Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow has asked a Superior Court Judge to terminate Dana Rone’s service as a Newark City Councilwoman following her conviction on a disorderly persons charge. Rone has a Zulima Farber problem – she intervened on behalf of her nephew during a 2006 traffic stop. There is some talk that the idea of removing Rone from office didn’t come from Dow, but instead from Mayor Cory Booker – once a close Rone ally (he endorsed her for his old Central Ward seat when he first ran for Mayor in 2002) and now a fierce rival. One version of the chain of events, according to a front office source, suggests that Booker sought Rone’s removal by going through the offices of Gov. Jon Corzine and the state Attorney General, Anne Milgram.
Now the matter has opened a sort of Pandora’s box: Rone’s lawyer says that if the state moves to oust Rone, than they should so the same with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who was convicted of obstructing justice during an incident outside a bar in Bradley Beach. Healy is a close political ally of Booker, and the Corzine administration is unlikely to take on Healy, who is also the Hudson County Democratic Chairman.
The consensus among political insiders is that Corzine, who probably didn’t think about Healy when he was doing Booker a favor, will get Dow to drop her bid for Rone’s removal.