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Late-Night Phone Call Issue Referred to Superior Court

Ethics board decides questions regarding Deputy Mayor Bruce Sisler's controversial phone call to a resident are better suited for the courtroom.

After a four-month wait, the Morris Township Board of Ethics has decided not to address whether or not a late-night phone call from Deputy Mayor Bruce Sisler to a township resident that included cursing was appropriate. Instead, the board has referred the matter to the state Superior Court, where a current lawsuit from the same resident has been filed, according to NJ.com.

The phone call, which was made after midnight on Aug. 3 to resident Lee Goldberg,

The video of the call is 12 minutes long and the discussion pertains to what Goldberg believes to be a conflict of interest on part of Sisler voting in favor of the Honeywell redevelopment project. Sisler is employed by state Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr. and at one point was recused from the Honeywell proceedings, but has been reinstated since after residents signed a petition calling for a supermajority vote on the issue.

With the Honeywell redevelopment proposal, the company would expand office and laboratory space and build 235 townhouses on the site on Columbia Road. The township committee voted in favor of the rezoning of the property for the project to move forward 4-1 in October.

Goldberg and another resident, Robert Burke, oppose the project and brought challenging complaints not only before the committee but the Ethics Board and now superior court as well.

According to NJ.com, this is the first issue to come before the township's Ethics Board in two decades.

Read the full story from NJ.com here.

Rob Burke December 14, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I don't oppose the project. I oppose Bruce Sisler's despicable, heavy handed thuggery. I oppose Peter D. Manahan's half-pregnant recusal: he denied denied denied he had a conflict of interest and then only recused himself after I filed a formal ethics complaint against him. Then, I understand, despite his recusal he actually had the audacity to inject himself into the conversation before the Ethics Board! No, I don't oppose Honeywell's redevelopment -- though I do believe that the process, had it been conducted honestly & fairly would have yielded a few more important compromises.
Al Baron December 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM
What a waste of time and money. In the old day's men would be men. Suing over a phone call just shows how people see a payday in their future.
Rob Burke December 15, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Even the Ethics Committee has conflicts of interest! A Committee explicitly pointed to sit in judgment on Sisler includes: Ray Snyder: Donor to, and long time close friend of Sisler. So he recused himself. Peter Manahan, Chairman: Owner of so much Honeywell stock that rather than disclose the amount, he recused himself. Patrick Minter: Attorney whose firm represented Honeywell in at least 3 significant litigations that resulted in reported decisions in the last several years. He did not recuse himself. In my opinion, we can do better than this. We could have and should have had a full slate of Ethics Board members free from conflict. Also disconcerting is that Manahan participated in the Ethics proceedings a few times, despite his conflict and recusal. That's contrary not just to common sense but also to settled law. You just can't do that -- and as a former prosecutor, Manahan should know better.
Rob Burke December 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM
That's not true on either point, Al. First, no one is suing for money. Second, "men would be men"? Yup, they wouldn't threaten people for participating in their government. In fact, in the "old days," when this country was founded, a cornerstone of the Constitution preserved our right to criticize our government. You can't get much more fundamental and important than that. Sisler didn't act "like a man" (whatever that means). He abused his office and acted like a bully. On another note, in the "old days," a Fortune 50 company like Honeywell would actually pay income taxes. As a star on the Dirty Thirty list, Honeywell boasts a NEGATIVE .7% FEDERAL INCOME TAX RATE!!! In the "old days," such a tax scofflaw like Honeywell wouldn't get $40 Million more of NJ taxpayer funded corporate welfare. In the "old days," a Fortune 50 company like Honeywell would be a good community participant and neighbor, and would work with its neighbors to redevelop their 147 acre property in a mutually beneficial way. In the "old days," companies like Honeywell would be required to clean up their contaminated property before they got approval for anything.
Edward france January 02, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I like Bruce Sisler. He is a great father and a really good guy. I would hope people know this about him. Great family and parents too!

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