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Michael Saudino Out as Bergen County Sheriff !

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino


The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office announces that effective this date and at this time Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino (D)  has submitted his resignation as the Sheriff of Bergen County.
Additionally, Executive Undersheriff George Buono, Undersheriff Robert Colaneri, Undersheriff Brian Smith and Undersheriff Joseph Hornyak have also submitted their resignations effective immediately.
Pending the appointment of an interim sheriff by Governor Phil Murphy, Sheriff’s Office Chief Kevin Pell will be the officer-in-charge of the sheriff’s department’s operations and Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Warden Steve Ahrendt will be the officer-in-charge of the Bergen County jail’s operations.
There will be no further statements at this time.

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BREAKING : Governor Phil Murphy says Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino must resign for ‘appalling’ racist comments

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, Governor Phil Murphy says Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino must resign for ‘appalling’ racist comments caught on tape. Saudino, recounting the details of Murphy’s Jan. 16 inaugural address, said, “He talked about the whole thing, the marijuana, sanctuary state…better criminal justice reform. Christ almighty, in other words let the blacks come in, do whatever the f–k they want, smoke their marijuana, do this do that, and don’t worry about it. You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops,” according to a WNYC report.


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County Sheriff Sued Over Contamination at the Bergen County Police Academy Gun Range

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

January 11,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, the Bergen Record reports ( ) 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.”

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November 6,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino jointly announced today the launch of a new law enforcement initiative designed to promote both public and law enforcement safety across Bergen County. Beginning Wednesday, November 1, 2017, the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team (“RST”), which is overseen by both the Prosecutor and Sheriff, will deploy two patrol units County-wide, which will allow highly trained and specially equipped RST officers to respond more quickly to critical incidents.

The new patrol units will be staffed by officers from the RST, which is comprised of approximately 55 law enforcement officers from the Prosecutor’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, and 24 Bergen County municipal police departments. The units will be on scheduled patrol across Bergen County for 12 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. They will primarily provide back-up and support services to municipal officers responding to dangerous calls for service, such as domestic violence calls, shots-fired calls, crimes in progress, or high-risk motor vehicle stops. In addition, the new units will support traditional RST calls for service, including active shooter, barricaded subject, or hostage situations. Because they will already be on the road, they will be able to respond more quickly to such calls and in some cases, avoid a full RST deployment when the quick-response unit alone is sufficient.

In addition to acting as a back-up response asset to Bergen County’s many municipal police agencies, the quick-response units will be conducting routine critical infrastructure patrols. On a daily basis, the RST officers will be checking schools, hotels, office and government buildings, as well as other buildings and areas of critical infrastructure as identified by municipal police agencies and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Units.

According to a 2016 study released by the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing, 34% of police officers killed between 2010 and 2014 were alone without back-up when they were killed.1 According to the same study, during more than one in five (or 22%) of these instances, the slain police officers were responding to a routine call regarding domestic violence. Additionally, in all but one case, the responding officers were shot to death. The report concluded that the “necessity of having three or more officers at a domestic situation to adequately separate parties, monitor family members and, if necessary, physically restrain and arrest a suspect, is apparent.

“The goal here is to have these new units serve as a force multiplier for our local departments to ensure officer safety when responding to dangerous calls for service,” said Prosecutor Grewal. “Such a response will be of particular benefit to our smaller, as well as our busier departments, both of which sometimes have fewer officers to respond to potentially dangerous calls for service,” added Prosecutor Grewal.

Additionally, some calls for service in Bergen County, like active shooter or hostage situations, require a tactical RST response and time is of the essence during such calls. “Experience shows that a direct and immediate response by multiple, tactically trained and equipped officers greatly increases the safety of civilians, including suspects, and officers,” stated Sheriff Saudino. “These mobile units will provide for a quicker response by RST officers and are another example of how we are proactive here in Bergen County,” he added.

