TRENTON – A Democratic Assembly lawmaker representing the district of embattled Republican Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo is pushing for recall election reform.
Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, (D-14), Hamilton, announced Wednesday his renewed push for recall election reform that would “put in place realistic recall election standards” for voters to hold elected officials accountable, DeAngelo’s office said in a news release.
Calling the current recall time timeframes and requirements “daunting,” DeAngelo said his reform package would shorten the timeframe for when a recall effort can commence. Other measures include reducing the number of signatures required to trigger a recall – though a ballot question must pass prior to the Legislature voting to enact a law on the latter.
“The public has a right to seek to remove elected officials from office if there is an overwhelming or clear demonstration that the official is not fulfilling their duties and responsibilities for the betterment of the community,” DeAngelo said in the statement. “The recall process should not be such an intimidating procedure that the residents throw up their hands and become resigned to the fact that their representative that does not serve them effectively (can’t be removed).”
Hamilton’s mayor is fighting federal allegations that he was involved with a more than $12,000 bribery scheme. Bencivengo appeared before a federal court judge late last month and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.
He continues to serve as Hamilton’s mayor.
DeAngelo was among several Democrats who called on Bencivengo to step down after criminal charges were filed.
DeAngelo said he plans to introduce his recall reform measures on Thursday.