NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — When the power went out after Superstorm Sandy, some New Jersey officials apparently used emergency generators intended for public use for their own homes or businesses.
At least four local officials took public generators for their own personal use, according to recent newspaper reports.
Sussex County Undersheriff George DeOld resigned this week amid allegations that he ordered an employee to deliver one of the town's two emergency generators to his home, The Star-Ledger reported. DeOld returned the generator when a neighbor saw it being delivered and contacted authorities, the paper said.
"Anything that you want to confirm has to come through the sheriff's office," DeOld told The Associated Press on Tuesday then hung up.
The sheriff's office did not immediately return a call for comment.
North Haledon Mayor Randy George took a borough generator to his home after the superintendent of public works said he had a spare one, The Record of Woodland Park reported.
George brought the generator to his house and used it to keep the refrigerator in the ice cream parlor he owns running, according to the paper. He said it was a "bad judgment call" and he returned it the next morning.
George also allowed Police Chief Robert Bracco to take a generator to his Wayne home the day after the storm.
"Yes, I did take it. I asked for it," Bracco said, according to the paper. "I don't believe it was wrong. I had my 86-year-old mother at my house in Wayne with me, and I had been working in North Haledon for 24 hours. I didn't have time to go out and buy a generator."
Bracco also returned the generator the next day, the paper reported.
Haledon's lawyer was not immediately available for comment when called by The Associated Press. The police chief did not immediately return a call for comment.
North Haledon Councilman Robert Dyer said the borough attorney is investigating. Attorney Michael DeMarco declined to comment.
The Record reported that Geoffrey Zoeller, superintendent of Westwood Regional School District, used a district generator and truck during the storm. The paper reported Zoeller kept the generator in his house after leaving for vacation in Florida. He returned the generator and defended his actions last week, saying the equipment allowed him to work remotely and make it out of a remote area, the paper said.
The school board is investigating.
In an email to The Associated Press, Zoeller declined to comment.