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Friday, February 19, 2010

On the Hellwig suspension



Screenshot of CMD website.


Plainfield Today readers have asked why there has been no mention of Public Safety Director Hellwig's recent suspension on this blog.

Those who have followed the blog since its inception more than four years ago know that I focus on PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES and the PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES of public officials.

I am not interested in the personal peccadilloes of elected officials or those who work for the City, and have ignored all kinds of tips and gossip in this regard over the years.

However, a story appearing online today at the website of CMD Media, a publisher of several weekly newspapers in Union County, raises the possibility that the incident is more serious than the Robinson-Briggs administration has previously portrayed it and may rise above the level of a mere indiscretion.

Judge for yourself. You can find the online story here.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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31 comments:

Tony said...

Dan, your biasias are showing. This story has everything to do with performance of a Public Official. He Broke the Law big time, in your back yard. Clearly, you cherry pick what you want to cover.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
what a dumb f***!
He needs to be fired just for being stupid! Soliciting a prostitute on police time, on a police computer, in a police vehicle??? Come on! What is he, above the law! He has alienated so many of the police officers and other officials, he deserves to be given an unceremonious bums rush!
What a dope!

Anonymous said...

By the way, has anyone called Arnold Diaz?

Anonymous said...

I recall an incident of a maintenance worker in City Hall being terminated just for leaving his business cards on peoples desk to promote his real estate business.

I think this is a little more serious than that and he gets a 3 day suspension?

As he is in a position that should be held to a higher standard, his penalty should have been no less than termination.

Not only is this incident an embarassment to the City of Plainfield, but the handing down of the suspension by the Mayor reflects on her (choke, choke) professionilism and responsibility to the citizens of Plainfield.

I commend the Police Personnel for not covering up this incident. With a vote of no confidence, elimination of the Chief of Police and demotion of Captains, he couold not have thought this would not be made public.

Said it before, mess with the Police and it will come back to haunt you.

Do us all a favor Hellwig - Just Resign.

Anonymous said...

So where's the crime? The evidence is the printed sheets, which suggests soliciting prostitution but doesn't prove that it occurred. The story about using the vehicle solely for the assignation seems speculative.

What I find most disturbing is that the taxpayers are paying a sergeant AND a captain how much?! to deliver a malfunctioning computer somewhere in northern NJ and wait for it to be diagnosed. That tells me that we have at least one sergeant and one captain too many on the job.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the mayor thought that covering up the issue was appropriate to state on the record. Not smart.

Quite interesting that this happened 8 months ago, and that it happened to be identified after Hellwig was demoting officers and it happened to get into Santiago's hands.

I hope Santiago isn't going to come back in any kind of leadership role. Nice guy but no leader.

Anonymous said...

It took seven months to investigate and punish the offense, during which time Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Assemblyman Green have a press conference praising Hellwig? What's wrong with that picture? Who sent a copy of the report to CMD? Isn't that a crime in itself?

@ Tony @ 8.21 @ 8.22

Do you expect us to believe that if Sgt Walz and Capt Soltys had found the same evidence with one of their "brother's" names on it that they would have turned them in? No way! they would have called him a dumb f**k (not to mention a f****t) and told him to not be so stupid. So much for being above the law and cherry picking who you snitch on.

Anonymous said...

Several things add up to termination in my book:

1. Scheduled the meeting 2pm on a Friday, "on the clock"

2. Using police vehicle.

3. The ethics involved. He is married, made promises and vows. If he cheats and lies to his wife, he will cheat and lie elsewhere.

4. Much like speeding ... the one time you are caught, can expect it happened many, many, many other times.

5. This represents theft. Theft of the time spent on arranging the hookup, using city resources (computer, car).

I'm constantly amazed at what people risk for an illicit piece of nooky. He's a very sad individual.

It is VERY telling the administration is protecting him. This means if you are "connected", it's okay to lie and cheat and steal from the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

To 8:53

Get real - even if he was only attempting to solicit a protitute, the fact that there was intent, combined with doing it on City time warrants his termination.

