Charlie Kratovil

Charlie is a community organizer, a Rutgers journalism graduate, and a 2018 independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.  He can be reached at (732) 993-9697 or

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    All of our latest articles are accessible on New Brunswick Today's new website at

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Six months into his eighth term as Mayor, James Cahill has already approved the creation of two new leadership positions for powerful players in his city government.

    The City Council also unanimously consented to Mayor Cahill's picks for department heads and selected a new City Clerk earlier this year, marking the biggest paradigm shift in recent memory as the 28-year-old administration reboots for another four-year term in power.

  • Photo Credit: Carlos Ramirez

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police are investigating an apparent shooting at a notorious corner in the Second Ward that injured two men in the early morning hours of July 4.

    Sources in the neighborhood told New Brunswick Today the shooting was a perpetrated by a local drug dealer who recklessly shot up the corner in a beef over a few dozen doses of heroin.

    Police said their investigation is still active in response to a request for information filed under the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Don't forget to tip your waiters and waitresses when you dine out, because their minimum hourly wage still lags far behind that of other workers.

    Those who wait tables or sling drinks here in the Hub City might not surpass $5 per hour in wages for another three years, despite legislation intended to put more money in the pockets of the working poor passing earlier this year.

  • Photo Credit: LinkedIn

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the first time in the history of the city, the Mayor has hired a Chief of Staff.

    Keith Jones II, a staffer in the Office of Mayor James Cahill, has made comments suggesting that he will begin his new job as Chief of Staff on July 1.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    SOUTH RIVER, NJ—State law enforcement has arrested the licensed operator of the South River Water Department and charge him with submitting false water samples that tested them for coliform bacteria.

    Robert Baker, a 56-year old resident of Mine Hill Borough, became the second water operator in Middlesex County to face criminal charges for failing to conduct required testing in recent years.

  • Photo Credit: RUPD/NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University released 1,272 pages of police records after being served with an amended complaint in a public records lawsuit filed by this reporter.

    The Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) logs list each and every call that the city's two major police departments responded to between February 1 and May 31, plus other instances where officers were dispatched.

    After eighteen weeks of stalling, Rutgers released the records about 30 hours after being served with the amended complaint.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Democratic Organization

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Claribel "Clary" Azcona-Barber, a close ally and staffer for longtime New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, was approved as the new countywide candidate for the Democratic political machine on March 11.

    The choice was made by an unknown number of individuals who gathered at the Middlesex County College and voted on who should replace New Brunswick's longtime Freeholder Blanquita Valenti behind closed doors.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Anthony Jones, Jr., was hired to be a police officer for the City of New Brunswick at just 20 years old in 2016.

    But three years later, he found himself in Superior Court, pleading guilty to simple assault after attacking a man while drinking off-duty at the Golden Rail Pub on Easton Avenue.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Middlesex County Sheriff's Officer has been charged with serious sex crimes by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, according to government records.

    Joshua Padilla, a 33-year-old resident of Eatontown, joined the Middlesex County payroll in 2015, before graduating from the Monmouth County Police Academy.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex Co. Utilities Authority

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Residents packed the Township Council Chambers on the evening of January 16 for a presentation and public meeting in response to concerns about odors emanating from the Middlesex County Landfill.

    The landfill, located in East Brunswick near the border with New Brunswick, is operated by the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA).  But the smells it generates have found their way to other towns, including Highland Park, South River, and Sayreville.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Joseph Cryan, a longtime politician from Union County, is now earning $190,000 per year as the new Executive Director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA).

    Cryan now splits his time between the elected position and the one running the county agency that operates the Middlesex County landfill in East Brunswick and a massive wastewater treatment plant.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two men had their lives taken during just one week in the Hub City, but most people in town are still unaware that either situation is being pursued as a murder case by investigators.

    The city had gone a little over five months without a killing, but that all changed with two recent tragedies that played out here during the same week.

