Wednesday: Charlie Kratovil Addresses City Market Board Meeting

On Wednesday, Mayor Candidate Charlie Kratovil will address the New Brunswick City Market Board of Directors Meeting, bringing focus to a critically important issue for tens of thousands of New Brunswick residents who cannot drive or do not own vehicles, as well as many businesses and institutions that depend on transit to connect them to their workforce, customers, and visitors.

City Market is a non-profit dedicated to promoting New Brunswick’s central business district as a great place to live, work and visit in addition to fostering economic growth, attracting new business, and improving the economic vitality of the City Center by providing supplemental cleaning services, physical improvements, marketing and events.

Charlie’s presentation will cover how we can enhance the various bus systems serving New Brunswick, improving the quality and consistency of service, as well as simplifying and centralizing access to the information about these systems.

WHAT:  City Market Board Meeting

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 18, at 9:00 am

WHERE:  Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub, 61 Church Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

On June 26, Charlie addressed the Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee on this same topic.  You can watch video of that presentation here.

Mayor Candidate Scores Win in Police Transparency Lawsuit

Assignment Judge Rules in Favor of Candidate Charlie Kratovil

Middlesex County’s Assignment Judge ordered the New Brunswick city government to produce records related to the March 20 arrest of a police officer, overruling the administration’s decision to deny requests filed by a reporter who is running for Mayor of New Brunswick.

The July 11 ruling in Kratovil v. City of New Brunswick (docket #MID-L-3668-18) marks another victory for Charlie Kratovil, the award-winning journalist who founded New Brunswick Today, the city’s bilingual community newspaper.  Kratovil declared his candidacy for Mayor last month, shortly after filing the lawsuit.

During the brief hearing on July 11, Judge Rivas took issue with the city government’s interpretation of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which the city had argued should prevent the release of several critically important public records in a criminal case against Edison Police Officer Paul Pappas.

Pappas was arrested on March 20 after he allegedly slashed the tires of a car parked in downtown New Brunswick.  According to a report by NJ.com’s Craig McCarthy, multiple sources indicated that Pappas was on-duty and drove an unmarked Edison police vehicle to commit the crime.

Even though authorities determined the crime was a domestic violence incident, Pappas was released on his own recognizance that same night by the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), where his brother is employed as a Lieutenant.

The day after the arrest, Kratovil requested a number of records, including audio and video recordings related to the criminal case.  But New Brunswick supplied only the redacted arrest report, which includes few details and cites an additional report that the city refused to release.

“The public has a right to know how the NBPD handled this case of alleged police misconduct, and whether or not the defendant was given special treatment,” said Kratovil.

Initially charged with criminal mischief by the NBPD, Officer Pappas has since been accused of more serious crimes by county authorities, including stalking and using his access to confidential police databases to target his victim, as well as profiting from a no-show job scheme that allegedly involved at least four other Edison officers.

The March 21 records request, filed under the state’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA), requested copies of all criminal complaints, summonses, warrants, CAD reports, incident reports, arrest reports, other reports, 911 recordings, radio transmissions, MVR recordings, and other video/audio recordings related to the criminal mischief charge against Pappas.

After unsuccessfully urging the NBPD to reconsider their unlawful denial of the request in April, Kratovil was left with no choice but to pursue the matter in Superior Court.  The lawsuit was filed on June 4 in Middlesex County Superior Court.

“The city was wrong to claim that the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act allows them to keep secret the NBPD’s records of Officer Pappas’ arrest.  We are pleased the Court rejected their argument and we look forward to receiving the records,” said Kratovil’s attorney, Walter Luers.

It’s not the first time that Luers and Kratovil have teamed up to use the legal system to fight secrecy at the NBPD.  In 2014, an OPRA lawsuit filed by the duo led to the disclosure of police jurisdiction maps that the city government had tried to keep under wraps.

Charlie Kratovil to Address County Transportation Coordinating Committee

Mayor Candidate Charlie Kratovil will address the Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee, bringing focus to a critically important issue for tens of thousands of New Brunswick residents who cannot drive or do not own vehicles, as well as many businesses and institutions that depend on transit to connect them to their workforce, customers, and visitors.

Charlie will cover how we can enhance the various bus systems serving New Brunswick, improving the quality and consistency of service, as well as simplifying and centralizing access to the information about these systems.

WHAT:  Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 7:00 pm

WHERE:  Board of Freeholders Meeting Room, 1st floor, 75 Bayard Street, New Brunswick

Mayor Candidate Charlie Kratovil Approved for November Ballot

Charlie Kratovil has been informed by the Middlesex County Clerk’s Office Division of Elections that his candidacy for Mayor of New Brunswick was approved and his name will appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

On June 5, Charlie submitted 127 signatures from New Brunswick residents who support his candidacy.  The opportunity to challenge the validity of that petition passed last week without any objections being lodged.

“It’s always a victory when voters have a choice, and the choice couldn’t be more clear this November: four more years of the same out-of-touch political machine, or a new administration that will finally put the people of New Brunswick first.”

Charlie’s candidacy marks the first electoral challenge to the seven-term incumbent Mayor since 2010, and Charlie is also the first independent candidate to challenge him since 2006.  The current Mayor has been in office since 1991 and splits his time between running the city government and a private law firm, in addition to representing a government agency in another town.

In contrast to the Mayor, Charlie has promised the residents of New Brunswick that, if elected, he will serve as the city’s first full-time Mayor and accept no other paid positions.  Charlie currently works as the editor of the city’s bilingual community newspaper, New Brunswick Today.

Charlie announced his candidacy at a well-attended kickoff event outside City Hall on June 6, with a speech unveiling his wide-ranging plans to investigate and eliminate government corruption, reform the city’s troubled public authorities, and establish a city bus system.

Video and the full text of the kickoff speech is available here:
https://cleanupbrunswick.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/charlies-campaign-kickoff-speech/

The campaign will continue to build upon Charlie’s years of volunteering, community organizing, and journalism with a grassroots effort to strengthen the movement for change that has been building here.

A resident of the city since 2004, Charlie graduated from Rutgers University and has been giving back to the New Brunswick community for over a decade.  He has worked as a community organizer with two respected non-profit organizations, The Citizens Campaign and Food & Water Watch.  He also taught journalism students at Rutgers, volunteered as a staff member at nine different Model United Nations and Model Congress conferences, and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Rutgers Student & Alumni Federal Credit Union.

Since starting the New Brunswick Today newspaper in 2011, Charlie’s work has received high honors from multiple organizations, including:

  • The NJ Society of Professional Journalists’ Stuart and Beverly Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism (for his coverage of the Cahill administration’s water quality cover-up scandal)
  • The NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Awards for Public Service Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Champion for Justice (for his volunteer efforts to serve New Brunswick)

For more information about the campaign, visit our website:
CleanUpBrunswick.com