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More delays possible in case of suspended North Bergen public works official accused of misconduct
BY PETER J. SAMPSON
After three trial adjournments last year, lawyers for a suspended North Bergen public works official accused of official misconduct appeared before two judges Wednesday to request yet another delay.
Attorneys Samuel R. DeLuca and George Taite had been scheduled to argue that their client, Timothy J. Grossi, 75, of Jersey City, is medically unfit to proceed to trial next week because of a deteriorating heart condition.
But neither Grossi, the township’s deputy director of public works, or his cardiologist, showed up for the hearing before Superior Court Judge Edward Jerejian in Hackensack. Instead, DeLuca informed the judge that he is retiring after 47 years and closing his Jersey City law office.
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As a result, DeLuca said Grossi will need to retain a new defense lawyer and the lawyer will need sufficient time to get up to speed on the case.
After a private conference in his chambers, Jerejian sent the lawyers to Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi, the presiding judge in the criminal division, to decide what should be done.
Grossi was indicted in December 2012 following a state probe into the unlawful use of Department of Public Works employees for personal chores and campaign work.
He was suspended without pay from his $133,000-per-year job. He is alleged to have ordered workers to help with three political races in Hudson County as well as having employees perform chores at his home and the homes of others, then falsifying timesheets so that the workers would be compensated by the township.
James Wiley, a former DPW assistant superintendent, has pleaded guilty to related charges and is expected to be a key prosecution witness. Two other DPW supervisors are also facing trial in Hudson County.