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Charges Dismissed Against Former Fire Inspector

Scott Kooreman was accused of with stealing three all-terrain vehicles from the Top Soil Depot site in January.

A Wanaque Municipal Court judge recently dismissed theft charges against a former Wayne fire inspector.

Scott Kooreman, a Wayne resident, and former fire inspector with the township, from the Top Soil Depot site on Pompton Plains Crossroad Jan. 26, a third-degree offense.

The case was moved to Wanaque because the township employed Kooreman at the time charges were filed against him. The case had to be moved to another court, Wayne Court Administrator Lori Ellicott said.

An assignment judge decided to what court the case was moved to; Wanaque Municipal Court Judge Joseph Perconti presided over the case.

Kooreman could not be reached for comment.

Joseph Afflito Sr., Kooreman’s attorney, said in February that he believed the “incident was the result of misinformation and miscommunication between several individuals.”

The vehicles belonged to Alan Rombough Sr., the embattled owner of . Rombough owns the business with his son Alan Rombough Jr.

Rombough and his son appeared many times in state Superior Court for refusing to remove supposed contaminated material from the 12-acre site.

The pair also violated a court order to stay off the site in 2011. A witness saw them removing documents from storage bins on the site and placing them into a storage bin just days before they were scheduled to appear at a hearing.

