The fate of Trenton’s former police director, Joseph Santiago, could be sealed as early as tomorrow as state Appellate Division judges prepare to hand down their decision in the appeal case they heard over a month ago.
A straw poll of legal minds seems to point to defeat for Mr. Santiago and Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, who has staunchly defended his wayward director since the first groundswells of opinion on the director’s non-residency emerged last fall.
Should Mr. Santiago indeed be ousted tomorrow, the city’s residency ordinance will remain in place without waivers or exceptions, and that means the next residency violator to be targeted should be city Communications Director Irving Bradley.
In his short tenure here, Mr. Bradley has apparently wreaked havoc upon the city’s radio room, according to city employees, while blatantly violating the city’s residency law in almost as brazen a fashion as Mr. Santiago.
Mr. Bradley has not been seen anywhere near his Trenton apartment at the Broad Street Bank building since he crashed his city Crown Victoria on the New Jersey Turnpike some 15 miles outside of city limits weeks ago.
In another example of the abuse of city vehicles, Mr. Bradley’s city Ford Expedition was seen 30 miles north at his family home in Rahway. That revelation raised several questions about city policies:
Why are city employees allowed to use vehicles in the same manner as Mr. Bradley, in taking cars many miles outside of the city, filled with city gas, to do non-city business?
Why, with an existing residency ordinance that mandates a bona fide residence where the employee’s immediate family must also live, was Mr. Bradley in Rahway at his old family residence?
These questions need to be answered, should the Santiago/Palmer appeal fail tomorrow and the city’s existing residency ordinance remain intact.