Both of the new RST units were purchased and equipped jointly by the Prosecutor and Sheriff using criminal forfeiture funds and at no expense to taxpayers, and will be staffed on a rotating schedule by RST members.

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867 tickets and counting: NJ cops crack down on snow-covered cars


By Dino Flammia March 14, 2017 3:37 AM

867 tickets and counting: NJ cops crack down on snow-covered cars

You hear it during and after every snowstorm: clear your vehicle of ice and snow before hitting the road. Not doing so is actually against the law.

But if you’re willing to take a gamble and see what you can get away with, just know New Jersey cops are taking this law seriously, and they may be cracking down now more than ever.

We want to see your photos! Send them to us via the NJ 101.5 app!

Between January and February of 2017, municipal police departments in New Jersey handed out 867 tickets to motorists who failed to remove ice and snow from their vehicles before driving, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts. And this hasn’t been a very active winter in terms of precipitation.

More than 300 summonses were delivered in Bergen County, the data show. The second-largest number of tickets (84) was registered in Middlesex County.

This year’s numbers already surpass the number of tickets handed out in all of 2016 — 838, according to the data, with Bergen and Middlesex Counties leading the pack.

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino said the numbers are likely elevated in the county due to population and miles of highway. Seventy municipal departments operate in Bergen County.

“It could be a matter of life or death — something as simple as getting the ice off your car,” he said

Read More: 867 tickets and counting: NJ cops crack down on snow-covered cars |

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A Case of Fraud ?: Bergen County GOP chief demands sheriff give back funds ,

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

Police Merger 


this may even cast the election results in doubt 

JANUARY 19, 2016    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016, 1:21 AM

n the wake of his switch to the Democratic Party, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino has been accused of fraud by county Republican Chairman Bob Yudin, who labeled him a traitor and said he should return thousands of dollars raised recently under the guise that he was a member of the GOP.

“Mr. Saudino perpetrated what basically amounts to fraud among Republican donors here in Bergen County,” said Yudin. “Recently, Mr. Saudino raised tens of thousands of dollars from Republican residents under the ruse he was one of them. I call on Mr. Saudino to return this ill-gotten money immediately.”

Yudin noted that Saudino held a comedy night in November that drew nearly 1,000 people; a flier for that event said tickets were $125. But the county chairman said he’s referring to any money raised recently by the onetime Republican.

“He should return those monies, because they were secured under false pretenses,” Yudin said. “If these people had known he was going to be a Democrat, that he was going to be running on the ticket of Clinton or Bernie Sanders, that he was going to be in the same party as Barack Obama, most of them wouldn’t have given him a penny.”

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Threats made against at least 9 school districts in North Jersey


file photo by Boyd Loving

By Myles Ma | NJ Advance Media for
on January 19, 2016 at 10:10 AM, updated January 19, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Multiple Bergen and Passaic county schools received bomb threats, Jan. 19, 2016. (File Photo)

High schools in at least nine school districts in Bergen County and Passaic County received threats Tuesday morning.

Schools in Leonia, Tenafly, Teaneck, Garfield, Fair Lawn, Hackensack, Englewood  and Bergenfield received threats, Anthony Cureton, a spokesman for Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, said.

Police are investigating whether the threats are related, Cureton said. It’s also possible all the calls were automated, he said.

Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Brian Metzler said Fair Lawn High School received a threat over the phone at about 9 a.m. All the students have been moved to Memorial Middle School.

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Yudin: Saudino’s Party Switch is ‘Treacherous, Treasonous Act’


By Alyana Alfaro | 01/18/16 3:21pm

Late last week, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino shocked the county when he announced that, though he was planning on pursuing reelection, it would not be as a Republican. He announced that he would be switching his party affiliation and running as a Democrat in November. Now, Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Bob Yudin is speaking out against Saudino’s party shift and outlining what steps the Bergen GOP plans to take moving forward.

“We are starting to reach out,” Yudin said of finding a replacement on the ballot for Saudino. “We have a number of people who have expressed interest.”

