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Ethics Lawsuit Arguments Begin Next Month

Wayne gadfly Bill Brennan files suit against the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards.

Arguments in a Wayne gadfly and former Assembly candidate's case against a state legislative committee will begin next month in state Superior Court.

Bill Brennan is suing the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards for what he claims was an illegal vote in the matter of whether or not to bring charges against Assemblyman Scott Rumana (D-40). Oral arguments begin Feb. 4.

The committee voted to bring charges against Rumana in connection with his attempt to appear before the state Board of Public Utilities to advocate on behalf of a non-profit energy company he founded. Brennan filed the charges.

However, the committee cleared Rumana of six of the charges in April 2011 and a seventh in September of that year. 

Brennan claims Daniel Mecca's vote shouldn't have counted because Mecca cast it on the telephone. Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg threw the ruling out. She ruled that members of the joint committee are required to be “available throughout the year to attend meetings.”

Brennan unsuccessfully ran against Rumana, who was mayor before incumbent Chris Vergano, in 2011. 

"It’s just my intention to make a difference," Brennan said. "I understand the reality in my community and the 40th Legislative District."

Rumana considers the matter closed. 

"As far as I’m concerned it’s over. I was completely vindicated by the committee," Rumana said. "I’m very confident that the court will find in the committee’s favor.” 

Brennan has sued the township multiple times in recent years.

Brennan filed a lawsuit against the township regarding former environmental commission chairman Jerry Bello. Brennan's suit stated that Bello should not have been allowed to serve on the commission because he was convicted of official misconduct in 1994.

He filed a lawsuit against the town and William Paterson University for their refusal to broadcast a show he produces on public access television.

Brennan had to be escorted from a council meeting in 2011 after he attempted to respond to comments Councilman Joseph Scuralli made about him. 

— 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.

Justice January 13, 2013 at 06:56 PM
In addition to everything else, I am appalled that Senator O'Toole continues to share an office with someone of such questionable character. I seriously wonder about the ethics of Senator O'Toole and the entire party???
Scondo January 14, 2013 at 04:27 PM
If you analyze the situtation, you might find a germ of an answer to the age old question as to Why good people do not want to become involved in politics. We have a lot of good people who want to serve the town and they are pilloried for their efforts.
Bill Brennan January 14, 2013 at 08:46 PM
why is my post gone?
Justice January 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Bill, Here is one of 2: "Thanks Cathy. You correctly pointed out that the Bello lawsuit resulted in his resignation and a Court Order that I be reimbursed for costs associated with filing the suit. Mr. Hubbard didn't mention that Bello is a bribe taking extortionist convict nor did he mention that Scott Rumana appointed him to serve as chair of our environmental committee. Dan Hubbard also ignored the fact that my suit regarding free speech forced the Township to air my programming on channel 77. If anyone is keeping score - my complaint to the local government finance board resulted in the resignation of a planning board member who recused himself and then made surrepticious phone calls to fellow members encouraging them to tank a conformin and valid application submitted by someone he didn't like. As to Wayne's cases against me: 1 - I parked my car next to a sign that read "No Parking except within marked stalls 2 AM to 6 AM" I received a parking ticket at 07:30 AM. The Wayne Municipal Court found me guilty after a trial - I appealed and the Superior Court overturned the Wayne Municipal Cash Register."
Justice January 14, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Bill, Here is 2 of 2: "2 - I obtained a permit to remove a tree from my property. After I removed the stump I was backfilling the hole. The Engineering department issued me a summons for "Soil disturbance in excess of 250' Square Feet". The municipal court found me guilty after a trial - on appeal the case was dismissed by the Superior Court. 3. The building department found me guilty of building a deck without a permit. The Passaic County Construction Board of Appeals overturned that conviction and dismissed the charge because I had built a patio (no permit required) and not a deck. A week after that case was dismissed the building department issued the exact same charge only this time they changed "deck" to "structure". Now the matter will spend another 2 years winding its way through the appeals process and more resources will be squandered in a vein effort to silence me. If the building department has so many employees with so much free time perhaps they should cut the staff and hire more cops to protect our schools."

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