At Opposite Ends Of The State, Local Politics Rage In West Wildwood and Mahwah

In Cape May County’s West Wildwood and Bergen County’s Mahwah, local politics has engulfed the two municipalities in controversy, in a lawsuit alleging political favoritism and allegations of political targeting by foes, detailed by the Press of Atlantic City and Bergen Record.

In West Wildwood, the Press of Atlantic City reported on a lawsuit filed against the borough by a police officer alleging that he was fired for writing tickets to political allies of Mayor Fox and was directed to target residents who were thought to not support the mayor in future elections.

From the article: ‘Jeremy Mawhinney, of Egg Harbor City, was hired by the West Wildwood Police Department as a Class II officer in June 2016 and fired in October 2017 after he was told several times by his sergeant, James Dodd, and Chief Jackie Ferentz not to write tickets to Fox’s allies, regardless of whether they were breaking the law, according to the lawsuit.’

‘Mawhinney also says in his lawsuit Fox personally intervened in numerous cases to have criminal charges against his allies dropped and that he was directed to write tickets and summonses against residents of three homes on West Glenwood Avenue and West Poplar Avenue, according to the suit.’

‘”The mayor further indicated that (Mawhinney) and the other officers were working in a small town where they need the residents to politically back (him) … for the next election,” the lawsuit states.”‘

Meanwhile, in a Bergen Record article, Mahwah Council President Robert Hermansen claims he’s been a target of political retaliation, after his basement was flooded, his tired slashed, and police searched his home for the runaway daughter of a friend.

From the article:  ‘Hermansen stopped short of accusing Mayor William Laforet “or someone close to him” for the basement flooding, vandalized tires, and a police inspection of his home for a runaway friend of his daughters.  Hermansen vowed, however, to track down the culprit. “I was definitely targeted,” said Hermansen. “I have an idea who, but if I say publicly, someone will say it’s because of our disagreement.”‘

‘Hermansen charged that his home basement was purposely flooded Saturday by someone who ran the end of a garden hose attached to his house into the ground next to his foundation, then turned the water on, causing water to pour into the house for 45 minutes.

“This wasn’t some 14- or 15-year-old prank,” said Hermansen.  “This was someone who legitimately knew what he was doing. Somebody actively told him to come to my house and violate my privacy.”‘

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