The Edison Blog: Edison, New Jersey

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Gonzo is gone-zo (updated)

Posted by edison1205 on April 12, 2011

The Home News is reporting that Edison mayor Antonia Ricigliano has fired the township business administator, Dennis Gonzalez.  The termination is effective May 17.

Coverage here.  Also see the Star-Ledger’s coverage here.

No announcement has been made about the mayor’s process for receiving resumes for applicants to replace Gonzalez.

The S/L coverage explained that from Ricigliano’s standpoint, Gonzalez had “demeanor” problems that “made it difficult for people to get along with him.”  Last April, we commented on Gonzalez’s appointment, explaining that his management style as observed in Trenton would not go over well here.  Here is what we wrote:

Journalists have also observed that he had an “abrasive style” during his tenure in Trenton and council persons have commented on his “arrogance.”

According to the author of this site, Gonzalez threatened a citizen with a lawsuit “for asking questions about Trenton’s economic development activities, or lack thereof.”  Threats like that will not go over here very well, especially considering the outspokenness and litigiousness of the township’s residents and employees.

So neither his dismissal nor the stated reason for his dismissal, surprises us.  The unfortunate part is that the mayor who appointed him and the council who confirmed him did not heed these danger signs.

On another note, in answer to the question asked in email about whether the council can still subpoena Gonzalez to appear even though he’s been fired, the answer is yes.  The council is allowed to subpoena, in addition to municipal officials, any third party who has relevant information to the council investigation.  The law says that the council may subpoena “any person within this state, to appear before it to give testimony or information required.”


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