Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hellwig-related police purge continues

Word comes that the Hellwig-related purge in Plainfield's Police Division continues.

Former Captain (now Lieutenant) Mike Gilliam faced a departmental hearing last Monday I am told, which resulted in discipline that includes demotion from lieutenant to sergeant and a penalty of 180 days suspension, scheduled to begin in August.

As I reported on June 14, Sgt. Frederick Walz, who filed the initial report on
Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig's alleged escapade 'hooking up' with a male prostitute has been demoted and suspended (see media coverage of the Hellwig incident here, copy of report here [PDF], a note that News12 picked up the story here, with video of News12 coverage here).

Gilliam, once a favorite of Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, seems to have come under fire for the report's having come to the attention of the media.

Gilliam's previous demotion, from captain to lieutenant, supposedly as part of a cost-reduction plan for resolving the FY2010 budget, left many scratching their heads as to how the demotees had been selected. (They included long-time captains Tony Celentano and Siddeeq El-Amin as well as Gilliam, who has only been a captain since December, 2007.)

What puzzles me is the silence of the unions, normally quick to come to the defense of their members.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Bob said...

Why is the criminal Hellwig still in his job? Is it that our mayor is that corrupt or our system is that inept? I slao wonder who is paying off the union. This city is getting so corrupt and I guess our mayor will have a lasting legacy. Not a legacy to brag about, but ;nevertheless, a legacy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. In light of Hellwig's 3-day suspension/slap on the wrist for the inappropriate use of a City computer and police vehicle, I hope Gilliam's punishment was based on more than just alleged involvement in the leaking of a police report. If so, this may be why there hasn't been a Union response.

Anonymous said...

Has it occurred to anyone that the so-called evidence oh-so conveniently left in the truck may have been doctored or planted?

olddoc said...

Siddeeq El-Amin was the first "Civilian" Director of Public Safety when the post was created in Mayor Fury's administration. He was replaced before Fury fell out of Green's favor and did not receive the line renomination.

El-Amin had a great education background.

Anonymous said...

6 months suspension for WHISTLE BLOWING????? That is unbelievable! When the panderer gets 3 days!!! Martin Hellwig, Director of Public Safety of Plainfield NJ, solicited an prostitute via a city computer, took a city car on city time to meet said prostitute, and gets 3 days suspension, AND THE GUY WHO CAUGHT HIM GETS DEMOTED AND SUSPENDED????? This is unbelievable! What is this the city mafia???
My head is exploding!!!

Anonymous said...

El-Amin was not the first ciilian director Charles Allen , then Harold Gibson Leon Adams,Elamin, Mike Lattimore,Jiles Ship,and so on
Oh and rethink why he was replaced

Anonymous said...

Walz, Gilliam and the other captains that were demoted and then early retired should SUE THE SHIT out of the administration and HELLWIG in particular. Martin Hellwig, public safety director of Plainfield, NJ, who solicited a prostitute using a city computer on city time, then took a city car on city time to have his illicit rendevous, then was STUPID enough to leave the damning evidence in said city car which broke downin Verona, (which I believe is where he came from before Plainfield) and then a city employee had to pick him up in another city car to rescue him from Verona. How does he get away with a 3 day suspension???? Dan please post this, this cannot be put to rest until justice is done! Hellwig is decimating the police department and it is obvious that there are SEVERE negative consequences already being felt! I CANNOT understand why nothing is being done about this! I hope that all of the screwed over officers SUE THE BASTARDS and if the unions dont come through SUE THE UNION BASTARDS TOO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:31 AM,

You are correct in the sequence of Public Safety Directors.

Now to your other insinuation, if you know something and have something to say as to "why he was replaced," speak on it and don't hide behind the Anonymous tag. I would love to hear what you think you know.

Signed, Retired Captain Siddeeq W. El-Amin

Anonymous said...

To all that are accusing Hellig of solicitation of prostitution or calling him a criminal based on this accusation:

HOLD YOUR HORSES! I agree that Hellwig's massage arrangement reeks of the appearance of impropriety and has me "wondering" but let's be clear. Hellwig was NEVER indicted by NJ or Union County or convicted in a court of law for solicitation of prostitution and one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The published e-mails have absolutely no direct or indirect references to soliciting prostitution and am I correct that the emails and subsequent trip to Jason's residence are the only evidence? If yes, I believe the police officers's assumption, in his written report, that Hellwig was soliciting prostitution was premature, libelous, ill-advised and not supported by evidence.

Second, every printed reference I have found about Jason Taylor (the alleged prostitute) is just that - alleged (accused but not proven or convicted). Is there a conviction, arrest record or eye witnesses to prove that Jason is or was a prostitute or are we jumping to conclusions based on appearances? I am aware of masseurs that offer private and legitimate massages in the home - none of whom are prostitutes or use their businesses to engage in prostitution. If there is irrefutable smoking gun evidence that Jason is a prostitute, Hellwig knew this and solicited prostitution, please share it and I gladly will eat my words.

