Bergen County Democratic Organization spokesman Bill Maer called the lawsuit filed against Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa that includes Freeholder Tomas Padilla as a co-defendant a “political hatchet job.”
“This is politically motivated. There’s no basis of fact. It’s being done for political reasons,” he said. "Anyone can file a lawsuit… and it's important for people to withold judgment until it's been adjudicated."
Maer said that he can’t speak to the accusations against Zisa, a former assemblyman who has played a prominent role in the local Democratic Party, but that the linkage to Padilla in the complaint is a stretch.
The suit, filed by six current officers and one former one, frequently accuses Zisa of shaking down officers to donate to several of his and Padilla’s campaigns, among others.
“Linking him to this is like linking him to the Lindberg kidnapping,” said Maer.
Republicans, for their part, are waiting to see how the suit plays out before making any negative comments about the defendants. Some local Democrats, on the other hand, complain that Padilla is mentioned to derail his potential appointment as U.S. Marshall.