Mayor Douglas H. Palmer appointed Communications Director Irving Bradley Jr. as the city’s new police director today, demonstrating a reckless disregard for the City of Trenton, its residents, its laws, and its finances.
Mr. Bradley replaces former Director Joseph Santiago, the man who resigned in disgrace weeks ago after two courts ousted him for violating the city’s residency ordinance.
Like Mr. Santiago, Mr. Bradley is also in violation of the residency ordinance, living part-time in a Trenton apartment while maintaining a primary, family residence in Rahway, where he was seen less than three weeks ago. This fact disqualifies Mr. Bradley from holding the directorship, or any office in Trenton, and Mayor Palmer knows this.
Despite that knowledge, Mayor Palmer appointed Mr. Bradley today, knowing full well that such a foolhardy move will immediately open the city to another citizen’s lawsuit aimed at ousting a convicted felon who cannot hold office here.
Also on Mr. Bradley’s sordid resume is successfully eliciting a lawsuit from city dispatchers alleging racist practices, which also threatens the city’s finances. Before that, the new director was found to be unqualified for his old communications position by the state Department of Personnel.
Such reckless disregard on for the city’s finances by Mayor Palmer comes at a time when the city is preparing to lay off workers, slash services, and shutter city libraries because of a massive budget deficit.
City Council, which should have an opportunity to vote down such an appointment, must do so, lest the city follow the mayor’s path and risk additional, precious city dollars fighting a losing battle to demonstrate the falsehood that the mayor has the ability to decide which employees must follow the law and which do not.