Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro spoke with Hudson County View about the criticism that Mayor Steven Fulop and his administration are facing in light of Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal’s recent DWI arrest, stating that emergency lights have since been removed from all city vehicles.
“I think Mayor Fulop’s been fairly consistent in terms of his public position on the use of city vehicles,” Lavarro said in an interview. “Certainly there, clearly there’s … been some loopholes, to characterize it as such. He’s been very explicit with me as the council president in terms of city council people using vehicles.”
Lavarro added that he’s been told to use city vehicles “judiciously” and for “city business” only.
Effective August 1 2013, Fulop declared that only emergency responders will be allowed to take city owned vehicles home, however the vehicle Councilman Ramchal was driving was issued by the Jersey City Incinerator Authority.
When asked if a more stringent city vehicle policy would now be imposed, Lavarro said that emergency lights have been removed from all of the city vehicles – which were flashing during Ramchal’s accident, according to the police report.
The focus now is how the administration will deal with JCIA and how it will enforce the 2013 ban of municipal vehicles for non-emergency city personnel.
Lavarro’s take on the situation is that Ramchal’s arrest is a good example of why the JCIA should be absorbed by the city of Jersey City.