O’Dea, Conti get into war of words over protest with heavy sheriff’s presence


Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) was furious at the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for not immediately pulling officers out of a small social worker protest yesterday afternoon and Undersheriff Andrew Conti got the brunt of his anger.


Terrell McDonald and other Hudson County social workers hosted a protest asking for salary increases that made its way in front of the county building at 567 Pavonia Ave. at 4:30 p.m. yesterday before addressing the freeholder board around 6:30 p.m.

McDonald and her colleagues were frustrated when they were told this was an issue they’d had to take up with their union reps.

At the December 10th meeting of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, McDonald compared the Department of Family Services salaries in Essex, Bergen and Union Counties to those in Hudson County.

Back to last night’s meeting, things began to head south when Delores Black, a former Hudson County social worker, told the board that security called the sheriff’s office and had a handful of officers surrounded her when she returned to her former place of employment for social services.

After the board discussed if a policy could be enacted to prevent a similar incident in the future, O’Dea questioned why the sheriff’s office deployed so many officers for a protest.

Another Jersey City Freeholder, Gerard Balmir (D-3), asked for a copy of the memo issues by Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari to deploy officers for the protest.

North Bergen Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), who was sworn in by Schillari as vice chair on Tuesday, didn’t understand what all the fuss was about – causing O’Dea, and to a lesser extent Balmir, to get heated.

Conti did his best to try and explain the situation, but things didn’t go as smoothly as he would’ve hoped, as O’Dea wasn’t having any of it.

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  1. They were sent to POLICE everything like they always do. You know the old saying “to protect and serve” right. Well the real meaning is to “harass and scrutinize”

  2. Is Mr odea out of his mi d? This guy has got to go. Had there been a problem he be up there screaming why there wasn’t enough police present. Who backs this guy in Jc?

  3. You are the nut job! Bill O’Dea calls for more police presence in neighborhoods where crime is high. This idiotic undersheriff Continwas being used to be a political bully against the workers that were protesting for their rights. I bet Conti finds himself in Jail now, for using his office to scare people who are protesting against the administration. Conti sounded like a Baffon, he knew what he did was wrong and could cost him and I investigation by the attorney generals office for hang his office to intimidate political opponents! What an idiot

    • In what world do you live? The Sheriff’s Office received information that there would be a large group marching from Hudson Plaza, and a protest at the freeholder meeting. As of 4:30 PM that day, the march did not draw as large a crowd as anticipated. However, seeing as how the meeting did not start until 6PM, it would have been foolish to release those officers prior to then, as the materialization of a large protest group was still a possibility. Twenty minutes after the meeting started, and after no large group materialized, the officers were released. Undersheriff Conti was 100% in the right, and Bill O’Dea was simply being his usual self – an overbearing pompous ass.

      O’Dea needs to be reminded that he has absolutely zero law enforcement experience, and has no operational oversight over the Sheriff’s Office.