According to Yudin, the BCRO selects county candidates using a convention. Usually, the deadline to submit a letter of intent to run would be February 1. Because Saudino defected just two weeks shy of that deadline, Yudin says he is considering extending it to February 15 in order to give potential candidates more time.

“He had told both myself and many of my lieutenants that he was running as a Republican,” Yudin said. “So the actual timeframe for people to make a decision, instead of being months or a year or so, is less than two weeks. In all fairness to everyone who is thinking about this, I probably will extend the deadline.”

Yudin also had some harsh words to say about Saudino’s decision. When he spoke to PolitickerNJ the chairman recalled a conversation he had with the Sheriff before the party-switch bombshell was revealed. According to Yudin, Saudino disclosed that he had met with Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato about potentially switching parties. Yudin went on to say that the Sheriff assured him he would remain a Republican and that he told Stellato that he was reassured by Yudin’s leadership style, supposedly citing that Stellato would try to impose more control over the governance of the Sheriff’s department.

“That is what the Sheriff told me,” Yudin said. “I took it as a compliment. I was very proud for the Sheriff to say that and for him to have said that to Lou Stellato. That is what I mean when I say I was so blindsided by this treacherous, treasonous act. It is a very, very despicable and dishonorable thing this man has done.”

Yudin said he believes Saudino’s decision to switch his party stems from his perception that he has a higher likelihood of reelection as a Democrat than as a Republican.

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Breaking News Bergen County officials Are Seeking to Merge County Services With Cities Like Newark ,Paterson, Passaic and Jersey City

Van Nest Sq

December 3,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , the Ridgewoood blog has learned from what we’ve seen in other presentations that this means they want to make things ‘regional’ and that means you’ll pay for costs in other towns even though you don’t get a vote?  Bergen County officials are seeking to use your tax money to fund services in other jurisdictions .

The meeting was held at Bergen Community College on Wednesday December 2nd under the guise of “Uniting New Jersey: Cities and Suburbs Working Together”,hosted by Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco. The keynote speaker was Bergen Professor Phil Dolce, Ph.D., a noted suburban studies expert.

Bergen Professor Phil Dolce, Ph.D.,led a panel discussion featuring: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino; Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera; Teaneck Mayor Lizette Parker; and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips on strategies for bridging the divide between suburbs and cities.

This would answer a lot of questions as to why the made dash to urbanize down town Ridgewood .

this is the invite

Officials Will Discuss Suburb/City Relationship at Forum

Elected officials from some of North Jersey’s largest suburbs and cities, including keynote speakers Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, will gather at Bergen Community College to discuss how communities can enhance collaboration during a free and open-to-the-public conference Wednesday, Dec. 2.

The “Uniting New Jersey: Cities and Suburbs Working Together” program will begin at 5 p.m. with a light buffet in the Moses Family Meeting & Training Center at the College’s main campus, 400 Paramus Road. Along with the College, the Volunteer Center of Bergen County and the North Jersey Public Policy Network will co-sponsor the event.

In addition to the keynote speakers, Bergen Professor Phil Dolce, Ph.D., a noted suburban studies expert, will lead a panel discussion featuring: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino; Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera; Teaneck Mayor Lizette Parker; and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips on strategies for bridging the divide between suburbs and cities.

For the first time since 1950, growth in urban counties has outpaced their suburban counterparts in the New York metropolitan area, according to a Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy study. Experts believe the shift could have consequences for suburban areas that depend on significant property tax revenue. Bergen County, a major suburb of New York City, remains the state’s most populated county with approximately 933,572 residents according to the federal government. The county’s population has risen each year in the last decade.

For more information on the conference, or to RSVP for the light buffet and/or conference, please

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Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino Top “Double Dipper”

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

Three-fourths of NJ sheriffs double-dip, led by 25-year ‘retiree’

By Mark Lagerkvist  /   August 30, 2015  /   6 Comments

For the past quarter century, Armando Fontoura has been looting a New Jersey state pension fund. But it won’t do any good to call the cops.

