TRIBUTE: Edward Sinclair, the popular Mahwah Department of Public Works director who was unanimously reinstated by the Township Council after being fired by Mayor Bill Laforet, died of a massive heart attack at his home this afternoon, a family friend told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
The ambulance call to Sinclair’s Lynn Terrace home came in at 3:20 p.m. It was cancelled after he was found unresponsive.
“He had gone home early today because he wasn’t feeling well,” Laforet told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “His wife found him.”
The Bergen County Medical Examiner was determining the cause of death.
Laforet, however, emphasized that it appeared to be of natural causes.
“He’s been a longtime employee of the DPW. He coached baseball in town,” the mayor said. “He’s been prominent with the Fire Department as a chief and rose through the ranks in the DPW.
“Our hearts go out to family. We will miss him.”
Sinclair, 57, a former fire chief who was defeated by Laforet in the 2012 mayor election, became DPW director last year after working for the department for 25 years.
He took care of his terminally ill father and his mother, both in their 90s — and, besides his wife, leaves a son, a daughter, a sister and two grandchildren.
Ed and Jackie Sinclair in June announced their intent to sue the township for $40 million for damages to their reputations, along with physical and emotional injuries, accusing Laforet of political retaliation.
Laforet suspended Sinclair for 20 days with pay in March after detectives investigated an anonymous report of DPW garage computers being used to view “inappropriate material.”
His reasoning, the mayor said, was that a director is responsible for his department.
The investigation found adult sexual images that authorities said were downloaded in May 2014 — two months before Sinclair became DPW director.
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