Suspended Secaucus tax collector admitted to hospital on eve of trial
Suspended Secaucus Tax Collector Alan Bartolozzi was rushed to an area hospital shortly after midnight on Jan. 18 after experiencing difficulty breathing.
Citing patient confidentiality rules, neither Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus nor Jersey City Medical Center would confirm whether or not Bartolozzi was admitted to their facility.
Bartolozzi was admitted to hospital just hours before jury selection was scheduled to begin in his alleged union theft case. He is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking in the third degree for allegedly stealing nearly $25,000 from a municipal workers’ union. In addition to working as the Secaucus Tax Collector for 24 years, Bartolozzi also had served for many years in a voluntary capacity as treasurer of the Secaucus Public Employees’ Association.
Bartolozzi has pleaded not guilty to this charge.
He has also been indicted on six counts in connection with his job as the town’s tax collector. He is alleged to have stolen $777,725 in taxpayer money over a period of several years.
Bartolozzi has pleaded not guilty to all charges. No trial date has been set in the tax collector case.
Bartolozzi’s hospitalization marks the third postponement for his union case. Earlier trial dates had to be pushed back due to a long-running homicide trial before Judge Kevin Callahan, the judge who is also hearing Bartolozzi’s case.
Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez said Thursday that the court had been informed that Bartolozzi was hospitalized. He had no further information on when a trial might be rescheduled.
Secaucus gets Clean Energy grants to install energy conservation measures at municipal facilities
Secaucus has secured funds to perform energy upgrades at the Department of Public Works Garage, the Municipal Ice Rink, and the Secaucus Animal Shelter. An Energy Efficiency Grant and a Conservation Block Grant in the amounts of $20,000 and $30,336, respectively, from Direct Install – an energy incentive program offered by the NJ Clean Energy Program – will pay for the replacement of light bulbs, light fixtures, and heating units at the aforementioned buildings. The Town of Secaucus will pay $224 for installation. These upgrades are projected to save taxpayers more than $30,000 in the first year of operation alone.
“This is a terrific opportunity to do work that is important for so many reasons,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli in a release issued today. “We have to find ways to not only be fiscally responsible and do right by our residents, but also to make changes that reduce energy consumption and have an impact even beyond the borders of our town. I’m extremely pleased with our Department of Public Works for helping us put this project together. I was also very happy with Lime Energy, the contractors who expedited the Direct Install process for us.”
Work is scheduled to begin next month.
Secaucus school district appoints truancy officer
The Secaucus Public School District has appointed Eric Roque, a retired police officer and licensed private investigator, as its new truancy officer. As a truant officer, Roque will help the district determine the residency status of students attending public schools in Secaucus.
In a release issued last week, the school district engaged in the controversial practice of asking residents to inform on neighbors and students who may be attending the local school system illegally.
In addition to his responsibilities as a truant officer, Roque will also have some unspecified security-related duties in Secaucus High School and Secaucus Middle school.
New youth services librarian appointed
The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center has hired Lanora Melillo as the new youth services librarian.
Melillo, who joined the staff on Jan. 10, has hit the ground running and is in the process of forming a Teen Advisory Board (T.A.B.) for youngsters in grades six through 12. The T.A.B. will meet on the last Wednesday of each month from 6:30 pm to 7:30 p.m., with the first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 26.
According to Melillo, the T.A.B. will be a venue for teens to brainstorm ideas for programs, special events, and other topics they would like to see discussed.
“The T.A.B. will give the youth an opportunity to assist with creating a monthly teen newsletter, create flyers, discuss and review books, movies and music and to volunteer,” she explained.
Melillo previously worked as the children’s librarian at North Brunswick Public Library and a reference and circulation librarian at Middlesex Public Library. Students who are interested in registering for the T.A.B. should call (201) 330-2085 or visit Secaucus@bccls.org.