According to published reports, Lange was accused by a local bar owner, Lissette Ramirez, of pushing open her apartment door, entering her 70th Street apartment and throwing things out of a closet. Ramirez called the police at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. According to the same reports, after Lange left, Ramirez walked over to the Guttenberg Police Department and filed a complaint against Lange.
According to Lange's attorney, Scott Bazzani of Union City, the commissioner is due to appear at the Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City on July 23, at which time a judge will decide if the case will go to a grand jury or back to Guttenberg's municipal court.
Bazzani, while not at liberty to comment specifically on the charges, did say that Lange is "very upset by this" and that "he will object and fight this strenuously." Bazzani also commented, "It is important to point out that the complaint was brought by this lady as a private complaint, not a police complaint" and that Lange would be filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Ramirez in the near future.
Lange turned himself in to the Guttenberg Police Department Monday and was released on his own recognizance.
A source in the West New York Town Hall said that Lange went to the location with his wife looking for his teenage nephew, of whom he has had legal custody since the nephew was 8, according to the source. The nephew had driven a vehicle that is registered in Lange's name to the location, the source said, and Lange went to Ramirez' apartment looking for both the keys and his nephew. According to the source, words ensued between Lange's wife and Ramirez, possibly sparking the complaint.
Ramirez could not be reached for comment.
Sources also indicate that Lange's nephew has been working for Ramirez at her bar, Let It Be, located on Park Avenue and 70th Street in Guttenberg. Apparently, this has caused friction between Lange and Ramirez.
When reached by telephone for comment, Lange refused for legal reasons to divulge any details of the case, but was effusive in his feelings about the case.
Said Lange, "I am extremely, extremely disgusted that it would get to this point. I will fight legally to keep my good reputation, and I will be bringing a suit against her for malicious prosecution for defaming my name." Added Lange, "The facts and truth will come out in court."
Lange was recently sworn in for his third term as West New York Commissioner, a position that he has held since 1995, as part of West New York Mayor Albio Sires' slate.