    In one case, an older man's life was cut short by a chance encounter that quickly led to violence in the middle of downtown New Brunswick's main street.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two political candidates, one from New Brunswick and the other from Perth Amboy, are competing to secure the best possible path to joining the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

    The Democratic Party's choices have won every countywide election since the 1990's, so the team that wins their coveted "party line" endorsement will be heavily favored to prevail in the subsequent June and November elections.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    CRANBURY, NJ—According to public records, the Township's Recreation Department appears to have illegally underpaid as many as 46 employees since 2006.

    Counselors for the department's summer camp program were paid at rates as low as $3 per hour, in violation of the minimum wage set forth by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

    Municipal officials defended their practices, which records show have been in place for many years.  But attorneys for the Township have been unwilling to back them up.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police Director Anthony "Tony" Caputo is now set to sit on the board that runs the city's powerful Parking Authority through 2023.

    At Mayor James Cahill's request, the City Council consented to the five-year appointment in his absence.

    Caputo is perhaps the city's most elusive public official, the only department head in Cahill's cabinet that consistently does not attend the Council's meetings.

  • Photo Credit: Lew Corporation

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—While school officials were busy celebrating the re-opening of an elementary school, they were also breaking their promise to release a report that showed the drinking water there had contained excessive levels of lead just two months earlier.

    Instead, the New Brunswick school district kept the disturbing test results a secret, referring to them as "very good" and "really good," while refusing to discuss the specifics at their August 21 school board meeting.

  • Photo Credit: Senator Bob Menendez

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One of New Jersey's two US Senators, Bob Menendez, was admonished by his colleagues for ethics violations on April 26, but then went on to win his party's primary election less than six weeks later.

    Menendez prevailed in the June 5 Democratic Party contest, but many observers were surprised that his sole opponent received such a large portion of the vote.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Officials in charge of the city's school system have failed to publicize the results of water testing that was conducted in New Brunswick public schools this year.

    The most recent information available on the district's website is more than a year old, despite claims that the district would have updated information made available before the school year began.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Thomas Valenti, the son of County Freeholder Blanquita Valenti, was promoted to lead two of the city government's ten departments shortly before those departments were merged into one.

    According to officials, Valenti was named the "Acting Director" of the Department of Public Works (DPW)  and the Department of Engineering in July.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—A Township Councilman is now serving as the county's Superintendent of Schools on an interim basis after an appointment by Governor Phil Murphy.

    Kyle Anderson, one of four Woodbridge Council members elected in Township-wide "at-large" elections, started the new $120,000 per year job as of May 29.

    That salary comes in addition to his $12,000 annual pay for serving in the elected local office, which he has held since 2011.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    For nearly seven years now, I have had the honor and pleasure of serving as the first and only editor of this publication and I intend to continue building this news organization in New Brunswick for as long as possible.

    On June 5, I filed a petition to run for Mayor of New Brunswick and I have since promised the people of this city that I will serve full-time in that position should I be victorious in the election.

    This would, of course, require me to leave this wonderful organization behind and completely end my involvement here.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A disturbing video never before seen by the public shows several former Rutgers University football players instigating a violent streetfight back in April 2015.

    More than three years later, only one of the six athletes identified in the video has spent significant time behind bars, and that's only because he faced an expensive bail on unrelated charges he robbed drug dealers in a string of armed home invasions.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SOUTH AMBOY, NJ—A cop who put dozens of people behind bars on drug charges is now trying hard to avoid a prison sentence of his own after getting caught stealing heroin from evidence.

    The suspended South Amboy detective, 40-year-old Matthew Barcheski, may well succeed in avoiding prison despite pleading guilty to four different criminal charges before Superior Court Judge Michael Toto.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's dysfunctional Housing Authority Board of Commissioners was forced to cancel yet another public meeting on April 25 as its membership dwindles.

    The cancellation comes after yet another board member resigned his office, while another faces an uncertain future as he battles a criminal charge brought against him by this reporter.

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    ELIZABETH, NJ—A grand jury in Union County has indicted four men from Middlesex County in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred on January 14.

    At approximately 4 am on that Sunday morning, local police found 30-year-old Tyrone Osorio outside an Elizabeth Avenue restaurant suffering from gunshot wounds.

