Letter to Local Finance Board, of N.J. Attorney General Office regarding conflict of interest in local officials

Vic Fedorov
68 Laurel Rd
Princeton NJ
201 232 1154

Re: complaint; guidelines for official municipal conduct

June 12, 2010

Dear Local Finance Board, of Attorney General’s Office of N.J.,

1) “(State the point of the ethics law violated;)”

Title 40A:9-22.5: Provisions requiring compliance by local government officers, employees

d. No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment;

This law is to keep local government officials from acting in their interests, when they should be acting in the interests of the public. My case is that local officials have a critical, personal and financial involvement, preventing them from considering questions concerning the structure of local government: That mitigated Princeton Borough officials handling of a federal civil suit, and its relevant issues and has led to unethical behavior.

2) “(State the name and titles of the parties involved in the action and against whom the complaint is filed;)”

This action is filed in regard to the behavior of the late Mayor Joe O’Neil of Princeton Borough. I would also like to include in your considerations the behavior of Mildred Trotman, current mayor of Princeton Borough, as well as Mr. Michael Herbert who represented Princeton Borough as the attorney paid by Princeton borough taxes in 2004 and 2005.

3) “(Set forth in detail the pertinent facts surrounding the alleged, violative, action;)”

In February 2004 (04-366, Judge Thompson) I filed a Federal Question in Federal Civil Court, District of N.J. showing:

1) Local officials who make decisions on issues for the town of Princeton (and all towns that do so) abridge Peaceful Assembly in violation of The First Amendment.

A) Free, peaceful, assembly must be known as a natural form for local decision making where all present have a vote. It is a natural constitutional intention for communities to make decisions themselves in free assemblies, and not let the few decide for the many locally. The latter is a flawed understanding of representative democracy resulting locally in a limited focus, and unpopular decisions and polity. Locally, we may come together and arrive at decisions together; whereas having a few decide for the many locally, is the illogical rule of the more powerful. Princeton Township had peaceful-assembly-made decisions till 1900.

B) The N.J. State Constitution of 1947’s incorporation of towns with local officials, is thus suspected of violating the federal bill of rights.

C) Some towns in New England require quorums of 236 for a decision to be made. (See a citizens guide to local government in Massachusetts.) This has protected the countryside of New England.

2) The tenth amendment’s reservation of powers to the state or the people, specifically excludes local officials from exercising power. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Local officials are not the state or the people yet exercise powers reserved to the state or to the people. This law is precedential and wide-ranging. This observation of the tenth amendment protects the people from local officials. The few ruling for the many locally, is like a nobility, or a communist party, or a warlord. This unnecessarily representative and unconstitutional structure of local government, is designed to aid corruption

3) The 14th amendment, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;” is classically violated by this abridgement of privilege and immunity of citizens of the United States, by NJ’s State constitution; much like laws restricting voting were found. The privilege of the making local decisions in free assemblies by all present, and the immunity to being ruled by a few locally, is lost and abridged.

In February 2004, Pro Se, I was given a docket number, 04-366, and a Federal Judge, Anne Thompson; wrote 30 pleadings over several months, named The State of N.J., The borough of Princeton, and Palmer Square Associates as parties, and tried to apply this case to show the approval of building by local officials to be unconstitutional, unnatural, and legally intended to be by the local people in free, peaceful, Assembly. In September of 04, the state was dismissed, and other parties decided for in summary judgments.(For my lack of standing, in other words my inability to signify a redressable grievance cost me my right to place parties on trial; and sovereign immunity, dismissed the state; as rights come from the state, and therefore the state is above the right to criticize its policies in court, through the 11th amendment)

My complaint, and ethical inquiry begins with that this case was never announced to the public of Princeton, nor discussed in or by Princeton Borough Council. There are no minutes or records of discussion of it, and Council Person Roger Martindell, in March 09, told me it never came up in discussion or agenda.
This was because Mayor Joe O’Neil was able to bottleneck discussion of the suit, because in Princeton, the mayor sets the agenda for council discussion. Any local discussion of the suit, by representatives of the people, has to be approved by him, for it to be on public agenda and learned of by citizens, and press.

