SPARTA, NJ – The township council meeting started with a bang on Tuesday when a member of the public took the microphone.  Sparta resident Glenn Duphiney said he had questions for Mayor Gerard Murphy.

“If I had a blood alcohol content level of .13 percent and was speeding in the town of Sparta and risked killing people, including children and killing myself, I would expect to be arrested, lose my license and have other penalties,” Duphiney said.  “Do you deny having a blood alcohol level of .13.  Do you deny the DWI.

Murphy said, “It is under litigation, I can’t comment.”

Sign Up for Sparta Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“Do you think it’s appropriate for you as mayor to be suing the town,” Duphiney said.

“I can’t comment,” Murphy said.

“How much money is [your litigation] costing the tax payer,” Duphiney said.

“Can’t comment,” Murphy said.

“Don’t you think you should resign,” Duphiney said.  “Do you think if no one can comment because you’re suing and you’re the mayor it's a conflict.”

“Can’t comment,” Murphy said.

“We don’t comment on any litigation,” Township attorney Tom Ryan said

Duphiney asked if anyone could comment. He asked how it was possible that the public could not get information about what was happening with the lawsuit because it was the mayor suing the town.

“You could submit an OPRA to get details,” Ryan said.

Before he sat down Duphiney asked about the process of submitting an OPRA and said it was his first time speaking at a meeting.

“It’s a hell of a time to make an entry,” Murphy said as Duphiney was walking away.

Murphy was arrested for driving drunk in February 2016.  The case took two years and venue changes before it was finally heard in Hopatcong.  The charges were dismissed.  It is still not known why, according to township officials.

Murphy then sued the Sparta Police Department.  Judge Weaver issued a summary judgment, against Murphy, dismissing the case against the township.  He filed a Motion to Reconsider with Weaver.

Murphy’s motion was denied.  Murphy then filed an appeal on Monday, February 24.  Murphy’s attorney George Daggett said they are seeking damages at least in the amount to cover legal fees.

The next township council meeting is scheduled for March 10.