Page 2 Thursday, March 22, 2001 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
Jail Guards Clash With Freeholders
Over Correctional Facility Closing
By PAUL J. PEYTON he felt the officers’ comments were the criticism, said Local 199 officials
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times perhaps no more than the “opening “grossly” misrepresented the facts.
SCOTCH PLAINS — Corrections salvo” of the freeholder election cam- “Talk about the fiscal responsibili-
officers last Thursday strongly pro- paign, given the anticipated candi- ties here. Talk about the efforts you
tested a decision by the County of dacy of Roselle Park Councilman made to find other jobs,” he re-
Union to close down the old jail as of Ricky Badillo for one the three seats sponded. “Let’s talk about the truth.”
Sunday, April 1, with union repre- up this year. Mr. Badillo is a correc- “Unless we have enough bodies to
sentatives asking for an extension of tions officer at the jail. fill the old jail and have the revenue
that deadline. Mr. Badillo charged that while the that came with those state inmates,
The officers later staged an appar- “all-Democratic” Freeholder board we are left with no other choice,” the
ent sick out Friday morning, causing “claims to be for the blue collar county manager added.
the correctional facility to have a (workers),” they are actually looking Freeholder Chairman Alexander
lock-down of inmates while the county at privatizing the county jail. He said Mirabella promised the officers that
went to court to seek an injunction the public “is being grossly misin- “all safety concerns will be addressed
against the collective bargaining unit, formed” as to the types of prisoners by the county manager and the jail
according to Union County Manager being sent to Delaney. director (James Coleman).”
Michael J. Lapolla, who said a Supe- One jail guard, however, told the Mr. Mirabella said the closing of
rior Court judge in Elizabeth deter- board that prisoners are being trans- the old jail “is the toughest decision
mined that the action was “organized, ferred to Delaney with half million I have had to make in my 10 years in
tantamount to a strike.” dollar bails. The guard said danger- public office.”
HEARTY DONATION TO DISABLED VETERANS...Donald F. Mokrauer, President of the Westfield Historical Society Officers and their union representa- ous inmates are being transferred “We had no other alternative,” he
and Major General Paul J. Glazar, Adjutant General of New Jersey present a check for $21,303.76 — the proceeds of the tives from the Policemen’s Benevolent from the county jail, which is a me- added.
V2K Veterans 2000 Dinner Dance — to Charles A. Carroll, Department Adjutant and Treasurer of the Disabled Association Local 199 attended last dium security facility, to the less Freeholder Chester Holmes, a re-
American Veterans Department of New Jersey, which will be used to purchase a van to transport disabled veterans. The
event also raised an additional $1,543, half of which was donated to The National World War II Memorial in Washington, Thursday’s meeting of the Board of secure Delaney Hall. tired detective with the Rahway Police
D.C. and half to the Korean War Memorial in Atlantic City. Chosen Freeholders, which was held The guard said inmates charged Department, added that, “Elected offi-
at the Union County Vocational-Tech- with eluding police and hindering cials must make difficult decisions.”
nical Schools campus in Scotch Plains. prosecution, assault and burglary are Freeholder Mary Ruotolo, the wife
Up-To-The Minute Wireless Technology
Up-To-T Minute ireless echnolo A number of guards charged that
the county was making the move
among those being sent to the Newark
facility. Another transferred inmate,
of the late Prosecutor Andrew K.
Ruotolo, said the officers “misrepre-
based solely on dollars and cents, whom she said lacks any drug abuse sented many of the facts here.”
rather than the safety of the correc- problems, was being held on charges
1000 Nights & Weekend Minutes tional officers. Mr. Lapolla has said
the county’s decision was based on
of stalking, criminal mischief, “of-
fensive touching” and burglary.
Thrift Shop Features
At No Additional Charge And the state’s decision to pull its prison-
ers out of the jail, resulting in a $4.5
Vincent DeLouisa of Springfield,
President of PBA Local 199, said the
Spring Apparel for All
Up To $60.00 Cash Back!
WESTFIELD – The Westfield Ser-
million shortfall in county antici- closing of the old facility has caused vice League has announced that its
pated revenue last year and $8 mil- some serious concerns with correc- Thrift Shop, located at 114 Elmer
lion this year. tions officers regarding staffing Street, is stocked with a large selec-
Included Other guards charged that the county schedules, policy and procedures. tion of women’s, men’s and children’s
Calling Additional Total Minutes was attempting to privatize the jail by He accused county officials of keep- spring apparel. Jewelry, shoes and
Plan Anytime Night/Weekend Per Month contracting with a Newark drug treat- ing the correctional officers “in the accessories are also available.
Minutes Minutes ment center to house some of the dark” on the issue. The shop also sells books, toys,
prisoners held at the old county lockup. “I cry out in all humility to have bric-a-brac, household and vintage
39.99 200 + 1000 = 1200 The state made its decision after
the county balked at accepting a rate
mercy on my people, to save perhaps
10 or 15 of their families, from los-
Business hours are Tuesday
49 .99 400 + 1000 = 1400 of $62 per prisoner. The county was
seeking to hike the daily rate from
ing their jobs by returning the re-
sponsibility (of transferring prison-
through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Proceeds from both the Thrift and
Call Anywhere In The US! $58.50 to $80. As of 1999, some 370 ers) to those who the public has Consignment shops operated by the
.ree Nationwide Long Distance
Nationwide state inmates were housed at the
Union County lockup in Elizabeth.
entrusted for the care and custody of
the Union County inmates,” said Mr.
Service League are donated to local
charities. For more information,
With No Roaming Charges The union’s response follows an DeLouisa. please call the Thrift Shop at (908)
announcement in January by Mr. Citing safety issues, he said eleva- 233-2530.
Additional 1000 minutes are valid for one year. Lapolla that the old jail would be tors at the new jail, built in the 1980s, The Service League additionally
closed. Mr. Lapolla also announced are malfunctioning. He asked the provides dispatchers to the Westfield
that the county would sign a contract board if there were any contingen- Volunteer Rescue Squad and drivers
Get up to $60 cash Back. Thats: with Community Education Centers,
an operator of drug treatment centers,
cies for the 1,280 inmates currently
held at the two jail buildings during
for Mobile Meals of Westfield.
- a $30 Mail-in rebate from AT&T Wireless when you including Delaney Hall in Newark. the shutting down of the old jail. Deerfield School Posts
activate service on any AT&T plan of $29.99 or higher. While the union was adamant that Anthony Foti of Elizabeth, Vice
Free Case, Car + Get a $50 MTV Gear Card OR a $30 Mail-in rebate on 107 officers would be laid off as a President of Local 199, charged that Dates for Book Fair
result of the closing of the old jail, the plan to close the jail will effec- MOUNTAINSIDE – Deerfield
Charger and Head Motorola V2397 when you activate any AT&T plan. county officials shot back that the tively “get someone killed.” School in Mountainside will hold its
Set with Any New bulk of the 144 guards cut will be “Your decision was based solely annual Book Fair on Friday, March
Activation offered jobs with state prisons or at on the dollars and cents outlook, and 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Satur-
other county correctional facilities. not on the safety,” he told the board. day, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thirty-seven of the 144 positions are After those comments and a number The Book Fair will be open to the
current vacancies. of others from angry guards, Mr. public on Saturday. Deerfield School
Freeholder Daniel P. Sullivan said Lapolla, who bore the brunt of much of is located at 302 Central Avenue.
132 East Broad St Westfield 908-789-5302
Mon-Wed 8:30-6:30 • Thur 8:30-8:00 • Fri 8:30-6:00 • Sat –10:00 to 6:30
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