Recall effort underway against mayor of Mahwah

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MAHWAH -

A recall effort is being launched against the mayor of a Bergen County town.

The Committee to Recall Mayor William Laforet is looking to collect 4,150 signatures in their effort to remove the Mahwah mayor.

"It's going to become a very dismal failure but what it does is it really continues the narrative of what's going on in Mahwah,” Laforet says.

The mayor says he believes this all stems from the ongoing controversy with the nearby Orthodox Jewish community.  Mahwah faces two lawsuits from the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association as well as the state Attorney General's Office.  Both cite discrimination after there was an effort to take down eruvs and keep the parks to Mahwah residents only.

"They don't appreciate that the fact that the chief of police and myself are on the right side of the Constitution,” the mayor says. “You cannot violate the civil rights of human beings.  We know that.  We stand by that.  I will never reverse my position on it."

But the committee say that this has nothing to do with the recent controversy and more about the wrongful death lawsuit of a former Mahwah Department of Public Works chief.

“He would love for the media to believe that it's about those recent issues but it's not,” says committee member Melanie Sue. “There was an effort to recall him in 2015 and the logistics will tell you that's well before any of these recent issues.”

Mahwah resident Kathy Brewster says that she will be signing the petition.

"I think it's everything that's come down and boiled down for the last seven years,” she says. “The lawsuits are costing the taxpayers.”

Montvale and Upper Saddle River are also facing similar lawsuits by the Bergen Rockland Eruv Association. A judge gave all three municipalities until next month to come up with a settlement.

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