My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bradley spotted in Rahway

Observers positively identified Trenton Communications Director Irving Bradley in Rahway Saturday evening, reinforcing claims that he is maintaining a primary family residence outside of Trenton and is being employed in clear violation of the city's residency ordinance.

Mr. Bradley was seen twice at a Paterson Street residence, where county land records show the embattled director is holding a mortgage. He was initially seen at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, in the driveway of the home.

Noting the individual was a black adult male generally consistent with the appearance and build of Mr. Bradley, a city resident approached the residence and knocked on the door. No one answered despite the presence of two vehicles that indicated persons were home at the time.

Following a change in location, observers were able to positively identify Mr. Bradley, who emerged from the Paterson Street residence at 5:42 p.m., or approximately 25 minutes after the knocking on the door of the residence.

Mr. Bradley, after exiting the two-story residence, proceeded to the left, down Paterson Street, across East Grand Avenue, passing the small corner deli and making his way across Washington Street and down the remainder of Paterson Street, in the direction of U.S. Route 1.

This latest sighting raises a host of problems for Mr. Bradley, who has been scrutinized by civic groups and by City Council members like Jim Coston, for appearing to violate the city's residency ordinance with the apparent blessing of a Palmer adminstration that seems smitten with the idea of employing double standards.

The city's residency ordinance requires that employees like Mr. Bradley maintain what is known as a bona fide domicile in Trenton, defined as a primary residence where immediate family members live, mail is sent, and voting rights are registered, along with a host of other important personal information.

The law makes it so city tax dollars, paid out in salaries like the $90,000 given to Mr. Bradley, end up staying within Trenton. The law ensures that the city government workforce - numbering in the thousands - ends up being an important and stable bulwark against the negative economic forces at work in many cities like Trenton.

But Mr. Bradley appears to be circumventing the intent of the law, by using an apartment in Trenton while maintaining the old, primary family dwelling in Rahway.

It all started when a city-owned Ford Expedition assigned to Mr. Bradley was photographed, parked in front of the same Rahway home earlier in 2007. Making things worse, Mr. Bradley later called attention to himself when he crashed a city-owned Ford Crown Victoria miles outside of the city's borders.

Mr. Bradley's situation wasn't helped in the public eye doesn't by the dozens of city employees have been fired under the Palmer administration for similar gaffes, but with the blessing of Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, Mr. Bradley has been immune to any official sanctions thus far.

Despite the intentions of Palmer officials, Mr. Bradley's earlier, automobile-related debacles served to raise suspicions about the status of his compliance with the residency law, in that they effectively established the possibility of the continued existence of a primary residence in Rahway.

Those suspicions have been augmented by Mr. Bradley's infrequent presence at his downtown Trenton abode in the Broad Street Bank Building.

During a recent fire alarm evacuation at the downtown apartment building that brought hosts of residents outside due to the incessant, deafening interior fire alarms, Mr. Bradley emerged alone, without the family members who should be dwelling in Trenton under the residency law.

Compounding these issues is the state Department of Personnel, which ruled earlier this year that Mr. Bradley is unqualified for his position, so much so that he is not even qualified to take the test to determine how qualified he is for being a communications director.

Although he is appealing the ruling, it cast significant doubt on both his ability and the employment decisions of the Palmer administration which now threaten to cost the city thousands of dollars.

A group of dispatchers working under Mr. Bradley have sued him and the city for what has been alleged as discriminatory practices in the city communications center.

It has also emerged that Mr. Bradley, who has now worked for the city for over a full year, only recently changed his voter registration to fit his Trenton address, after officials and residents began looking into what is a very important component of legal residency after recently compiled county voter lists failed to include Mr. Bradley's information.

In fact, sources tonight said that Mr. Bradley's registration was not changed to Trenton until the second week of September, or a full year after he became a residency-required employee.

If those comments are accurate, any vote cast by Mr. Bradley during that time in Union County would be utterly fraudulent.

Perhaps most damaging is the fact that Mr. Bradley is known to have children. If the director is indeed maintaining bona fide residency in Trenton, then school-age children should be enrolled here, rather than Rahway, as New Jersey enrollment is based upon place of residence and the age of the child.

If Mr. Bradley were to have children attending public school in Rahway, as has been indicated by some, the scheme would be both unlawful and indicative of residency violations.

Thus far, limited activity at the Broad Street Bank Building and activity in Rahway indicate that school-age children are probably dwelling in Rahway, although such determinations remain uncertain. But children going to school in Rahway would certainly make that abode Mr. Bradley's primary residence, and his continued employment in Trenton would be rendered unlawful.

No comments: