RAHWAY—Two weeks after the school board accepted his resignation effective in January, allowing him to exploit credits for time off and unused sick leave, disgraced Councilman Bobby Akbar resigned from the city’s governing body Tuesday.
School officials suspended Akbar from his job as a Franklin Elementary School teacher and Rahway High School football and track coach, providing no explanation because it was a personnel matter.
Sources say Akbar made inappropriate remarks to a teenage girl via telephone, prompting school officials to take action as police conducted a month-long investigation, which did not result in criminal charges being filed.
Akbar made headlines earlier this year because he was arrested and charged with simple assault, although most details were unavailable from official sources due to confidentiality granted in domestic violence cases.
Those charges were downgraded in a plea bargain Akbar struck, which allowed him to plead guilty and pay a $500 fine without a trial or other sanctions.
The timing of Akbar’s resignation perturbs Rahway GOP Chairman Patrick Cassio, because the Rahway Democratic Committee now has 15 days to recommend three names to the city council, which has until Oct. 8 to select one of them as Akbar’s replacement.
If Akbar had resigned before the Labor Day weekend, the vacancy would have been filled in a Nov. 3 special election.
Among those mentioned as possible replacements are former Councilman Robert Rachlin and former school board member Sondra Bailey, although Freeholder Rick Proctor, the city Democratic chairman, said any First Ward resident interested in the position is welcome to submit his or her credentials.
A 1994 graduate of Rahway High, where he was a star football player under the name of Bobby McClain, Akbar was elected to the council seat less than one year ago.
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