a budget right now helps you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts holding you back.  What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership ...

New Data Shows May is the Best Month to Sell Your Home

According to a newly released study by ATTOM Data Solutions, selling your home in the month of May nets you an average of 5.9% above estimated market value for your home.

For the study, ATTOM performed an “analysis of 14.7 million home sales from 2011 to 2017” and found the average seller premium achieved for each month of the year. Below is a breakdown by month:

ATTOM even ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

We Do This Work Because We Care

May 19, 2018

Sussex NJ – We Do This Work Because We Care

Project Help, Inc., is a 501(c)3 Charity whose mission is to help veterans and their families during difficult times. They assist veterans in New Jersey’s seven northern counties in getting back on their feet. 

“We work very hard to be able to sustain our veterans as they struggle with the many issues that are holding them ...