KIYC: Belleville councilman remained on council after seemingly leaving NJ

<p>A Belleville councilman has finally resigned from the city council after months of seemingly living in Florida and not in New Jersey.</p>

News 12 Staff

Sep 28, 2017, 12:03 AM

Updated 2,454 days ago

Share:

KIYC: Belleville councilman remained on council after seemingly leaving NJ
A Belleville councilman has finally resigned from the city council after months of seemingly living in Florida and not in New Jersey.
Several Belleville residents reached out to Kane In Your Corner after noticing social media posts from Councilman Joe Longo, dating back to the spring, filled with pictures of him in Florida. Longo’s LinkedIn page also showed that he had taken a job in Florida.
Elected officials must live in the town they represent under New Jersey law. 
But Longo insisted that despite taking a job hundreds of miles away, he still lived in Belleville. He refused to resign his seat on the town council. His fellow councilmembers declined to remove him from his position. Kane in Your Corner learned that they even passed a new ordinance that allowed council members to attend meetings by phone.
“It seems that the governing body not only doesn’t want to do anything about it, they may have sort of orchestrated the situation to allow him to do so,” says Lee Dorry with the watchdog group Essex Watch.
For several months, Longo accused anyone who questioned his residence of perpetuating a fraud. But he finally resigned Tuesday, and admitted to moving to Florida. His resignation letter did not specify exactly when he had moved.
Belleville Mayor Raymond Kimble says that the council only received the resignation letter on Sept. 19, and that is why it took so long to remove him from office.
But News 12 New Jersey’s Walt Kane points out that the council could have had another reason for wanting to delay Longo's resignation. By letting Longo stay on the council until after Sept. 1, the mayor and the council will get to appoint his replacement rather than letting voters decide.
Mayor Kimble denies that played a role.
“I didn’t even know that law,” Kimble said.
Kane In Your Corner has investigated Longo before. He was the subject of a 2014 investigation when he was a Belleville School Board member and brokered a deal for a $2 million security system at a time when the school couldn’t afford textbooks.
That security company later hired Longo’s son.


More from News 12
1:52
Police: Thieves ransacked Boonton Township home, stole valuable heirlooms

Police: Thieves ransacked Boonton Township home, stole valuable heirlooms

2:54
Sunny, hot Monday kicks off scorching week in New Jersey

Sunny, hot Monday kicks off scorching week in New Jersey

2:27
NJ cities make ready for potential heat wave. Here’s how to avoid heat-related illnesses

NJ cities make ready for potential heat wave. Here’s how to avoid heat-related illnesses

0:27
Skip the Stuff: Hoboken City Council approves measure aimed to reduced plastic waste

Skip the Stuff: Hoboken City Council approves measure aimed to reduced plastic waste

1:22
Double celebration: Paterson block party celebrates Father's Day and Eid al-Adha

Double celebration: Paterson block party celebrates Father's Day and Eid al-Adha

1:03
South Brunswick brothers who served in WWII and Korean war honored with street dedication

South Brunswick brothers who served in WWII and Korean war honored with street dedication

2:02
 A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

A potential heat wave is coming. These sunscreen tips can save your skin

0:23
Police: 3 suspects wanted for home burglary in Boonton Township

Police: 3 suspects wanted for home burglary in Boonton Township

1:37
Sinkhole rips through Hoboken waterfront walkway

Sinkhole rips through Hoboken waterfront walkway

1:00
Morristown records building showcases artworks by Black and Afro-Latina artists

Morristown records building showcases artworks by Black and Afro-Latina artists

0:20
EF-0 landspout tornado confirmed in Lawrence Township, NWS says

EF-0 landspout tornado confirmed in Lawrence Township, NWS says

1:57
‘Unity in the community.’ Juneteenth Festival celebrated along Bergen Street in Newark

‘Unity in the community.’ Juneteenth Festival celebrated along Bergen Street in Newark

0:38
Stafford police: Shoplifting suspect found with deer inside bag, crack cocaine at ShopRite

Stafford police: Shoplifting suspect found with deer inside bag, crack cocaine at ShopRite

0:26
Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

Authorities: Paramus man obtained COVID-19 relief loans for business that closed before pandemic

2:04
Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

1:43
Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

Severe thunderstorms on Friday cause damage across New Jersey

1:02
Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

Police: Armed suspect barricaded at Woodbridge gas station

0:53
New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

New Jersey will soon see a stretch of 90-degree days. Here’s how to stay safe

0:38
Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

Jersey Proud: Battleship New Jersey comes to Paulsboro this weekend before heading back to Camden

2:01
Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.

Police in New Jersey say burglars are using Wi-Fi jammers to target homes. Here's what you need to know.