Why would the mayor not alert his constituents of this suit, in public interest, by placing it on agenda for council discussion and public comment? Because the mayor, (and local elected officials) have a personal and financial interest in not losing the prestige and salary their job as officials of public trust carries. Thus, there is “substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.” (State Ethic Rules), as this case denies the constitutionality of their job..

If the public finds out Peaceful Assembly is a fair form for community decisions, and the tenth amendment does not allow local officials making decisions, and the fourteenth amendment protects us from abridgements of our privileges and immunities, local officials will lose their jobs, prestige and personal interest. By NJ’s sunshine laws, local officials ethically have to recuse themselves from issues they have a personal or financial interest it; or possibly, gracefully discuss it. Neither happened. Local office is not fit for discussion of free assemblies and the reservation of powers to the people; And Princeton Borough erred by keeping this situation secret.
You have been empowered and invested in, for the public, to analyze and rectify situations such as the proper handling of suits by local government, when since local officials have a personal and financial issue in their jobs, which is a subject of this claim, they may not be able to council their personal and financial interests.
Where then does our governmental structure entertain this issue of the structure of local government; should local access to town meetings be lost so? State government does not offer the immediate public access to discussion that local government does. Something must be facilitated so this issue is honorably dealt with.
On the other hand, the public is served enough by these laws to merit an inclusion of this issue on agendas of town councils; and to that purpose, several times in the winter of 08/09 I went to try to see Mildred Trottman, current mayor of Princeton Borough, upon learning that this case was never publicly dealt with by Princeton Borough Council, or at all by council members. I asked her several times, in person, through her aids, and in writing, to put it on the agenda, bring me in to represent the issue, and formally discuss this sustenance before the people. While she promised in a town meeting to meet with me, she never did, or put the case on council agenda.
Does her job constitute a personal and financial interest in keeping this issue from public discussion and public knowledge? Is she not properly discharging her duties in not letting the public know this issue, it’s legal history, fought with by public funds and municipal lawyers? Are they hiding because of their office and can not be trusted to reckon issues before them in federal court as invested?

There are other peripheral and tangential, relevant points within the sphere of concern, about ethics, and conflicts of interest.

1) For instance, The Borough of Princeton’s lawyers who were paid to respond and handle my federal question, were paid from taxes; does that mandate the public knowing what their taxes spent on lawyers produced? Would the public who pay their salaries want them to deny me pretrial discussion, as being pro se I was not legally entitled to such? The public is allowed and intended to know what issues town lawyers encounter.

New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law
52:13D-12. Legislative findings
The Legislature finds and declares:
(a) In our representative form of government, it is essential that the conduct of public officials and employees shall hold the respect and confidence of the people. Public officials must, therefore, avoid conduct which is in violation of their public trust or which creates a justifiable impression among the public that such trust is being violated.

I think there is a justifiable impression among the public that such trust is being violated, by the secretive way this case and issue was handled.

2) Both local papers, The Town Topics and The Princeton Packet, did not run articles on this lawsuit despite several press releases. Is there any way we can claim this omission is the work of a free press? It is totalitarian.
Corruption festers in secrecy. If this case got press coverage, it would have received honorable behavior, from officials and Judge Thompson. If the point of the press is to put issues in the light of public debate, so that secrecy may not shield corruption, the press unfairly, yet effectively, censored and denied the public mature and viable information.
Is a free press the law? The established guideline for the press, is it behave freely. It is hard to imagine journalists, whose lives, and family’s and friends’ lives, would benefit so much from peaceful Assembly, disregarding my press releases, unless the profession itself is flawed.

3) It is natural for communities to make decisions together in free assembly. The tenth amendment’s protection of the people from local officials is sensible. Though I make these points precedentially, these points are readily apprehendable, yet of too great a magnitude to be manifested in secrecy by a few.
Article 1, 2a of the state constitution, “ All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.)” states all political power is inherently in the people. Government can only administrate from laws already given. Government is not empowered to change the form of government. That political power is inherently in the people.
Our government ignores the kingdom of god. Voting, which is supposed to be a step up from feudalism, contradicts the kingdom of god; while feudalism may not be concerned with the truth; republican government, by virtue of uniting diverse regions, with issues that concern each, may strive for truth, and want to found government upon truth. It is with these hopes I submit my complaint.
Having set forth the pertinent facts to this particular case, I will now address questions 4 and 5.