    Osorio, the father of a young daughter, was transported to University Hospital in Newark where he died the following day.

  • Photo Credit: New Beginnings for New Brunswick Schools

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The makeup of the city's nine-member school board will remain unchanged after three incumbents bested four challengers in a historic election that saw 807 voters cast ballots.

    It marked the first time Board of Education ballots included so many names, with four different challengers running against the establishment.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Voters will be able to cast votes for up to three candidates in the April 17 school board election, as well as decide whether or not to approve the school district's proposed budget.

    In a seven-way race for three open seats, incumbents Edward Spencer, Diana Solis, and Ronald Hush have been conspicuously quiet throughout the campaign.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—An off-duty borough police officer has been suspended from duty after being charged with assault by auto and driving while intoxicated.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), Officer Norman E. Brown was driving drunk in Woodbridge in the early morning hours of December 31 when he ran a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring two occupants.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A woman is now serving in Mayor James Cahill's cabinet for the first time in seven years, after Melanie Ford was promoted to Director of Social Services on February 21.

    Ford told New Brunswick Today she was "humbled and honored" to receive the appointment and that her first steps will be to "listen and learn" in the new job.

  • Photo Credit: Shore Point Funeral Home

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old man from Old Bridge who admitted to strangling his mother to death in November 2016 will spend at least the next 21 years behind bars.

    On March 27, Frank Polera was sentenced on a charge of aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 61-year-old mother Patricia Polera.

    When she died, the victim was employed a customer service supervisor for United Airlines and had three sons, according to an obituary.

  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police won't say if they've recovered two vehicles that they allege were stolen by a homeless man during burglaries in late January and early February.

    Kenneth McNeil, age 49, was arrested on the morning of February 4, two days after police sought the public's help finding their suspect in the cases.

  • Photo Credit: LinkedIn

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 33-year-old woman from Bayonne was sentenced to serve 15 years in a state prison after admitting to fatally stabbing a 34-year-old man inside a vehicle near the New Jersey Turnpike.

    Amarlis Calderon apparently stabbed a man she knew, fellow Bayonne resident Pablo Caamano, after he stopped to pick her up on Randolph Road in Woodbridge during the early morning hours of July 18, 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Eleven weeks after being appointed to serve on the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners, Ramon Alayon still has not been sworn into office.

    Meanwhile, the sole tenant representative on the dysfunctional board missed her fifth consecutive board meeting on March 28.

    As a result, the NBHA was barely able to hold their public meeting that night, with only four of its seven members present.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    CARTERET, NJ—The county prosecutor's office revealed that it has discovered "numerous" firearms permits approved by the embattled Carteret Police Department (CPD) were issued to residents who were not properly investigated.

    According to a March 19 statement, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said an investigation is underway into the CPD's issuance of "approximately 38 possible permits to purchase firearms which have been issued without proper investigation."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An elementary school principal has been suspended for over a month, but officials with the district have declined to say why.

    Jose Negron has served as principal of the Livingston Elementary School since October 12, 2011, according to public records, but he is no longer serving in the position since his recent suspension.

    Negron continues to collect an annual salary of $140,068, even while he is not serving as principal.  It's unclear who has replaced him as the school's leader during the suspension.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On February 28, the city's embattled Housing Authority Board voted unanimously to approve an additional $60,000 for the same law firm that has billed them more than $201,844 since 2015.

    The vote came six days after this newspaper reported that Manfredi & Pellechio charged the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) more than five times their legal budget last year.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County government closed down a cafeteria that was open to the public as part of a reconfiguration to accomodate $638,241 in "security upgrades."

    The front desk where visitors sign in has also been relocated as part of the changes, and now there only one single chair available for public use in the area.

    A new entrance to the "Freeholder meeting room," where many public meetings are held, also will be constructed to accommodate the security system, according to county officials.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A record-high seven candidates have filed to run for seats on the New Brunswick Board of Education (BOE) in the upcoming April 17 election.

    Business Administrator Richard Jannarone confirmed on March 5 that all seven are qualified to run, and will therefore appear on the ballot.

