Secaucus Councilman Michael Gonnelli just watched the name of the mayor of his town splashed across the television screen as one of 30 people arrested in a massive corruption and money laundering probe. It was the man he was supposed to take on in a couple months in what was expected to be a competitive elections.
All those expectations have just been turned upside down.
“I’m hearing the same thing that everybody’s hearing on the news, that it’s some kind of huge corruption statewide, and that it’s involving $10s of millions. That’s what I just heard,” he said. “I really don’t know what the heck’s going on. Obviously I feel for him and If eel more for his family right now.”
The Secaucus Council is split 3-3 between Democrats and independents. Gonnelli said that, if the mayor resigns or is forced from the seat, the council’s Democrats will pick an interim replacement.
The relationship between Gonnelli and Elwell has been contentious for some time, but Gonnelli said he's never suspected corruption.
“I have my own problems with him. I don’t want to comment on that right now other than to say that I feel for his family. He’s got a nice family and they shouldn’t be put through this," he said.