January 11,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, the Bergen Record reports (https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/2018/01/10/suit-bergen-knew-gun-range-site-contaminated-squashed-probe/1016898001/ ) a lawsuit claims that not only did county officials know about the contamination at the Bergen County Police Academy gun range, but that they actively squashed an investigation into alleged crimes by those who led the dumping.

The law suit alleges the famed “double dipper” and “party changer” Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino retaliated against Frank Carrafiello and other officers who investigated the soil remediation project. The suit names not only Saudino, but the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office , the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bergen county government .

The suit claims that Sheriff Saudino demoted officers, forced others to retire and changed the assignments of those officers who investigated the remediation.

The New Jersey Sierra Club and Mahwah officials outlined the contamination at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute. They also said the county allegedly announced lead bullet casing and other potentially toxic materials to be dumped on the site for about a year.

Jeff Tittel, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the materials oxidized and broke down, possibly seeping into the groundwater and nearby streams, the Ramapo River and the Ramapo Aquifer, which provides drinking water to thousands of people.

A Bergen County spokeswoman claims in April that County Executive James Tedesco’s administration “took swift and immediate action upon learning of the potential environmental issue at the Law and Public Safety Institute shooting range located in Mahwah.”