    The top three finishers in the seven-way race will win three-year terms on the nine-member board.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, NJ—University police officers restricted some people from attending the February 7 meeting of one of the governing boards that oversees Rutgers University.

    The Board of Governors' (BOG) public meeting, just one of six regular meetings scheduled this year, was held on the school's Newark campus at the Paul Robeson Campus Center.

    But the way the room was configured, it could not hold all of those who wanted to attend and police kept a tight limit on the number of audience members.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Nearly a year after he was first suspended from duty and arrested, a New Jersey State Trooper was sentenced to three years probation for invading the privacy of women he pulled over and covering up his actions by falsifying and tampering with public records.

    Marquice Prather, a Linden resident, admitted to tampering with evidence and falsifying records as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that will keep him out of prison if he can complete probation.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After botching a required public notice, the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) has extended the deadline to apply for two-bedroom apartments in the Schwartz Homes and Robeson Village neighborhoods.

    The extension came after a New Brunswick Today article revealed that the original notices, which serve as the preliminary application form, did not include an income limit for four-person households.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A New Brunswick man convicted of stalking and killing his former girlfriend could spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced by Judge Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr.

    As we reported, 28-year-old Giver Quiroz-Vasquez was found guilty by a jury in the June 24, 2015 murder of 24-year-old Alicia Martinez-Izaguirr, who was also a city resident.

    Under Jimenez's sentence, he will be locked up until at least his 43rd birthday.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A longtime member of the Board of Education gave a misleading report on the school district's drinking water testing at a February 20 public meeting.

    Edward Spencer grossly overstated the New Brunswick school district's track record of testing for contamination in its water system.

    "For the City of New Brunswick Board of Education, we're going to be [testing the drinking water] annually like we have been doing for the past ten years," said Spencer.

  • Photo Credit: MySpace

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Middlesex County Sheriff’s Officer and former Milltown Council President was tried on criminal charges in the same court where he has worked since 2002.

    The decision to keep the cases against Officer Neil Raciti in Middlesex County Superior Court has raised questions about conflicts of interest and political favoritism.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Two city government boards have retained new lawyers to represent them in 2018, after their attorneys faced ethics complaints filed by this reporter in 2017.

    The New Brunswick Ethics Board itself faced a crisis when they had to sideline their own attorney, Anthony Vignuolo, for several months in the wake of a complaint alleging that he had failed to file required financial disclosure paperwork.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On January 2, a former Fire Commissioner was found guilty of sex crimes in four different towns, including several against children, following a five-week trial in Superior Court.

    Thomas Canales, a 39-year-old Franklin Township resident, was found guilty of seven criminal counts, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On February 2, Lazos America Unida officially opened its new community center at 57 Livingston Avenue, beneath the New Millenium Bank in downtown New Brunswick.

    Spearheaded by community leader Teresa Vivar, the organization has been around for over a decade but has not maintained a steady headquarters until now.

  • Photo Credit: Kevin Palomo

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A law firm that has made representing public housing authorities into a cottage industry charged the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) over $98,000 during the last fiscal year, vastly exceeding the amount budgeted by the agency.

    Yet, for a second straight year, the NBHA's Board of Commissioners approved a budget on November 15 that included just $18,000 for legal expenses, costs that will also include bills from at least one other law firm.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    METUCHEN, NJ—The owners of a bail bond company found themselves on the wrong side of the law on December 12 when they were arrested on charges of money laundering and insurance fraud.

    The married couple behind Road Runner Bail Bonds, Larry and Kelley Embry, were arrested on December 12 and "charged with various counts in an attempt to cover up the use of illegitimate monies as a bail source for a defendant," according to authorities.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As part of an effort to come to terms with its own history of slavery and discrimination, Rutgers University changed the names of two buildings to honor African Americans with ties to the school community.

    The changes, which also included naming a walkway after a slave who helped build the university's administration building, were announced as part of the school's 2017 celebration of Black History Month.

  • Photo Credit: Franklin Township

    FRANKLIN, NJ—New Brunswick's neighbor saw one of its key municipal officials charged with theft and insurance fraud and quietly suspended from duty in December.

