MORRISTOWN – Small claims court normally isn’t the forum for political battles.
But it is now.
And the combatants are the Morris County Republican Committee and Phil Rizzo, who popped onto the scene in the spring of 2021 when he unsuccessfully ran for governor in that year’s primary. After getting a bit more than 25 percent of the vote, he sought a CD-7 seat earlier this year.
That brought him to last March’s GOP nominating convention seeking support from Morris Republicans.
The county committee says Rizzo “sponsored” a table at the event in hopes of swaying supporters at a cost of $1.500.
But Rizzo never paid; so says the committee.
Given the fact everyone involved here are Republicans, you may think this would be one of those disputes that would be amicably settled over time.
Frustrated by Rizzo’s alleged stubbornness, the county took him to court.
At least two hearings in state Superior Court have been scheduled – and postponed. The latest of which was today. The next hearing is set for Dec. 19.
Ronald Berutti, Rizzo’s attorney, said he couldn’t discuss the specifics of the case.
The attorney for the Morris GOP committee was not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.
Just for the record, Rizzo lost the convention’s endorsement – and the primary – to Tom Kean Jr., who, of course, went on to unseat Democrat Tom Malinowski last month.