Editors Note: This opinion was written by Paul G. Argen, NJ Public Advocate / Chief Compliance Officer
PARSIPPANY — The Morris County Prosecutor, the People of Parsippany, and now the Parsippany Police Department, after a one hundred- and four-day investigation, have spoken loud and clear. The People, The Prosecutor, and now the Parsippany Police Department Reject the Mayor’s notion of racism at a local 27-year local company.
CITIZENS SPEAK OUT
On August 18, 2021, the Mayor of Parsippany, Michael Soriano, decided to play the race card into his re-election campaign but just as Jussie Smollett, an American actor and singer was found guilty, the people of Parsippany spoke out loud and clear and voted Soriano out of office last month. Soriano lost his seat on November 3, 2021, by a landslide to Jamie Barberio. In a few weeks, he will walk away from his one-term reign as Mayor in the same shameful manner as Smollett- GUILTY OF INCITING RACISM in Parsippany.
THE PROSECUTOR SPEAKS OUT
This Summer, August 16, 2021, to be exact, the Morris County Assistant Prosecutor, Alex Bennett, Esq, had to determine the facts surrounding a “suspicious bias incident at a local Parsippany, NJ company, where the word, “N-word” was used during a verbal altercation. The Chief of Police has an obligation to immediately report the use of the N-word to the prosecutor if it was used during police calls or during any suspicious bias incident. And as required by the Attorney General’s standing order, the prosecutor must decide if the evidence proves the N-word was used by the person, while committing a crime no matter how small. And, if so, it must be labeled as a hate crime. On August 17, 2021, the Prosecutor emphatically determined that the circumstances did not rise to the level of a bias incident. Similar to the Jussie Smollett deceptive scenario, Mayor Soriano fabricated a false press release in his official capacity, amidst his reelection campaign knowing the prosecutor’s findings were determined otherwise.
THE PARSIPPANY POLICE SPEAK OUT
On December 9, 2021, a thorough investigation was concluded by the Parsippany Police Department. It is clear from the police report that the established business owner, nor any of its employees or relatives are guilty of any crime. In fact, it was declared that the alleged victim was actually instigating and an argument with the staff. He was mocking employees, provoking the property owner, conducting hand gestures that resembled using a handgun. The Police Report referred to the surveillance video detailing the alleged victim menacing the business for approximately three hours prior to the arrival of Parsippany Police. This company was actually the victim of harassment and invasion of privacy yet treated like the perpetrator. It took over three months respectively to vindicate the business yet their reputation was already tarnished by the Mayor’s self-serving actions.
THE MAYOR MUST SPEAK OUT
Mayor Soriano continues to label this established Parsippany business a 27-year-old Company as “racist”. It’s time for him to retract his defaming remarks on the record, in the mainstream media, and in social media prior to him leaving office. He used this altercation to promote his intolerance of hate crimes as an election point yet there was no crime. This author followed up with the prosecutor’s office. It was determined that a criminal investigation of the matter as it pertains to the Mayor is ongoing. Mayor Soriano’s actions were an abuse of power. Let’s hope ruthless deception for personal gain, wasted man-hours, and tax dollars are trumped by our authority figures waiting for the facts of a complete investigation and not rushing to judgment.