    According to the story broken by TapInto Franklin's Malik Lyons, Franklin Township Clerk Ann Marie McCarthy faces criminal charges that she deceived her health insurance company, Horizon Blue Cross.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—In an astonishing and brazen crime spree that caught the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) off guard, a local teenager used a stolen police vehicle to make his own traffic stops on December 17.

    The agency did not know that one of their vehicles had been stolen until hours after it had been used in several crimes on a Sunday morning shortly before Christmas.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—Valentine's Day marked the third anniversary of a fatal shooting that claimed the life of a 31-year-old man who worked as a youth counselor.

    Three years after the killing of Richard Pryce, his killer spent another Valentine's Day behind bars, his first since receiving a 60-year prison sentence in December.

  • Photo Credit: City of New Brunswick

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city police officer is suspended without pay after being charged with aggravated assault and riot for his involvement in a fight on Easton Avenue.

    Anthony Jones, Jr., who joined the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) in 2016, was allegedly off-duty on when the violent incident occurred on January 21.

    It took eighteen days for the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) to file and announce the charges in a statement that was issued to some media outlets, but not New Brunswick Today.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—For the first time in years, the city's Housing Authority has opened up one of its waiting lists and quietly begun taking preliminary applications for two-bedroom apartments.

    The New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) website does not reflect this, however, stating that "Waiting lists for Section 8 and Public Housing are currently closed."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—It was hard to keep track of all the shootings that occurred on Throop Avenue in 2017.

    The sheer volume of violence, which claimed at least one man's life, led the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) to coordinate with federal, state, and county law enforcement to track down the alleged perpetrators.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—An official with the Perth Amboy Fire Department (PAFD) who also served as the treasurer for Mayor Wilda Diaz's 2008 campaign has been charged with crimes.

    Sammy Arroyo, a 42-year-old resident of the city, was charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking and second-degree computer theft, apparently because a computer was used in the alleged scheme.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), Arroyo used a city computer to "acquire compensatory time that was unearned."

  • Photo Credit: NBPD

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A man who admitted to aggravated assault on a city police officer did not show up for his sentencing on September 29, sparking a manhunt that eventually led to his arrest more than 800 miles away.

    Donnell Cook, a 27-year-old man from Newark, was captured by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a residence in Lithonia, Georgia two months later, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    SOMERSET, NJ—A Franklin Township man who worked for the controversial US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is now behind bars in a Michigan federal prison.

    Arnaldo Echevarria, age 40, served as a "deportation officer" with ICE prior to being convicted of corruptly demanding bribes and sex from undocumented immigrants, harboring another immigrant who he was dating, and lying to federal authorities about his side business.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Assembly Democrats

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—Craig Coughlin, an attorney who represents many local governments in the area, is now the leader of the state's 80-member General Assembly.

    In what marks a major power shift in state government, Coughlin arguably became the first person from Central Jersey to serve as Assembly Speaker since the early 80's.

    The change in leadership officially took place on January 9, as Hudson County legislator Vincent Prieto yielded the powerful position after losing a months-long campaign to Coughlin.  Both men are Democrats.

  • Photo Credit: Wakefield Beasley & Associates

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Along the Raritan River waterfront sits 418 acres of land that a national developer plans to transform into “Riverton,” a $2.5 billion mixed-use development.

    The land, near one of the busiest sections of the Garden State Parkway, was once home to a paint factory owned by NL Industries.

    Previously known as National Lead, the company was responsible for manufacturing lead-based paints until such products were banned by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • Photo Credit: NJ Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Piscataway resident admitted to leading an automobile theft network, as well as a conspiracy to commit theft by deception on October 23.

    Luther Lewis, a 39-year-old man who previously admitted guilt in a scheme to "roll back" the odometers on vehicles before selling them, pleaded guilty to the charges before Judge Benjamin Bucca in Middlesex County Superior Court.

    Prosecutors with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office will recommend a ten-year prison sentence, according to a press release.

