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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Council: what is up with Irving?

Communications Director Irving Bradley's residency in Trenton and his usage of city-owned vehicles in exotic New Jersey locations will be the subject of further City Council discussions after the body broached the issue in the closing minutes of the regular session of their Tuesday meeting.

"I want to talk about Mr. Bradley's weekend jaunts," said Councilman Jim Coston to the rest of council.

Councilman Coston questioned Palmer administration officials on whether they had allowed Mr. Bradley to take a city-owned Ford Expedition up to his old home in Rahway over the weekend, which was revealed on a Trenton Web site this week.

Chief of Staff Renee Haynes did say that police officials were allowed to take their city vehicle home with them at night, citing the unsafe nature of Trenton for the overnight storage of city vehicles, but that only brought up another issue: the director's residence in Trenton.

Council members asked why Mr. Bradley - as a civilian director - would have his family living outside of the city at his old home in Rahway, in violation of the city's residency laws.

"If he is a resident of Trenton, than that car should have been parked at his Trenton residence," said Councilwoman Annette Lartigue.

That was all for the council on the matter - for now - with already four and a half hours and an executive session yet to be conducted.

Mr. Coston said earlier in the conversation that he wanted to discuss the issue in-depth at a later date, but finished by handing out a certification with a "detailed explanation of residency", to all council members and some of the administration officials.

All city employees hired after 1995 were required to sign the certification, which defines exactly what comprises the bona fide domicile that is required of city employees, with violators facing dismissal.

Legal sources said Tuesday that if Mr. Bradley signed the paper, he would be in violation of the law and subject to prosecution, and if he didn't sign the paper, then it would serve as evidence of the Palmer administration engaging in selective enforcement, by failing to enforce a law they had upheld numerous times against other employees.

Council is expected to discuss the issue further in coming weeks.