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Resident Sues Township Over Bello Serving on the Environmental Commission

Bill Brennan claims his rights and the rights of “every citizen and taxpayer of the State of New Jersey" have been damaged.

A resident says that the town is in violation of state law by having Jerry Bello continue to serve on the Wayne Environmental Commission.

Bill Brennan’s lawsuit against the town and Bello states that Bello should not be allowed to serve on the commission because he was convicted of official misconduct in 1994. Bello allegedly took bribes while he was chairman of the Paterson Improvement Authority. He was sentenced to four years probation. He is chairman of the commission.

Brennan's lawsuit references a state law that states: "any person convicted of an offense involving or touching on his pubic office, position, or employment shall be forever disqualified from holding any office or position."

Brennan passed out copies of his lawsuit to attendees before the council meeting Wednesday night. He addressed members of the public before the meeting began and was asked by Council President Joseph Schweighardt and township attorney Matthew Giacobbe to stop talking.

“Until you fix this, it is illegal,” Brennan said to the council during the public portion of the meeting.

In the suit, Brennan claims that Bello’s continued occupancy of his position violates the law and damages his rights and the rights of “every citizen and taxpayer of the State of New Jersey.”

Bello’s name was one of three, including Mayor Christopher Vergano’s, submitted to the council for appointment to mayor in 2008. The council unanimously selected Vergano.

The lawsuit states that Vergano was appointed mayor “in the face of an incomplete list of eligible candidates” and, because of that alleged “unlawful” appointment, an additional name be submitted to the council “so that retroactive ratification of Vergano’s appointment by the Wayne Township Council may take place.”

Brennan is also seeking reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and the cost of filing the suit.

Mayor Chris Vergano declined to comment on the suit.

Anonymous September 08, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Brennan's at it again. Costing the taxpayer there hard earned dollars. Brennan is low-life bottom dweller, who has no compassion for his neighbor's wallets.
Al Scala September 08, 2011 at 11:40 AM
If Mr,Bello did break the law,and the law states that he shouldn't hold office. then simply, he shouldn't hold office. I'm not sure why Anonymous is so upset! If what this Brennan guy says is true, then Bello should resign. He shouldn't have the priveledge of serving!
Cosmo September 08, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Here is a fact for you. NJ has more corruption than any other state in the country. Wayne residents need to wake up to the fact that their lovely town is riddled with corruption. Town officials can’t hide it anymore. When times are good people tend to overlook these things, when times are bad people become more political and start to see the truth. We need more people like Mr. Brennen. He has identified the corruption in this town and brought it to the surface for all of us to see. Support him or not, if just some of what he says is correct, then we have a major problem in the town. Now either you care or you don’t. But if you care, than GROW UP, get off your ass and do something about it. http://www.waynetownship.com/council.htm
Bob September 08, 2011 at 03:12 PM
The good old boys continue to have a good time, just Wayne doing what it does best.
Cosmo September 08, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Keep up the good work man. You are opening many eyes. You have identified the corruption in this town and brought it to the surface for all of us to see.
Cosmo September 08, 2011 at 03:44 PM
Anonymous....Your statement is very ignorant....and down right stupid. You know what costs taxpayers hard earned dollars? CORRUPTION ! This town needs more people like Mr. Brennan.
Cosmo September 08, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Mr. Burke....Good luck on Monday. When you get paid what you are owed you should request to get paid in the form of a HUGE GOLF PRIZE CHECK and bring it to the next council meeting. http://www.bigcheckstore.com/Large_Check_Presentation_Pictures_s/41.htm
Rob Burke September 08, 2011 at 05:50 PM
@Cosmo: Thanks for your kind words re: Monday. But I'm not holding my breath. This Council & Administration spent more time and money fighting with me over a piece of paper than they did planning for the obvious re: Irene. They are punitive & vindictive toward me and probably unable to coalesce around a solution in any case. They will fritter away tons more tax dollars before they ultimately capitulate a few years from now.
Bobtwo September 08, 2011 at 07:45 PM
Lou Messercola may have been a lot of things but if there was ever a problem in the township he was there. He never would have allowed these residents to suffer through this ordeal with out help, a place to sleep or food.
George September 08, 2011 at 10:33 PM
apparently Brennan is right....thank you Bill for exposing this
Pines Lake Parent October 01, 2011 at 05:29 PM
If you were better informed, Anonymous, you would see that it is not Mr. Brennan who is costing us money, but our Town Council. For example, as taxpayers we are all footing the bill for the wind turbine lawsuit, which our Town Council's legal council saw fit to keep fighting and lose time after time. We could have paid the mere $3,000 back when. Now we must pony up nearly $50,000! Look into it. Was it incompetence or just hard-headedness? Doesn't really matter much, bottom line is it cost us thousands of dollars. You are pointing your finger in the wrong direction. Bill Brennan has shed light on such corruption in this town. I am sure that makes you uncomfortable to know these things are among us. It is a disgusting display of dirty politics playing out before all of our eyes. I'm convinced you are projecting the feelings you have toward our appointed officials onto Mr. Brennan for bringing it to the forefront. Try looking at the facts, they speak for themselves. Regarding Nadine Bello, it is clear that she should step down. What could her defense possibly be for remaining in her seat? If nothing else she should save her children & family any further embarrassment and do the right thing.
Justice October 01, 2011 at 06:17 PM
I have lived in this town for almost 40 years. It has become a very transient town with people not caring. It is fertile ground for corruption, especially due to the way it is set up. We can only vote for council within our own district. That is mind-boggling...It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the bunch. The Messercola outrage was bad at the time, but nothing compares to what is going on now. Fear is prevalent, the bullies are getting their rocks off...the good and honest say nothing for fear of repercussions. Is Charles Mysak already forgotten? He allegedly was not innocent; however, could he have been set up due to his outspokenness? There are others who are bombarded with bogus property violations when they dare speak the truth. Fear reigns. Clean up involves all of 475 Valley, not just the Mayor and Council. DO NOT DELETE THIS POST...

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