MAHWAH, N.J. – A group of Mahwah voters is set on petitioning for the recall of Mayor William Laforet for the second time in his seven-year tenure.
"Our committee represents a large group of Mahwah residents that believe Mayor William Laforet should not be allowed to remain in office. We are confident that this recall effort will succeed," said Vincent Maiello, chairperson of the Committee to Recall Mayor William Laforet.
Maiello said Laforet’s “profound lack of leadership” prompted the latest recall effort.
But Laforet characterized it as “political shenanigans” related to his criticism of the township council introducing a pair of ordinances that the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office alleges are unlawfully discriminatory against Orthodox Jews.
The ordinances led the Attorney General to file a civil rights lawsuit against Mahwah.
“This is nothing more than a spiteful and irrational lashing out at a mayor, Police Chief and NJs Attorney General,” said Laforet, who was re-elected mayor in November 2016 and has three years left on his term.
“We warned the entire council that their illegal and barely disguised bias restrictions against the religious practices by some would end up with the state charges that they have, and will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in cover-their-tracks legal fees," he said.
The recall committee submitted to the township clerk a letter of intent to circulate the recall petition on Jan. 8, and Laforet was served the letter on Jan. 11. The committee must now submit a petition for approval. Once it is approved, signature collection can begin.
To get the question on the November ballot, 25 percent of Mahwah’s registered voters – or 4,150 people – must sign the petition within 160 days.
“I am glad these residents are continuing the work we started,” said Annette Freund, chairperson of the unsuccessful 2015 campaign to recall Laforet.
For more information on the recall effort, CLICK HERE .
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