It’s getting ugly up in North Bergen.
Less than a day after alleging a convicted former township clerk was running the mayoral hopeful’s campaign for mayor, incumbent Nick Sacco’s camp slammed Larry Wainstein and his team for employing a street operative arrested yesterday for aggravated assault on a school security guard at North Bergen High School.
According to a release from Sacco’s camp, titled “Wainstein Goon Arrested For Assaulting School Employee”, Wainstein campaign staffer Luz Salazar “became irate” after being asked by a security guard to move down a sidewalk and, so the statement reads, lashed out:
“Salazar, a West New York resident, was with Wainstein at the time attempting to incite a near riot in front of the school just after dismissal yesterday. When asked by a school security guard to move further down the sidewalk to not impede students walking home, Salazar became irate and struck the security guard repeatedly. Police were called and Salazar was arrested later that day and charged with aggravated assault on a school employee. “
Earlier today, Sacco’s team claimed Wainstein’s campaign was “being run” by Joe Mocco, the town’s former clerk who was arrested for racketeering and bribery back in 1986, though the extent of his involvement is unclear.
“As if this group of criminals, lowlifes and thieves needed another member, it looks like Larry Wainstein now has one more in his gang,” North Bergen Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, who also works as School Board Secretary and was present during the confrontation, said in a statement. “The real question is what does Wainstein hope to accomplish by campaigning outside of schools and disrupting our students?”
Still, Wainstein’s team didn’t miss an opportunity to return the criticism. In their own statement released shortly afterwards, Wainstein said he was “saddened” to learn that a former teacher at North Bergen High School had an ethics charge complaint filed against her by the town, arguing it’s not the first time “Mayor Sacco and his administration have tried to silence dissidents by using law enforcement and the legal system.”
“Sara Guillen is just another example of Sacco using his multiple positions and power to exact his revenge. I will eliminate this practice of intimidation and harassment in our schools and in our community,” Wainstein said. “The town of North Bergen has the opportunity May 12th to free themselves from the decades of corruption, politics in our schools, and the harassment that has become commonplace throughout North Bergen.”