Rombough with the state Department of Environmental Protection in May to clean up the site.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Sandy, when I spoke to scott, he stated he was the one that called up the DEP because that was his inspection area and was keeping an eye on it because people were dumping on site and the site was vandalized several times before after closing down. While he was there one day, a car pulled in and two people got out, went over to the trailer and started throwing boxes of records out in the dumpster. He called the state and they were there in a few minutes.The two people were the owners son and another guy throwing out all the records in a dumpster that were to be used as evidence in the trial that is still going on. The state filled up an entire trailer with boxes. So if it weren't for scott being there and doing his job to keep the site safe ,all the states evidence would be in the landfill.What were they trying to hide ? And this is the thanks he gets for doing his job. Nice going Wayne Township !!!!!!
Sandy Fantau August 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Diane, I also had Scott inspect my place also over the years. I too feel sorry for what his familly has gone through and hope they can move forward now. It is quite obvious that Stewart has had no experience with dealing with the many different departments within Wayne Township. Through my years I have found that most inspectors are devoted to their jobs and do the best to protect the public from harm. I to hope Scott gets his job back.
stewart resmer August 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
So? Under the color of authority then MR Kooreman in his officail position reported the owners of the property to the Police for attempting to save their business records, and there after the same individual went after the ATV's? Wearing a Fire uniform and driving city equipment? While exempting himself from the courts authority without a warrant or other instrument of due process? Is that correct? Judge scolds Wayne dumpsite owner, who may face jail time Friday, May 13, 2011 Last updated: Saturday May 14, 2011, 10:08 AM BY JOHN PETRICK STAFF WRITER The Record Pages: 1 2 3 > display on one page | Print | E-mail A state judge on Friday lambasted the owner of a long-standing contaminated dump site in Wayne for violating her order to stay off the property and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to determine whether she should throw him in jail for doing so.
Betty Kooreman August 11, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Thank you Diane for your kind comments. Obviously you know Scott. I agree about the town I hope they offer him his job back. This has turned our lives upside down. Stewart, obviously you are just talking to talk. How does him being cleared by the Court NOT remove the cloud of suspicion as you said. HE IS NOT GUILTY OF STEALING. Is that clear enough for you? He was investigated and went to court and was cleared of all charges. Obviously there were no grounds to the charges and the police officer who testified agreed with that and so did the Prosecutor and the Judge. This was not tried in Wayne court so there would be no influence or questions later. That is how the justice system works in case you didn't pay attention in school.
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Sandy,. Didn't they put some kind of hallucinating drugs in KOOL AID back in the 60's. That should explain a lot.Stewart still doesn't get it. Maybe he should move back to California and run for mayor there.For somebody that has lived in Wayne for just over a year you seem to NOSE everybody.
stewart resmer August 11, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Where is the warrant Mr Kooreman was issued by which court to enter the property to effect an asset forfeiture? There was none.
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Stewart, you seriously need HELP!!! IF your house was on fire or you needed medical help(like i NOSE you need) would you need a warrant to come and help you ?
Sandy Fantau August 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Stewart I think you are missing the big picture. The owners of Top-Soil where order to stay away from the property so they could not destroy paper work that shows where the soil came from to fill in the property and remove it from a FLOOD ZONE. The Kaofin was brought to the site in the mid-1990s to be blended into top soil but instead was stockpiled. Kaofin is made up mostly of clay and paper fibers not reusable in recycling, but it also contains low levels of PCBs, a possible carcinogen, as well as dioxins and heavy metals. I hope you are aware that their is a water pumping station across the river from Top-Soil Depot that has been used to pump water for drinking. I believe that this pumping station has not been working from hurrican Irene. This site needs to be cleaned up for the public safety and to protect our water supply. I for one am glad that Scott acted fast in getting the drums removed. Who knows what ws in them that would have been cared down stream during the hurrican. Stewart I may live within the flood zone and want the property lowered so it can once again become part of the flood plain. However, what about all the people who open their faucets for a drink of water with no clue where that water is coming from. If you want to fight for something maybe it should be to make sure this property is cleaned up and safe for all. Maybe this was a diversion to get people's eyes off of what the real problem is. CLEAN UP the property
Sandy Fantau August 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM
The 12-acre property on Pompton Plains Crossroad is in an environmentally sensitive area because it is located in a floodway at the confluence of the Ramapo, Pompton and Pequannock rivers. It is upstream from an intake point for drinking water for the Passaic Valley Water Commission. So many tons of the contaminated material were dumped near the riverbanks — at least one pile is 40 to 50 feet, "taller than the trees," a DEP official said — that it has raised the elevation of land. DEP officials are concerned it could worsen problems in this flood-prone area. "By them putting fill into the floodway, it almost creates a dam situation," Skacel said. "If the water can't go onto his property, then it has to go elsewhere." A floodway is the area of a flood plain that should be kept free of obstructions to allow floodwaters to move downstream.
Betty Kooreman August 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Due to the fact that he was a Township Official and working with the guy from the State DEP, No he did not need a warrant to enter the property. Just like the guy from the State DEP didn't need a warrant either. They are Township Officials and State Officials therefore no warrant was needed to enter.
stewart resmer August 11, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Miz Fantau thats quite a leap on your part, how do you divine that the defs were out to destroy the documents? If thats what they were out to do then all they needed to do was let the floods do that for them. So far as the alleged contaminents are concerned? To my knowledge based on the news articles there is no emperical proof of the existence of what materials at what levels? If you have reference material I would be interested in seeing it? And besides Top Soil did not generate these contaminants the corporate personhoods are most responsible for the by products of their operations, and as Judge McVeigh always seems to do in her decisions she attacked the least responsible, in this case the independent truckers! Yes I am aware of the pumping stations location. But who allowed Top Soil in there to begin with? The Township right? The big picture to me is as I keep repeating, some one felt empowered to enter, and then attempt to remove personal property with out due process, no warrant, no writ of execution, no asset forfeiture proceedings what so ever, if any one can show that atleast the city attorney signed off on this whole affair, then Mr Kooreman went rogue I do suppose?