  • Photo Credit: Google Maps

    TRENTON, NJ—Two people involved in a Linden-based lumber company are now behind bars after admitted to defrauding and overcharging customers, including public entities, after showering some of those same customers with gifts.

    Victims of the scheme include Amtrak, the Plainfield Board of Education, and several other government entities including RutgersUniversity.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Yirgu Wolde, a longtime member of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners, has been charged with criminal harassment for aggressive behavior and threatening this reporter with physical violence.

    The embattled public board reached a new low on November 15, as they faced an angry crowd at their first public meeting in seven weeks, before Wolde issued the verbal threat on his way out of the meeting.

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city's historic State Theatre is without a leader, after new CEO & President Anna Marie Gewirtz quietly left the non-profit's top job in December.

    "Anna Marie Gewirtz is no longer with the State Theatre," confirmed Director of Communications Kelly Blithe.

    No reason was given for the change in leadership.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    WOODBRIDGE, NJ—In a surprising move, lame-duck Republican Governor Chris Christie appointed the Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization (MCDO) to one of the most powerful boards in the region.

    Kevin McCabe will join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners for the first time at their next public on February 15.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    CARTERET, NJ—A local police officer, one who happens to the Mayor's brother, continues to be paid a $49,266 salary despite being suspended while he is under indictment for criminal charges related to his public job.

    Officer Joseph Reiman, the 31-year-old brother of Mayor Daniel J. Reiman, was indicted September 28 on charges of aggravated assault and official misconduct.  He was later indicted again on a charge of tampering with public records.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Despite being applauded by pro-immigrant advocates for their new policy on federal immigration detainer requests, the elected officials of Middlesex County insist it should not be considered a policy of "sanctuary."

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    SAYREVILLE, NJ—Two politically-connected law firms raked in a grand total of $7,616,130 to represent the county's utilities authority in a civil fraud case that was quietly settled for an additional $5 million last summer.

    Making matters worse, the agency's insurance carrier refused to pay the bills, meaning that the multi-million dollar expense may be passed on to county residents in the form of higher sewer bills.

  • Photo Credit: Canadian Border Services Agency

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A man attempting to cross the US-Canada border with a handgun was taken into custody by the Canadian authorities and held under suspicion that he fatally shot his sister in Perth Amboy.

    According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), police were asked by a "family friend" to check on the well-being of 32-year-old Perth Amboy resident Urooj Aftab shortly after midnight on October 30.

  • Photo Credit: MCPO

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 16-year-old child was allegedly taken advantage of by a case worker from a non-profit "care management organization" that was assigned to assist their family.

    Miguel Garrido, the 23-year-old former case manager from Monmouth Junction, was arrested and charged with several crimes on November 17, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Garrido was employed with the non-profit, Coordinated Family Care, which is located on Silver Line Drive in North Brunswick.

  • Photo Credit: Ilya Arbit

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and quickly became one of the most devastating storms to hit the island in modern history.

    With sustained winds of 64 miles per hour and gusts of up to 109 miles per hour, Puerto Rico was in a complicated position, having to respond to one of the most intense natural disasters in its history despite undergoing internal challenges including its own debt crisis, corruption, and political uncertainty.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    EDISON, NJ—A former Township police officer who left the force in disgrace last year is now behind bars, after the cases mounting against him and his wife came to a dramatic conclusion in September.

    Michael Dotro, a 40-year-old Manalapan resident who had become a poster child for bad behavior in one of the state's most corrupt police departments, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison on September 7.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office

    DUNELLEN, NJ—Christopher Tarver, a 45-year-old Jackson Township resident who once led the Recreation Departments in Dunellen and North Plainfield, faces up to 50 years behind bars after being convicted by a jury on a slew of sex crimes.

    Tarver also coached the Middlesex County College basketball team and served as "Executive Director" at the Monmouth Power Sports Club, a traveling basketball team.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police investigated "an altercation at a party that resulted in gunfire" on October 28 at approximately 2am, according to a press release and a Rutgers University crime alert.

    The shooting that injured a 21-year-old New Brunswick man occurred following a brawl outside a private home at 120 Hamilton Street, just steps away from the university's main campus.