Some of you speak of suing. Be careful what you ask for and thank your lucky stars that Hellwig is a probably designated as a "Public Figure" because your comments are libelous but, as a Public Figure, Hellwig would have to prove malice in order to win a civil judgment for defamation of character.

Rob said...

I had decided to not comment on the continuing saga of "HELLWIG and The Angry 6 1/2 Inch". When the police union and the members of the police force in Plainfield start speaking out more forcefully against that HOT MESS OF A MAYOR ( yes Plainfield PD...just cause she's a democrat, does not mean she is any friend of your union or your department --- SHE GAVE YOU HELLWIG ) maybe results can begin to happen.
Even if "HELLWIG AND THE ANGRY 6 1/2 Inches" was merely on Craigslist and buying AVON from said "Personal Massage Therapist" in another city, on a city computer on CITY TIME...He is the leader of that department and his punishment should be dramatically more severe. ( Plus...tsk tsk..supporting the economy of a city that wasn't Plainfield ...not exactly "BUY PLAINFIELD" was it ?? ). With all the dollar stores and "discount" mentality in Plainfield I am sure he could have paid dramatically less had he not spent city time, city gas and used city computers to go out of town.
--- Side note, I would never charge one of the boys in blue...Civilian Director, yes, he would have to pay.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I hope you post this but if you don't, I will understand. First, I let my emotions get the better of me in the post I submitted (and you didn't approve?) that said "Hold your horses" in regards to Hellwig. I stand by my opinion but I was 'lashing-out' and for this I apologize.

My real concern and question is have we lost sight of the real priorities in Plainfield? Are the real priorities Hellwig's 3-day suspension or the following (just to name a few):

* Escalating gang-related violence putting people (to include our children) in the hospital and morgue.
* Budgetary problems resulting in insufficient funds to improve Plainfield's infrastructure with specific concerns in the Public Safety and educational areas.
* Controversial affordable housing legislation, in Trenton, that will affect Plainfield.
* Etc.

With all due respect Dan, are you and the rest of us adding fuel to a fire that should've died a long time ago? Unless a Grand Jury indicts Hellwig, isn't it a moot and philosophical point in regards to solicitation? Why can't we move on? In my opinion, Hellwig's inappropriate use of a police vehicle and City computer pales when compared to the problems CURRENTLY plaguing Plainfield and the Hellwig situation occurred many moons ago. The Mayor made a decision on Hellwig's punishment and regardless of whether we agree or disagree with it's severity (or lack thereof), it's done.

In regards to the police officers arrested for solicitation of prostitution, they were caught red-handed. Hellwig wasn't. Can't we move on?

In regards to the 90 and 180 days suspensions and demotions of Waltz and Gilliam, respectively; without knowledge of ALL the reasons/facts as to why these officers were disciplined, how can anyone make a comparison to Hellwig's 3-day suspension? Are we prematurely jumping to conclusions? It would be awful embarrassing if we found out that the suspensions and demotions were warranted and based on issues more severe than Hellwig's inappropriate use of a City computer and police vehicle. To put this in perspective, if the reason for the suspensions/demotions was just for inappropriately leaking classified/confidential (Hellwig) documentation to the public; every business entity I have worked for would've fired and, if appropriate, sued the offender. In the military and based on the sensitivity of the leaked information, the offender could worse-case face a court-marshal, a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, and possible prison time. As with Hellwig, Waltz and Gilliam were not terminated; so what are we really angry at?

Again, doesn't Plainfield have more pressing and CURRENT problems for all of us to focus our energies and commentary on vs. trying to decide if Plainfield City government is a 'mafia' because Hellwig got off with a wrist slap and others didn't? As Michael Douglas said in the movie The American President: "We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them".

Kind regards and respect for your 'work' Dan;
Long-Winded Anonymous

Rob said...

To Anonymous at June 22, 2010 12:37 PM --- Lot's of what you say has merits, without a doubt and completely rational. I have never had a massage whether it be privately in someone's home or at a reputable spa etc. I honestly have to admit since I haven't had said massage treatments my lack of knowledge regarding needing to know the length of ones...."manhood" being part of the appointment process.

Rob said...

And...I agree with Anonymous June 22, 2010 10:23 cite so many pressing and important issues. You are right. But the issue is that these problems will not be solved by the present administration. All of her issues need to be kept alive and current in peoples minds so hopefully enough of the people get out to throw her out next election. I don't think you will find anyone except Mayor Jerry, Assistant Mayor Sharon, Hellwig and the Councilmembers Burney, Reid, Rivers and Carter in Plainfield who don't agree the problems you state are urgent and require expediency to resolve.