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Freeholder Candidate John Mitchell celebrates his efforts in getting Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli to step down

John Mitchell

October 27, 2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, Former Freeholder Chairman and current Freeholder candidate for the Bergen County Board of Freeholders, Republican John Mitchell, released a statement following news that County Prosecutor John Molinelli confirmed reports he will be resigning from office.

Mitchell states , “I’m happy that the pressure I helped bring in this situation worked, and only wish the Democrat Freeholders had joined my call for action long ago,” Mitchell said. “Even though the Democrat Freeholders tried to hold onto the last vestiges of the corrupt Ferriero days, the public interest has prevailed.”

Mitchell,is running with fellow Republicans Ken Tyburczy and Daisy Ortiz, and has made a campaign issue of the scandal over Molinelli’s controversial handling of the case of a Teaneck doctor accused of sex crimes relating to his patients. Mitchell criticised the Democrat-controlled freeholder board who ignored the scandal until OPRA requests by the Bergen Dispatch forced the issue.It’s an interesting story you can find linked here.

After the Bergen Dispatch broke the story Mitchell called for his Democrat opponents on the Freeholder Board to ask New Jersey’s Attorney General to step in.  OPRA requests by the Bergen Dispatch were answered with no communications to the Attorney General from the Democrat Freeholders as existing , but mysteriously, days later, undated letters were provided to the Dispatch containing the Freeholders’ request to the Attorney General. (Bergen Dispatch, 10/23/15)

“The Democrats refusal to act in this situation – despite overwhelming evidence of the need to do so – extended this disgraceful situation much longer than it should have,” Mitchell said. “I would have immediately called for the Attorney General to step in and correct this situation.  Thankfully, it looks like this cloud will be lifted from our justice system and we can begin to rebuild the trust of the people of Bergen County.”

“The fact that the Democrat Freeholders refused to act in this situation until it began to threaten them politically is inexcusable.  As Freeholder, I will never put the integrity of our courts, or the safety of our citizens, in danger,” Mitchell concluded.


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Critics of Bergen County prosecutor told to take issues to N.J. attorney general


OCTOBER 2, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015, 12:24 AM

The day after a tumultuous county freeholder meeting attended by critics seeking the ouster of Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss said those concerns should be taken to the state.

“If they have an issue, they should go to the attorney general,” Voss said Thursday, noting the attorney general oversees all county prosecutors.

“The Freeholder Board can’t do anything,” she added. “It’s the prerogative of the attorney general.”

Bill Brennan — a former firefighter who runs a Facebook page critical of Molinelli — and several others attended Wednesday’s meeting to call on the board to pass a resolution requesting the attorney general take over the Prosecutor’s Office due to a crisis in public confidence. Brennan said Thursday that state law would allow it; Voss said she has not had a chance to talk with the board attorney.

“Their stubborn refusal to act is myopic,” said Brennan. “They must know they have this authority and if they didn’t know there’s ample opportunity to investigate it. I want them to act in accordance with the law.”

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Police remove Molinelli foe from meeting of Bergen County freeholders


SEPTEMBER 30, 2015, 11:57 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2015, 12:01 AM
A frequent critic of Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli was removed from the county freeholder meeting late Wednesday night after attempting to play a video of a woman who claims authorities did not impose sufficient penalties on a Teaneck dermatologist who has been accused of sexual misconduct with patients.

Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss declared that the board would not allow the video to be played until the board’s lawyer has a chance to review the legality of showing it. The video was posted on YouTube earlier in the day.

That decision threw the room into tumult when Molinelli critic Bill Brennan attempted to play the video anyway.

“Mr. Brennan, I am going to have you removed if you do not stop, and I mean it,” Voss said shortly before two officers led him out of the freeholder chambers.

Brennan — a former firefighter who runs a Facebook page critical of the prosecutor — and several others attended the meeting to call on the Board of Freeholders to ask that it petition the state attorney general to take over Molinelli’s office.

Among them was Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman, who was accused by Molinelli’s office of allowing his ex-wife to continue to receive health benefits after their divorce.

The state Supreme Court ruled in June in a sharply worded decision that prosecutors had wrongly denied an application for Roseman and his ex-wife to enter the Pretrial Intervention program, which allows the accused to avoid prosecution by entering a rehabilitation program.

The court called the denial “a gross abuse of discretion.” And a Superior Court judge in Hackensack dismissed the indictment against Roseman and his ex-wife in July.

Molinelli could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday.

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Analysis: High-profile losses raise questions for Bergen Prosecutor John Molinelli


AUGUST 1, 2015, 11:09 PM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 2015, 11:23 PM

From a stinging rebuke by the state’s highest court to Friday’s reversal of the official-misconduct conviction of former Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa, it’s been a bad run of late for John Molinelli, Bergen County’s longtime prosecutor.

Although the county’s top law enforcement official has logged plenty of wins in more than a dozen years in the post, his office now finds itself on the losing end of some high-profile cases. On Friday, a state appellate panel tossed out Zisa’s conviction and described the prosecution’s case against him as weak and tainted by prejudicial and improper remarks and evidence.

Only recently the state Supreme Court cited “gross abuse of discretion” in Molinelli’s fight against Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman’s entry into a trial-diversion program known as Pretrial Intervention, or PTI.

Meanwhile, questions about possible political influence in Molinelli’s office emerged this year during the federal trial of former county Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Ferriero, when federal prosecutors referenced a years-old case involving a doctor who was allowed to enter PTI twice and avoid prosecution on allegations that he groped female patients.


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Woman found dead in Ho-Ho-Kus; son in custody


Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli

Woman found dead in Ho-Ho-Kus; son in custody
September 1, 2014 10:06 AM

Ridgewood  NJ, A woman was found dead in the early morning hours in her Ho-Ho-Kus home, and her son is expected to be charged with her murder, according to police.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says Karen Piotti, 63, suffered multiple stab wounds and beating trauma.

Her son, 24-year-old Nicholas Piotti, is currently in custody at the Bergen County Medical Center, Molinelli said. Murder charges will be filed later Monday.