And the story about using the vehicle solely for the assignation seems speculative? How's that? I speculate that Hellwig is assigned a city vehicle and that is all he uses. Oh wait - there should be no problem with the Director using a City vehicle to meet up with a hooker - After all, I believe it is assigned "uncondional use"!

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace. Let's face it, he hasn't improved anything in the police division. The same old problems still exist, he just has a new way of keeping them from going public.
In another county he would have been facing official misconduct for soliciting a prostitute. This is Union County and he is a Democrat!

Anonymous said...

LOLOL!!!! Busted with a MALE prostitute! Only in Plainfield! Thanks for the info Dan!

Anonymous said...

Why does he have to travel all the way to Verona? Doesn't McGreevy live in town anymore

Anonymous said...

The Myaor had to know about this incident before January 1st. Question is, was City Counccil aware of it and if they were not, would they have confirmed his re-appointment.

Anonymous said...

Besides being ultimately fired over petty charges, what was Santiago's suspension time?

Jason? Is that a guy?

Rob said...

And I thought Mayor Jerry and Assistant Mayor Sharon were both a hot mess!
Well...maybe he can help show me how to meet some people, I am single and available here in the Queen City..although I don't believe in paying for it...I mean 6.5uncut really doesn't justify a cash exchange and he could have walked to my place!

Anonymous said...

Someone help me out, but wasn't a City officer fired years ago for soliciting a prostitute or being in a house of prostitution? Does anyone remember the details of that? There was a story about it in the paper. He was prosecuted by the Union County prosecutor's office. Where is the equity? @8:53 The documents are pretty damning. Someone can verify if the police report is official but those e-mails speak volumes.

Anonymous said...

How silly we are. We thought it was pornography. Plainfield public officials: the gift that never stops giving

Anonymous said...

You just can't make this stuff up. Don't even need the Sunday papers for the comics. I get enough laughs just seeing what some of these bumbling city officials are doing

Rob said...

ok.. In light of this new development I have this to offer...
Mayor Jerry picked Sharon who picked Hellwig...
Ladies and gentlemen of Plainfield, I would like to introduce Larry, Moe and Curly-The 3 Stooges. I would like some help assigning the persona of the fools to the TV Characters...oh wait, did I get backwards?? Oh, no I didn't.

Rob said...

And...In an effort to help Hellwig's Craigslist boy make a better decision about his life..see the link : www.youtube.com/watch?v=3omQikQYmgY

Dan, I know you will want to check it..it's funny

Anonymous said...

As long as Hellwig is disgraced already let's have a full state police investigation of the circumstances involving the discovery of the left behind printed email, the report to Santiago, the further investigation, the "plea deal", the suspension and the leaking of the report to CMD. And if any officers acted improperly in any way, let them join Hellwig in his forced retirement.

Anonymous said...

"documents purporting to be an official police report" is a pretty sly phrase, don't you think? And the report is made to Santiago, of all people--gee, why does that make me wonder who has it in for Hellwig?

Anyway in this country people accused of breaking the law are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Wonder why the Courier hasn't picked this up if the allegations are true.

Anonymous said...

Dan

You are soooooooooo biased, You basically ran with rumors when it came to the superintendent but seemed to struggle to write a paragraph about this.

For you to say that you ignore rumors is a joke.

When did you start doing this?

Anonymous said...

To quote Mama roughly from Raisin in the Sun..."where is the bottom" This is a sad statement about the quality of people we have in important positions. Someone commented if the suspected information was found by someone would they have turned it in if it was their relative? I would hope so..but with that "maybe scenario" happening we'll never know, but what we do know is that it was found, so why isn't this appalling to everyone! Between the Superintendent of schools and his gang and now this..do you wonder why we are the laughing stock of NJ.

Anonymous said...

This just makes me so sad and angry. Sad because it makes Plainfield look worse and worse with no end in sight, and not because of anything the citizens did. Practically everyone in the government is useless: the stupid public safety director, the snitch cops, the incompetent mayor, the crybaby rec director, the slimy schools superintendent, the crybaby bloggers, the bitchy commentators to the blogs, the irresponsible BOE, the all mouth but no brains assemblyman, all of them. Everyone seems a fool or worse.

