Suarez recall effort headed to court

The next stop for the recall effort against Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez is in court.

Bob Avery, the borough’s Republican chairman, says that conflicting information from the borough and county thwarted his attempt to collect signatures to force a recall of Suarez in the November election. Now, he says, a Ridgefield official is denying him the chance to file for a special recall election next year.

“We didn’t even collect any signatures,” Avery said of his effort to get the recall on the November ballot. “Nobody would give us proper dates as to when the signature were due. We got different answers from different officials on when it was due,”

Avery says that Borough Clerk Martin Gobbo refused to allow him to try to force a special election because Avery already filed a notice of intention to collect signatures for a November recall. Gobbo, he said, told him that state law requires a year between recall efforts. Avery says state law only requires the wait if the recall election has already happened.

Gobbo could not be reached for comment.

If Avery gets the go ahead to start the process, he’ll have 160 days to collect about 1,400 signatures of registered voters – no small feat in a town of just 11,000.

Suarez was arrested in July for allegedly taking bribes from an FBI informant posing as a developer. Despite pressure from top Democrats, including Governor Corzine, he has refused to resign.

"It’s not a political environment that’s particularly warm for incumbents, but it looks like Booker has little to be worried about as the campaign season draws to a close."
—Krista Jenkins, poll director and professor of political science, FDU.