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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Did El-Amin catch Council President Rivers in a fib?

Siddeeq El-Amin put Council President Rivers on the spot Monday.

Retired Plainfield police captain Siddeeq El-Amin put Council President Bridget Rivers on the spot at Monday's City Council meeting and there is a question as to whether she fibbed about the matter at hand.

During public comment, El-Amin came to the mike and asked for resolution of a matter that dated back to the beginning of Mayor Adrian Mapp's term.

When Mapp came into office in January 2014, El-Amin was his nominee to be Public Safety Director. His nomination failed to gain sufficient votes among Council members.

What went on behind the scenes is not known, but El-Amin read an eloquent statement at a Council meeting, outlining his efforts to meet or have discussions with various Council members in relation to his nomination (see my post here), which had failed after Councilor Brown stated she had received 'disturbing' information about him.

At the time, El-Amin said he had had conversations with Brown and Taylor, but that Council President Rivers had canceled four meetings she set up with him.

Supposedly, the Council was going to issue an RFP to hire someone to investigate El-Amin's background in relation to the 'disturbing' information.

At this past Monday's meeting, El-Amin told the Council that, after waiting for two years to have the matter resolved (there has never been any further discussion of it by the Council), he had OPRA'ed the supposed RFP and another one concerning more recent demolition activity.

El-Amin read an email from Municipal Clerk "AJ" Jalloh informing him that the responsible party for the RFPs could find no such document as he requested.

Council President Rivers insisted nonetheless that an RFP had been issued.

El-Amin asked that it either be produced or that he be given a public apology in the matter, saying that he would not give up until the matter was resolved.

Rivers sat stone-faced.

After a long pause, Councilor Williams personally apologized to El-Amin for the Council's action.

After another pause, Councilor Brown (she of the 'disturbing' information comment) also apologized.

Rivers said nothing.

So, if an RFP cannot be produced, the unanswered question is whether Council President Rivers fibbed. She can dispel any doubt by providing the RFP.

Will she?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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