In response to a resignation demand from good government activist and former mayoral candidate Dan Levin, and accused of “tacit acceptance” of corruption — if not worse — by Councilman Steven Fulop, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy today once again proclaimed his innocence.
“As I said previously, I have done nothing wrong and have a duty to serve the people of Jersey City who elected me to this office. I want to reassure the people of this city that I have immediately suspended without pay those city employees who have been charged in this investigation,” he said. “We have also sought instruction from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on how to best secure the offices and records of those employees. Our focus, however, is on governing the city and doing so with the same mission we have had for the past five years, which is to continue to do what is in the best interest of the people of Jersey City.”
The statement was basically a rehash of the one Healy put out on Friday acknowledging that he is “JC Official 4,” who was not arrested in Thursday’s huge corruption bust but turns up prominently in the federal complaint against Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini; affirmative action officer and Housing Authority member Ed Cheatam and political consultant Jack Shaw.
City Council President Mariano Vega, who was arrested Thursday and charged with taking $10,000 in bribes, attended today’s caucus meeting. He said he was innocent and that he would not resign.
Healy has not asked Vega to the resign and has told the press that he does not have the authority to suspend elected officials.
In contrast to Hoboken, where hundreds of protestors descended on the home of arrested Mayor Peter Cammarano on Saturday and where a protest is planned in front of City Hall tonight, the response to the Jersey City corruption allegations has so far been muted.
Hoping to turn out upset residents, Fulop pushed to hold Wednesday’s council meeting at 6pm instead of 10am, but was refused. Members of the internet message board JClist.com are organizing a protest in front of City Hall at 9am on Wednesday.