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Covering Hamilton and Robbinsville townships in-depth for The Trentonian. I can be reached at (609) 989-7800 ext. 207 or (609) 468-6962. Email me at or follow me @awisefool.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hamilton council to take up controversial ethics reform proposal

The most controversial part of a package of ethics reforms in Hamilton Township will hit council tonight.
Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede proposed getting rid of the town’s defunct ethics board and switching to the state’s Local Finance Board, which handles ethics complaints, as part of a reform package she announced last month.
Council President Ed Gore said he would make sure the proposal was “not dead on arrival” in the chamber. Indeed, the proposed abolition of the local board has majority support on the council. Councilman Kevin Meara is the only member to voice opposition.
The issue grew to prominence after the conviction and subsequent resignation of former Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo.
Bencivengo was convicted last November of five federal charges related to the school board corruption case against him. Marliese Ljuba, the government’s cooperating witness in the case, testified she bribed him with $12,400 in exchange for his influence with members of the Hamilton Board of Education.
The discussion tonight comes on the heels of a pair of complaints against township officials, including Yaede. Last week, former councilman Vinnie Cappodano filed complaints that the council violated the Open Public Meetings Act before selecting Yaede to replace Bencivengo as mayor and that Councilman Dave Kenny violated conflict of interest rules when voting for Rich Watson as head of the department of Water Pollution Control.

You can read the full story here.


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