Gov. Murphy says New Jersy mayor who admitted using racial slurs should resign immediately. Gov. Phil Murphy is now calling on Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso to resign after the mayor acknowledged using racist and misogynist comments captured on secret recordings, the governor’s office told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.
“The Governor believes that Mayor Bonaccorso should resign immediately,” Mahen Gunaratna, Murphy’s communications director, said in a statement. “His hateful language has no place in society and his behavior has irreparably damaged his ability to lead Clark Township.”
Former state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. Who is Running for Congress, is also calling for Bonaccorso, a fellow Union County Republican, to step down, a spokesman told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday.
NJ Advance Media reported last week the Union County township paid more than $400,000 to conceal those recordings under a 2020 legal settlement after a whistleblower threatened a lawsuit.
In a video released Tuesday evening, Bonaccorso publicly acknowledged using the slurs — which included the N-word and “spooks” to describe Black people — for the first time.
He also apologized for his “hurtful and insensitive language,” saying it was “wrong” and that he is “embarrassed and ashamed.”
“I’m here today to say I’ve made mistakes, and I’d like to apologize for the pain I’ve caused to the residents of Clark, my family, my friends, and all those that were offended by my comments,” Bonaccorso said. “They had a right to expect more from me.”
Bonaccorso had previously denied to NJ Advance Media that he and others had used racist language. Last month, the mayor said he was “blindsided” by the allegations and could not recall using the N-word. He also claimed he knew nothing about the recordings and said he had many Black friends.
Murphy’s office told NJ Advance Media last week the Democratic governor was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations. But he had stopped short of saying Bonaccorso should resign.
Meanwhile, Kean Jr., who campaigned in the past with the six-term mayor, last week called the allegations “very disturbing” and said that “we cannot tolerate racism in public service.”
A majority of New Jerseyans don’t think Gov. Phil Murphy is a good fit for the White House, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
Only 33% of people in the state think the Democratic governor is presidential material while most — 56% — say he wouldn’t make a good president, a Monmouth University Poll showed. But fewer than four in 10 residents in the state believe Murphy harbors a nationwide bid for president with only 5% believing he’ll run and 32% saying he’ll probably mount a campaign.
The same poll showed 55% of residents approve of the job he’s doing and 35% disapprove. His job approval is better among registered voters with 57% approving of his job compared to 52% who approved shortly before he was re-elected in November.
Murphy has insisted as recently as January he has no plans to run for president. But a pair of political groups launched a month later that could fund possible travel across the country in support of other Democrats and are typically precursors for people seeking a White House bid.
Former Gov. Chris Christie launched a PAC in 2015 ahead of his 2016 presidential bid.
First Lady Tammy Murphy is the chairwoman of the board of the political action committee and a non-profit advocacy group, both named Stronger Fairer Forward. The groups have so far refused to disclose its donors and the governor hasn’t said yet whether they will.
Only a third of New Jerseyans, 33%, think Murphy helps the state’s image around the country, while 24% think he hurts New Jersey’s image, according to the Monmouth poll. Forty percent say he makes no difference.
A woman whose husband walked out of a Morris County nursing home two months ago and froze to death in the woods has filed a lawsuit against the facility, claiming employees failed to monitor the man.
John Eschenbach, 79, was found dead on Feb. 19, about a day after he walked out of CareOne at Parsippany on Mazdabrook Road, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court of Morris County.
Employees failed to properly supervise Eschenbach, allowing him “to walk out of the facility into the freezing cold temperatures of the night, (where) he became lost and froze to death while alone in a wooded area near the facility,” court papers state.
The suit was filed March 31 on behalf of Dorothy Eschenbach, the victim’s widow. John Eschenbach was admitted to CareOne on Feb. 7 and lived there until Feb. 18, when he walked away, according to the suit.
“John Eschenbach was caused to suffer tremendous conscious pain and suffering and forced to endure the horror of being lost, alone in the night in an unfamiliar place in extremely low temperatures,” the lawsuit states.
While staff was tasked with watching Eschenbach, corporate officers, administrators, nurses and others were negligent in hiring employees who “failed to exercise due care in monitoring (the man),” the suit states.
The lawsuit alleges violations of the New Jersey Nursing Home Responsibilities and Rights of Residents Act, along with violations of state and federal law. The suit seeks a jury trial, along with compensatory and punitive damages.
Representatives of CareOne did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone message seeking comment. In February, a CareOne spokesman told NJ Advance Media the facility notified authorities immediately after the resident left and that “exhaustive efforts” were made to locate the missing man.
An 18-year-old has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting and injuring a man last month.
The shooting took place around 6 p.m. on March 20 on the 100 block of Langford Street, the Monmouth Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday. The victim was brought to an area hospital for treatment.
Kenneth R. Bronson, of Asbury Park, was taken into custody Tuesday in Brick following an investigation and brought to the Monmouth County jail in Freehold Township. He is also charged with two weapons offenses.