Tonight, concerned Bloomfield residents plan to gather on the steps of city hall to demand the resignation of Councilman Elias Chalet and call on Mayor Michael Venezia to demand Chalet’s departure.
In November, First-Ward Councilman Chalet was arrested on charges that he accepted $15,000 in bribes. According to the Office of the Attorney General, Chalet promised a business owner “that he would use his position on the council to ensure that the township went ahead with its planned purchase of the man’s commercial property.” In the wake of those charges, a group of concerned Bloomfield residents banded together in order to demand Chalet’s resignation. The group is called CORRUPT (Citizens Organized to Rapidly Remove Underhanded Political Takers).
“He won’t resign and the citizens are asking the mayor to ask him to resign but the mayor refuses to ask him to resign,” said CORRUPT’s media contact, Gary Iacobacci.
In addition to concern over Chalet’s charges, members of CORRUPT say they are also increasingly concerned over their lack of representation at city council meetings. According to a release distributed by the group, residents of Chalet’s ward have “been disenfranchised by the fact that their councilman has a cloud hanging over him, won’t resign and no longer attends meetings…” due to the charges against him. They also say that the mayor is wrong in his decision to not seek a resignation from Chalet.
The release further goes on to spear Venezia, citing concerns over “questionable actions” made by his administration including purchase of a Getty station in town and the “questionable circumstances surrounding the former town administrator’s (Ted Ehrenburg) demotion to assistant town administrator and his subsequent work assignment…”
According to the release, those attending the rally want their government officials to be “clean, forthright” and “have integrity.”
The rally will begin at 6 p.m. on January 4. Attendees will gather at 1 Municipal Plaza in front of the Bloomfield City Hall.
PolitickerNJ attempted to reach Chalet and Venezia for comment but they could not be contacted.