  • Photo Credit: Carlos Ramírez

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On October 20, city police found themselves simultaneously engaged in a foot pursuit and a search for a truck that fled a motor vehicle stop made "as a follow up to a narcotics investigation," according to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).

    Two South Jersey men, the driver and passenger of the vehicle stopped at Suydam Street and Remsen Avenue shortly after 6:00pm, were both arrested, the department said in a statement.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 24-year-old man will be behind bars until after his 43rd birthday after admitting to a brutal sexual assault on a borough woman.

    Brandon Cox is currently residing in Southwoods State Prison in Bridgeton and won't be eligible for parole until September 14, 2036, according to the NJ Department of Corrections.

  • Photo Credit: New Brunswick Today

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Residents are demanding an independent investigation after police videos raised new contradictions with the story that County Prosecutor Andrew Carey has propagated about the death of Daniel Nagahama.

    Nagahama, a 28-year-old Edison resident, passed away at a New Brunswick hospital just three hours after officers with the Highland Park Police Department (HPPD) deployed pepper spray against him during a rough arrest on June 2, 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil/PACE University

    HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—Documents released in response to a lawsuit against the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) reveal inconsistencies in their official story of a man who died hours after police interacted with him last year.

    This much is clear: Police found 28-year-old Daniel Nagahama alive, but the young man's life came to an early end just hours after his run-in with cops led him to be taken to a hospital in the Hub City.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) is investigating a seemingly random act of criminal sexual contact inside one of the school's dormitories.

    The alleged crime took place on Friday, October 13 at approximately 4:30 PM inside Mettler Hall, located on the university's flagship "College Avenue Campus" in New Brunswick's Sixth Ward.

  • Photo Credit: Sean Monahan

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Taxpayers as far away as Pompton Lakes are sharing a growing, multi-million dollar financial burden to fund a team of lawyers representing New Brunswick's Mayor and top police brass in two serious court cases.

    In 2012, four African-American police officers filed lawsuits claiming they were discriminated against by their corrupt bosses.

    Now, after five years of preparation and posturing, one of the two New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) cases has been settled.

  • Photo Credit: Twitter

    SPOTSWOOD, NJ—Less than a year after losing his re-election bid, former Mayor Nicholas Poliseno is now facing criminal charges of third-degree charges of stealing from a local scholarship fund.

    County Prosecutor Andrew Carey's office filed criminal charges against Poliseno, and the 39-year-old former politician was allowed to surrender to authorities on October 10.

  • Photo Credit:

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A city resident was found guilty of stalking and killing his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend, Alicia Martinez-Izaguirr, as she arrived for work on the morning of June 24, 2015.

    Giver Quiroz-Vasquez was convicted of the killing after a jury trial, and will now face between 30 years and life in prison when he is sentenced on January 18 by Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Chairing an off-the-rails public meeting on November 15, the leader of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) lashed out and accused this reporter of both spreading lies and being under investigation.

    It had been seven weeks since the board had met in public, and the first meeting since a scathing federal audit questioned over $1.4 million in the Housing Authority's spending.

    For the first time in years, residents showed up en masse to voice their concerns about the communities run by the NBHA. 

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Few may know it, but there's an important connection between two criminal cases prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.

    The two scandalous, seemingly unconnected stories reveal different facets of the city's corrupt underbelly, including the bribery accusations that rocked its Water Utility nearly one year ago.

  • Photo Credit: Middlesex County

    SOUTH RIVER, NJ—While the high-profile races in Middlesex County's November 7 elections were all landslide victories for incumbents favored to win, many local races for municipal and school offices came down to the wire.

    Just three votes separated victory and defeat in the South River Borough Council race, according to preliminary results. Meanwhile, the winners and losers in the borough's Board of Education race were separated by just 77 votes.

  • Photo Credit: Tom Franklin

    This article is part of a statewide series called Voting Block, which is a collaborative reporting effort to encourage civil political discussion and more informed voters in neighborhoods across New Jersey ahead of this fall’s gubernatorial election. 

