Linden Mayor purposely withheld public information in taxpayer-funded scheme to defame Nick Scutari

(LINDEN) Today, Nick Scutari filed suit in Superior Court against Derek Armstead for damages caused by his attempt to defame Nick Scutari with libelous and slanderous statements and actions.

The lawsuit stems from Armstead’s assembling of a ‘special committee’ consisting of political cronies to slander Mr. Scutari with false accusations regarding his time as Assistant Linden City Attorney. During that committee’s operation, several false statements were repeatedly made by Mr. Armstead and his allies to members of the press and distributed on social media platforms with the intent of damaging Mr.
Scutari’s standing professionally and personally. Additionally, Mr. Armstead’s administration withheld the city’s personnel policy – the policy Armstead himself supported when he was a member of Council in 2005 and the one still in effect today – from being released, despite OPRA requests for the document. On Monday, August 3rd, Mr. Scutari released the policy, which exonerates Mr. Scutari from the accusations made by Mr. Armstead.

“This suit is not about money,” stated Scutari. “Derek’s flagrant abuse of power and his deliberate lying to the public cannot go unchecked. Public officials cannot withhold records from an investigation, nor can they weaponize government resources to slander the personal and professional reputation of a citizen for political retribution. I am again calling on the Attorney General to press charges against Derek Armstead and all involved in this premeditated scheme for filing a false report and for wasting taxpayer

The suit names Armstead, both personally and in his professional capacity, as well as members of the special investigatory committee set up by Mr. Armstead to defame Mr. Scutari. Included are Councilman Ralph Strano, former Councilman Peter Brown, Councilman Alfred Mohammed, amongst others. A copy of the complaint is attached.

“I look forward to my day in Court,” added Scutari. “I am eager to set the record straight regarding my time overseeing the office of the Linden City Prosecutor, and I am eager to depose Derek and his cronies under oath about their actions. The truth will come out.”

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