Angry because we're sliding into a takeover by the state, a la Camden and we're going to suffer. Our property values will plummet because no one in their right mind will want to buy here, our taxes will skyrocket, the bad guys will laugh at us, the from-out-of-town cops, fireman and teachers will still get their salaries, benefits and pensions, but they'll also laugh at us, proud residents of the once again aptly named Queer City.

Anonymous said...

While Walz, Soltys and Santiago ride around in their brand new bright yellow RAT PATROL car, maybe we can get Jerry Green Jr to come over and straighten the mess out.

Anonymous said...

@3:55pm, the reality is that the crime that may have been committed has nothing to do with how the information got leaked. There are over 100 employees in the PD, and it could have been anyone or a number of people. The CN seems to be a "friend" of the administration. Would they print something like this? Maybe no one trusted them enough to send it. Who knows. The paper can't reveal its sources, and we shouldn't want it to, or consider how much stuff our officials would get away with. Where would we be had it not been for Deep Throat? We should applaud whoever had the courage to speak up, applaud the officers who wrote this report and anyone else who tried to get it investigated. Let's not be blinded by any allegiances we might have to the Director. What he is alleged to have done is illegal and how can he do his job with any integrity if he is found guilty of soliciting prostitution. Yes - innocent before proven guilty - but I wonder what kind of investigation the Mayor did to find him guilty and warrant a 3-day suspension. Let's stay focused on the real issue, which is the behavior of the Director. He is a public official and held to the same high standards as the Mayor. Don't you want to know about the details of your elected officials' lack of integrity? We can't continue to let public officials think they are above the law. Maybe this and the Mayor's ridiculous suspension will prompt Christie to take a closer look at Plainfield. That's the investigation I want to see.

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassment to the city. How can he run the police and fire divisions now with such a lapse in ethics.
What is really disturbing is how the mayor tried to cover this up and give him a little suspension and try to keep things moving.
No other place would tolerate this kind of behavior. The council needs to put it's foot down and bring some shred of integrity back to the city! The same actions would not be allowed by a lower ranked employee.

Rob said...

By the way.. I am forwarding this story with links etc to NJ 101.5, Bob Ingle of the Gannet Papers and author of the Soprano State, Governor Christie's office, and the State Attorney General's office...
- I want the whole state to see what a complete and total hot mess Assistant Mayor Sharon is making this city.

Anonymous said...

Okay, time to put things into perspective. In going over Mr. Hellwig's term here, what I see is smoke and mirrors. His initiative has only had an effect on traffic enforcement, which is understandable due to his background in Verona. I don't see any effect on, or any attempt to effect, the major crime issues that we have here in Plainfield. I hear off the cuff decisions like the answer to shootings and murders are to utilize the all volunteer Auxillary Police to battle hardened criminals, or to place a useless mobile home in high crime areas as if the criminal element is going to scurry away. No programs, No "different way" of doing business. You can see it in the eyes of his policemen. They are slowly loosing the pride, initiative, and history of a department that was built on doing more with less, getting elbow deep with the criminal element, and on partnering with the community. Now they are forced to abide by following the unknowing in furthering his political career. Politics don't drive around to see and hear what is wrong and what can be done to correct problems in the community. Politics sits in an office looking at numbers and makes decisions out of "what will make me look good today." We need someone that is out listening, observing, and has a hands on approach to policing. I guess we have to all go hibernate until the next director, or someone in the administration or council looks through the smoke and mirrors and sees the light.

Anonymous said...

In reading the new article, Mayor Sharon called the suspension “a personnel matter, handled internally,” and even placed some of the blame on investigators who followed police procedure instead of covering up the indiscretion.

What kind of statement is that. Placing blame on investigators who followed police procedure? They should have walked into his office, cuffed him and brought him down to booking and charged with attempting to solicit a (male) prostitute. The incident occured within City limits so it is within their jurisdiction to have done so.