WEST NEW YORK -- As has been the case ever since Mayor Felix Roque was arrested in May, the township's Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday night was tumultuous, with allies of Roque (who has not stepped down from his position) fighting with Roque's political rivals, particularly Commissioner Count Wiley, who has said he wants to recall and replace Roque.
In May, Felix Roque and his son were arrested by the FBI for allegedly hacking into a Recall Roque website set up by political rivals.
At Wednesday night's meeting, the board majority passed a resolution censuring Count Wiley for conduct unbecoming of an elected official, and Wiley in turn threatened a civil suit against the city over an attempt to dissolve his office.
Wiley admitted earlier this month that some town employees from neighboring North Bergen had painted his office last year. Wiley's father, James Wiley, recently resigned as the head of public works in North Bergen, and pleaded guilty last month to having North Bergen employees do personal chores at his home while being paid for by the township. Now, West New York employees recently charged that North Bergen employees had painted Count Wiley's office as well. Count Wiley's explanation was that it was part of a "shared services" agreement with the other township.
At Wednesday's meeting, there was also discussion about Mayor Roque's efforts to place his sister on the Planning Board, which Wiley took issue with, calling it a conflict of interest.
In West New York's form of government, five commissioners are elected, and one of them is chosen to also be mayor. Each commissioner gets a department to partially oversee in town as a part-time job.
Wiley and Roque have been at odds ever since Roque's arrest. This past Saturday, Wiley closed down a senior citizen building in the township, citing violations in a state report. He told the press that when he went to the senior center to tell seniors about its fate, a Roque supporter called police to have him arrested.