Fontoura is sheriff of Essex County. A dean among double-dippers, he draws $207,289 a year from public coffers – $144,896 in salary plus $62,393 from pension as a retiree of his own office.

Today is the 25th anniversary of Fontoura’s faux retirement. So far, he has collected $1.35 million in retirement cash without ever giving up his full-time county paycheck

On Friday, Aug. 31, 1990, Fontoura retired as county undersheriff at age 47. The following Monday, he returned to work at Essex County with the same salary and duties, but a different title – sheriff’s officer chief. One year later, he took charge as sheriff, a post he’s held ever since.

“Does it look bad? Yes,” admitted Fontoura. “No question about it, it looks bad. Was it legal? Yes.”

Worse for taxpayers, three-fourths of New Jersey’s county sheriffs – plus hundreds of other public officials – are taking advantage of pension loopholes to collect dual incomes.

A continuing New Jersey Watchdog investigation found the sheriffs in 16 of the state’s 21 counties are double-dippers. In addition, the sheriffs also employ 37 undersheriffs who returned to work after retiring as local, county or state law enforcement officials at relatively young ages.

In total, the 53 officers collect nearly $10 million a year from public coffers – $5.7 million in salaries plus $4.1 million in retirement pay – according to payroll and pension records.

By order of annual incomes, the double-dipping posse includes:

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino (R), $267,987 – $138,000 salary + $129,987 pension as an Emerson Borough police retiree
Passaic County Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik (D), $253,957 – $151,887 salary + $102,070 pension as a Clifton police retiree
Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy (R), $231,315 – $107,250 salary + $124,065 pension as a Toms River Township police retiree
Mercer County Sheriff John Kemler (D), $227,330 – $142,499 salary + $84,831 pension as a Mercer County sheriff’s office retiree
Camden County Sheriff Charles J. Billingham (D), $219,232 – $144,753 salary + $74,479 pension as a Washington Township police retiree
Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano (R), $208,576 – $132,555 salary + $76,021 pension as Bridgewater Township police retiree
Warren County Sheriff David P. Gallant (R), $208,432 – $125,945 salary + $82,487 pension as a State Police retiree
Morris County Sheriff Edward V. Rochford (R), $200,838 – $139,203 salary + $61,545 pension as a Morris Township police retiree
Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D), $200,796 – $139,455 salary + $61,341 pension as a retiree of the Middlesex County sheriff’s office
Hunterdon County Sheriff Frederick W. Brown (R), $197,796 – $115,868 salary + $81,928 pension as a retiree of Raritan Township police
Salem County Sheriff Charles M. Miller, $195,452 (R) – $119,386 salary + $76,066 pension as a retiree of the Salem County prosecutor’s office
Gloucester County Sheriff Carmel M. Morina (D), $191,996 – $128,547 salary + $63,449 pension as a Greenwich Township police retiree
Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada (R), $170,124 – $121,212 salary + $46,973 pension as Mount Olive Township police retiree
Cumberland County Sheriff Robert Austino (D), $166,938 – $107,250 salary + $59,688 pension as a Vineland police retiree
Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer (R), $161,654 – $107,500 salary + $54,154 pension as an Ocean City police retiree.

Click here for the complete list of sheriffs and undersheriffs who collect pensions plus salaries.

New Jersey Watchdog began tracking double-dipping by sheriffs in 2011. The initial report found 16 sheriffs and 28 undersheriffs collecting a total of $8 million a year – $3.25 million from pensions plus $4.75 million in salaries.

Four years later, the tally has increased by nine undersheriffs and $1.8 million a year in total pay.

The investigative news site has also reported extensively on double-dipping by state legislators, administration officials, school superintendents, state police and the staffs of the attorney general and county prosecutors.

