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Bellmawr Council OK’s Special Counsel to Investigate Alleged Incident Between Boro Employees & Councilman

Bellmawr Council took a straw vote which gives the go ahead for independent counsel to begin investigating a May 11 incident that allegedly took place between Borough employees and a sitting Councilman.

At the May 18 Bellmawr Council Caucus meeting, Councilman Paul Sandrock spoke about an alleged incident that had taken place on May 11 between employees of the Borough of Bellmawr and a member of Council.

“There was an incident that involved Borough employees and a member of Council. Reports detailing the incident with their supervisor were taken immediately thereafter and Bellmawr Police were notified. On May 15, there was a report taken by Bellmawr Police,” Sandrock stated.

He continued: “Our labor counsel was contacted and … represents Mayor and Council. She is in conflict of interest so she recommended that we conduct an investigation and a review by an independent firm or a person.”

Sandrock stated that the labor counsel had provided names. Out of the four names provided, Sandrock said: “We picked a name [indiscernible] to conduct an investigation on behalf of the Borough.”

Mayor Frank Filipek said: “She used to work for the County.”

Sandrock continued: “In order to move swiftly and to protect the Borough of possible litigation, I am recommending that we take a straw vote tonight and there will be a Resolution for this next week. I am recommending that in the interest of time, that we get started and take the straw vote and allow this investigator to begin the investigation immediately so that we have a formal process put in place next week.”

Councilmen Steve Sauter, Jim D’Angelo, and Jamie Casey were absent from the Caucus meeting.

Councilman Ray Bider asked: “Can we vote with three?”

Mayor Filipek responded: “The final Resolution will be next week. We are just voting to get the go ahead. It’s a straw vote.”

Councilmen Ray Bider, Paul Sandrock and Steve Hagerty voted yes on the straw vote.

Before Council went into Executive Session, SJO asked for more details. Mayor Filipek stated that no names can be given out at this time because there is an investigation. Councilman Paul Sandrock stated that litigation may be coming from both sides.

CNB News received an anonymous tip on May 19 about an alleged incident that occurred in the parking lot of the Bellmawr VFW Post #7420 early Thursday morning, May 11 involving a Bellmawr councilman. Click here to continue reading the CNB News story.

This is a developing story and SJO will provide updates as information becomes available.

Bellmawr Council meets on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the courtroom of Borough Hall.

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