stewart resmer August 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Plausable deniablity on the mayors part and by extension the townships position as well, all this downstream from Dow Chemicals dumping of Dioxin (Agent Orange) bit its the owners of Top Soil who are the gross polluters? I dare to say the township never once moved to shut the site down after giving them their approvals?
stewart resmer August 11, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Supreme Court: Get A Warrant In summation, we hold that an entry to fight a fire requires no warrant, and that once in the building, officials may remain there for a reasonable time to investigate the cause of the blaze. Thereafter, additional entries to investigate the cause of the fire must be made pursuant to the warrant procedures governing administrative searches. See Camara, 387 U.S., at 534 -539; See v. Seattle, 387 U.S., at 544 -545; Marshall v. [436 U.S. 499, 512] Barlow's Inc., ante, at 320-321. Evidence of arson discovered in the course of such investigations is admissible at trial, but if the investigating officials find probable cause to believe that arson has occurred and require further access to gather evidence for a possible prosecution, they may obtain a warrant only upon a traditional showing of probable cause applicable to searches for evidence of crime. United States v. Ventresca, 380 U.S. 102 .
Sandy Fantau August 11, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Stewart, the Top-Soil Depot site I believe was bought from John Baum in 1984. I moved to town in 1972 and that property was always used for top soil. Not sure for how many years before that. I believe the township would have no right to have prevented the Baum familly from selling their business. I'm not sure how many years the DEP has been involved with the illegal filling and taking in contanimated soil. As far as acid brook goes in Pompton Lakes I believe that fight has been going on for over 20 years. And yet they want to maintain it as a lake even though you can't swim in it ect.
Scondo August 11, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Sandy , maybe you know the answer , but why did the TSD get allowed to encroach onto Wayne Twsp park land? Green acres acquired some of that property and as far as I am concerned they should not have been allowed to encroach
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 06:38 PM
THANK YOU SANDY, Every time it floods ,more and more soil is washed away from the site.How much land is NOW contaminated from being washed off the site ? Does THORIUM sound familiar ? Thank God scott found those drums when he did. How much more pollution do we need to be pumped up for our drinking water ? WAKE UP NEW JERSEY!!!!!!
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Scondo,the township has NOSED for years what was going on there. Don't have to be a rocket scientist to drive past there and see 50 to 60 feet high piles of dirt with trees growing out of them that are just as big.It seems the only people who cared and tried to do something about it got FIRED!!!!!! ATTABOY WAYNE TOWNSHIP !!!
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Sandy, I NOSE john when he had the top soil business. All he had was TOP SOIL. If you look at the site today,there is dirt,rocks,cement,bricks,garbage,tires,truck parts,trailers,etc,etc that were NOT there when John Baum had his business.Bought Top Soil from him many times, the place was always clean,None of the stuff that is there today.OPEN YOUR EYES WAYNE TOWNSHIP !!!!!
Sandy Fantau August 11, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Scando, I'm not sure why this was allowed to happen. I know people in my neighborhood have been fighting the filling in of the property. It seems to me they got away with a lot of stuff in the flood zone that should have never happened. Please stop by so I can share something with you. Please make it during the week after 2 pm.
Bill August 11, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Stewart, Agent Orange? That is serious. Our Vietnam Vets are dying from that exposure during their service to the United States. Now it's in the survivor's backyard also? Who would want to touch ATV's that are contaminated in such a manner?
Bill August 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Stewart, Agent Orange? That is serious.. Our Vietnam Vets are dying from that exposure during their service to the United States. Now it's in the survivor's backyard also? Who would want to touch ATV's that are contaminated in such a manner?
Justice August 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
As far as Mr. Kooreman is concerned, his termination is known as a constructive discharge, which is actionable; especially now that he has been exonerated. It is one way to recoup those legal fees. Vergogna has always had loose morals, going back to the Mersecola days. The FBI left quite a few behind. Yes, Wayne is an awful place with double standards and mass corruption. Sad, it used to be a great community, if you were a WASP, i.e.
Nose Wayne August 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Justice,your right on, this town USED to be a great community having grown up here all my life and going thru school here.Sad when you read about a person that has donated almost his whole life back to the township, gets kicked to the gutter and washed down the sewer.Wayne Townships true colors came out in full bloom on this one.SHAME ON THEM ALL!!!! Any comment NOW Mr.Mayor ?
leanbean August 11, 2012 at 11:27 PM
@stewart resmer, If your so unhappy with Wayne? Why don't you go back to the west coast and Ca. where you came from. You just might be part of the problem of them almost be bankrurpt. Scott was a good employee of Wayne. I know him personally. It's not the first time Wayne has jumped the gun before all the facts were in. And Justice your remarks are so true about WASP. I've lived here all my 69 years except for 2 yrs army time.
Nose Wayne August 12, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Thank you Lean, have never met a person that has lived in this town for only a little over a year and NOSE so much.Like you, I NOSE scott personally and has given back so much to this town.Hopefully they will do what"s right and give him his job back. Scott doesn't want anymore litigation with this town because of past experiences with everyone else LAWSUIT happy,he just wants the town to do the right thing and give him his job back.
Justice August 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Nose, there is the right thing and then there is the Wayne's way. Doesn't look too good for Scott.
Scondo August 12, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I am feeling a little sluggish with the humidity, so I don't want to run through the lengthy posting history, but could someone confirm my thinking on this. a deal for a reduction was made in exchange for retirement without loss of pension, sent to muni court and dismissed because supposedly some guy from the state who did not own the property in question said it was ok for someone else who also did not own the property to take it. And further muddying the picture was the idea that others who did not own the property but had some connection to volunteer service organizations could take what was there, just because it had been there awhile unused. Ok, tell me where I am wrong?
Bill August 12, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Scondo, you missed the part that no one had search warrants when they entered the property.
Nose Wayne August 12, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Scondo/Bill,I was confused about the whole thing.But what I was told,scott had a meeting on March 23rd before he even went to court and was fired.He was then told he has the weekend to think about it and let the Business Administrator know by monday morning either retire or be fired again. He was forced to retire and took early retirement without any hearing or anything.The court thing is another whole mess which scott went into great length of how the town screwed him.
David Zukowski August 21, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Glad to hear that the system worked for you Scott, I don't know all the facts, but I do know that things can get blown out very easily. God bless you and you family and may happiy times prevail.

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