STATE – Assembly candidates Chris Hackett and Charles Donnelly are calling on Undersheriff Joseph Cryan to return funds donated to his political organization by Neil Palmieri, who resigned abruptly last Friday as Union County’s director of facilities management just two years short of retirement after reportedly pleading guilty in federal court to criminal charges.
The challengers are calling on Cryan to explain why a high paid county employee was allowed to escape scrutiny while engaging in criminal conduct, stating that the entire affair is more toleration of the pervasive corruption in Union County that Cryan exemplifies.
“Cryan is a double-dipping politician who was not fired even after the New York Post published evidence that he was masturbating on the job and using taxpayer property to send salacious email messages begging for kinky sex while he was supposed to be working in the Union County Sheriff’s Office,” said Hackett. “At the same time Cryan’s partner in the Assembly was spreading around child pornography, Cryan himself was telling a lobbyist he was ‘hard and horny’ before having her arrested and publicly shaming her for her concern over his infidelities. Only one of those lawmakers spend time behind bars while the other wears a badge.”
“Cryan should be held accountable, but Sheriff Ralph Froehlich will not do his job,” said Donnelly. “That leaves it to voters to fire Cryan from the Assembly. The public should also demand that Cryan come clean about his involvement with the $1,000 in contributions that the county’s latest admitted criminal made to Cryan’s political machine, and the ‘anything goes’ atmosphere at the court house that allows crimes like these to go unpunished for so long.”
Palmieri’s corruption was not well hidden, say Hackett and Donnelly.
“A Star Ledger column published several years ago disclosed that Palmieri was given free housing, on top of other perks from political insiders who control Union County,” said Hackett. “Just as our Governor has started in the State, It is time for a zero tolerance of corruption in Union County and the first step is firing Joe Cryan.”
“If people re-elect someone as dirty as Joe Cryan, then they cannot be surprised that crime goes unpunished and government is dysfunctional,” said Donnelly. “There is a direct connection between reports like this of a county director robbing taxpayers and the government shutdown playing out in Washington. This is all part of politics as usual for people like Joe Cryan, who allow our government to exist in such a dysfunctional state.”
Hackett and Donnelly are running for Assembly on the same ballot with Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
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