RELATED: ‘Seven deadly sins’ of New Jersey pensions

The millions being drained from retirement funds through double-dipping epitomize the woes of a pension system that faces $170 billion in underfunding – a point noted earlier this year by Gov. Christie’s blue-ribbon, bi-partisan Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission.

“It has great symbolic importance…as the double-dippers have become the ‘face’ of a dysfunctional public pension system,” the study concluded, citing New Jersey Watchdog’s reporting. “For this reason, the task force should consider ways to further limit this practice.”

Yet Gov. Chris Christie and the State Legislature have done little to halt the abuses that have profited well-connected Democrats and Republicans over the years.

One of the bigger beneficiaries is Sen. Fred Madden, D-Washington, a triple-dipper who receives nearly a quarter-million dollars a year – $85,272 from his state police pension, $113,810 as dean of law and justice of Rowan College at Gloucester County and $49,000 as a part-time state legislator.

“Obviously I don’t have a problem with people doing it,” Madden said in an interview with New Jersey Watchdog three years ago. “I’ve accepted that in my own personal life. I don’t have a problem with it at all.”

A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Red Bank, would stop most double-dipping. It would suspend pension payments to retirees who return to public jobs paying more than $15,000 a year. The retirement benefits would resume when they permanently leave public employment.

“The pension system is intended to support you at a time you are no longer working,” said Beck. “So when you are an active employee, you should not be able to tap into both.”

The reform proposal has gone nowhere since it was first introduced in 2011 by Beck and Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sparta. Its current incarnations – S-883 and A-114 – are trapped in legislative committees, unable to get enough support to reach the Senate or Assembly floors for votes.

RELATED: 18 double-dipping lawmakers block pension reform

Meanwhile, Fontoura is a heavy favorite to win re-election as sheriff in a Democratic stronghold that includes Newark. A victory would enable him to continue his double-dipping ways in Essex County for at least three more years.

“I retired, I collect my pension, and I am your sheriff,” Fontoura told NBC 4 New York, which partnered with New Jersey Watchdog for a report in 2012.

County personnel records show the retiring and rehiring of Fontoura had been plotted in advance. Then-sheriff Thomas D’Alessio approved the move on Aug. 7, 1990, more than three weeks before the switch.

“I said, as long as I can do this legally without breaking any law – and I can collect my pension and augment it with a salary — that’s fine, I will do this,” Fontoura recalled.

The sheriff’s office did not respond to a new request from New Jersey Watchdog for additional comment

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Ridgewood woman sues judge in challenge of layoff

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

JULY 14, 2015, 6:23 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015, 6:39 AM

A Ridgewood woman has sued a state administrative law judge, claiming the judge has been violating her right to due process as she contests her dismissal from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.

The federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Newark by Alexis Fitzsimmons, an advanced practice nurse laid off from the Sheriff’s Department in the spring of 2011. Days after losing her job, Fitzsimmons — who’d been working as the department’s chief nursing officer — challenged her dismissal, contending it was “illegitimate” and political retaliation, the suit reads.

Fitzsimmons’ lawsuit, filed June 15,  claims she lost her job soon after Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino assumed office. The suit claims Saudino’s move was sparked by “groundless rumors” he had been told claiming Fitzsimmons was romantically involved with his predecessor as sheriff, Leo McGuire. Fitzsimmons’ suit further claims she was given 20 days’ notice prior to her dismissal and not 45 as is required by law.

Months later, the Civil Service Commission cleared the way for Fitzsimmons to appeal her layoff. The matter was assigned to New Jersey Office of Administrative Law Judge Irene Jones. Jones is named as a defendant in Fitzsimmons’ suit, as is Judge Laura Sanders, who oversees the administrative law office.

In February of 2013, Fitzsimmons’ suit claims, she filed a motion to compel the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office to provide discovery as well as answers to several questions. For nearly eight months, Jones declined to rule on the motion, reads the suit. Then, a two-page order issued September 30, 2013 denied the motion without offering any explanation for the opinion.