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As New Jersey prepares to elect a new Governor on November 7, the Hub City's booming downtown boasts more residents than ever before, giving the neighborhood a chance to flex its political muscle in a way that it has never done before.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Hoping to become the next Governor, Phil Murphy drew dozens of locals to Gambino's Inn on Remsen Avenue, a crowd that included one-third of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) Board of Commissioners.

    Just 15 minutes before Murphy's "town hall" event on October 25, the board was supposed to meet for the first time since a scathing federal audit questioned over $1.4 million in spending.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEWARK, DE—The number two man at New Jersey's largest hospital chain surrendered to authorities in Delaware on October 27 after being charged with a slew of creepy crimes.

    So far, RWJBarnabas Health Systems has been quiet about the criminal charges against their one-time Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Gerald "Jay" Picerno.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The embattled New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) failed to properly administer federal funds and could face funding cuts as punishment, according to a scathing audit by federal authorities.

    Despite the poor optics, the NBHA has refused to release its Corrective Action Plan, a document that might respond to the "weaknesses in the Authority’s governance, management, and operations" identified in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) audit.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—An aggravated assault outside of a well-known bar near the Rutgers University campus generated another Rutgers crime alert on Saturday, September 16.

    At approximately 12:58 AM on that night, a man waiting in line outside the Olde Queens Tavern on Easton Avenue reportedly "became engaged in a verbal exchange with five unknown males," according to the crime alert released by Rutgers University Police Department.

  • Photo Credit: ICE

    EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—A Sayreville man was arrested on September 12 and charged with "selling medical records that he stole from a storage unit in East Brunswick," according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Authorities stated that "over 1,000 medical records," which contained confidential personal information, were stolen and then sold, allegedly by Fernando Rios.

  • Photo Credit: Facebook

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A young man accused of stabbing a fellow student with a box-cutter on Delafield Street has been released from county jail to await possible indictment and trial.

    Robert Mannifield, age 20, is apparently a student at Rutgers University and a member of the Tau Kapa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, a fact that was first reported by The Tab.

  • Photo Credit: The South Amboy Sayreville Times

    SAYREVILLE, NJ–A police officer lost his job after admitting he covered up his patrol car's dashboard camera while running a “quick, personal errand.”

    James P. Pizzillo, age 33, pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree charge of tampering with public records on August 3.

    Pizzillo was admitted into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program by Judge Michael Toto on September 25.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office had recommended one to five years of probation, without any jail time.

  • Photo Credit: Bing Maps

    PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A murder case that begin with the body of an 18-year-old man being found on Conrail property in Perth Amboy led to a murder charge against a man from El Salvador who was arrested over 200 miles away on unrelated charges.

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) identified the young victim as Perth Amboy resident Jose David Guardado-Leiva on August 28, three days after his body was found by a passerby near William Street.

  • Photo Credit: Charlie Kratovil

    UPDATE (10/23): The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office announced that Michael “Maniac” Martin, the second of the two suspects wanted in this case, has been arrested by Philadelphia Police.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A 31-year-old city resident was fatally shot while sitting in a parked car on Fulton Street, about an hour before midnight on the evening of August 18.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Dept. of Corrections

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ--A Perth Amboy man was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for a previously undisclosed kidnapping in 2014 , according to an announcement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).

    Francisco Green, age 35, was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault after a 7-day jury trial at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick back in January.

  • Photo Credit: NJ Attorney General's Office

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Corruption Bureau of the state's Division of Criminal Justice secured indictments against two longtime city workers on September 29.

    The two indicted public officials, meter reader William Ortiz and clerk Joseph DeBonis are both 55 years old and have been with the city's water utility since the 1990's.

  • Photo Credit:

    SOMERSET, NJ—An 18-year-old man from Park Street shot and killed Chamari Webb, an 18-year-old woman on Battle Place in the Somerset section of the Township on August 9, according to authorities.

    The tragic killing took place on the block where the young woman resided shortly before 8am on a Wednesday morning.  Webb was hospitalized and pronounced dead by 8:29am.

    According to authorities, the suspect and victim encountered one another at a Millstone Road deli shortly before the fatal shooting.