ORANGE – Councilman Kerry Coley, a 2016 candidate for mayor, stood in front of the Orange City Hall on Tuesday evening to announce that he had filed a lawsuit against sitting Mayor Dwayne Warren and others. In the lawsuit Coley claims that allegations brought against him regarding an allegedly intentional post of pornography to his Facebook page are plainly false and fabrications created to discredit him as a mayoral candidate.
The lawsuit claims that the video, posted in July 2015, appeared on Coley’s page without his authorization. He made a statement at that time that his account had been hacked.
“I would never expose children and families to pornography,” Coley said. “It is harmful and blatantly false.”
In addition to Mayor Warren, the lawsuit names Willis Edwards III, Lena Taylor, Gracia Montilus, the mayor’s reelection committee, a PAC called American Future Leaders and the city or Orange (for Discovery only).
Coley is suing for defamation, invasion of privacy, breach of fiduciary duty and collusion in campaigning. In addition to claiming that he was wrongly accused of posting pornography, Coley’s lawsuit also alleges that Warren’s campaign and the PAC violated election law and are working together to secure Warren’s reelection. The lawsuit also claims that Coley’s privacy was invaded by the defendants due to accessing and publishing of his internal affairs records from his time as a police officer. Additionally, because a number of the defendants are city employees, the lawsuit claims that they violated their fiduciary responsibilities by either disseminating his internal affairs records or failing to adhere to the city’s guidelines concerning those records.
“Orange deserves better than this,” Coley said. “We will pursue his relentlessly and tirelessly.”
Coley is being represented by attorney Eugene Kim who also spoke in front of the Orange city hall.
The lawsuit was filed with the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey in Essex County. The Orange mayor’s race will be held on May 10.