4) “Indicate whether the complaint concerns the complainant in any way, and what, if any, relationship complainant has to the subject of the complaint.”

Local Peaceful Assembly is a very simple, democratic idea, and fair alternative to local officials that all would benefit from, and indeed enable us to take on the problems on earth humans seem incapable of. My complaint signifies a dissatisfaction with the cnduct of local officials invested wth public trust when issues and suits are not proper and honestly handled because prestige and office is in the balance of their action and behavior.
Local government and their lawyers, have allowed a lot of destruction of the old culture of Princeton, for more and new buildings, the decision of which I claim was illegal, and constantly unpopular.

5) “Indicate any other action previously taken in an attempt to resolve this issue and indicate whether the issue is the subject of pending litigation elsewhere.”

I sought to resolve this issue through lobbying the current mayor Trotman to be on the agenda to discuss these matters; The Mayors O’Neil, and Trottman and the town lawyer at the time of this case, Michael Herbert, are not capable of giving this matter its due, out of the personal (and financial) interests of their employment by the municipalities, and lack of the pressure of public awareness.
This suit was also with a three judge panel and docket number in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals for a month, and was heard en banc as well, in early O5, where it was dismissed for being out of jurisdiction.
In the same time frame I send out this letter, I sent out a letter to the State Ethics Commission regarding the ethics of the behavior of the state.

There seems to be some behavioral patterns of secrecy suppressing public knowledge of this suit by local officials; who are a closer and more relevant conduit of power to the people, than the party of the state. There is clearly a necessary, functionalizing, political morality to making public the issues government officials are debating; so a free press is contingent upon the proper exercise of open government; as much as obligated to understand the public may make decisions in free and peaceable assemblies.

Note: If you need documents of pleadings, (they were published on pacer pursuant to U.S.C. regarding cases involving real estate,) other documents of the case, Fedorov V. Princeton et al, 04-366 Judge Thompson, I can give you copies of my materials. Being published on PACER as being relevant to real estate law, validates the respectability of my claim.

General Notes:

“New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law
52:13D-12. Legislative findings
The Legislature finds and declares:

(b) To ensure propriety and preserve public confidence, persons serving in government should have the benefit of specific standards to guide their conduct and of some disciplinary mechanism to ensure the uniform maintenance of those standards amongst them.
I think these sentiments can be constructed around this inquiry.

One party an issue ; If Princeton Borough was more bipartisan, but they have not had a no democratic since 1992 I believe, so the standard of parties applying pressure on each other to be ethical and have integrity…

It takes more than simple assertion of law, to prosecute law, when that law should have been enforced by now. Local government of representative officials  is fundamentally illegal. This is too big to continue to be a secret.

Thank You



UPDATE—-The Local Finance Board has informed me that this matter has been assigned to an investigative team which will make a decision to the Local Finance Board.
Vic Fedorov

These are questions I will ask Lorissa. Her answers may guide me to what is slowing justice down.


1 Have you received any legal opinion upon my two orders (1 That Princeton Borough Officials erred in not telling the public of a suit upon them claiming local officials abridge peaceful assembly and violated reservations of power to the state or the people, out of personal and financial conflict of interest in the issue. And 2) that since local officials thereby can not represent the people in this discussion, where does this discussion go? Who is entrusted with it? Unique issue and claim worthy of discussion and public knowledge.

2 Do you apprehend how big this issue is? How our way of local decision making is wrong and unconstitutional? Every local council illegally holding back local polity’s true form.?

3 Can you imagine local decisions being made with large quorumed assemblies through voice votes around N.J..? It would be a decreasing of tension.

4Do you feel this issue is shared by other states?

5 Is there a clamor against this issue, you think you hear?

6 Do you recognize the order of citizen you are to be entrusted with discussion of this dimension on behalf of the citizen?

7Do you feel you could use my help.

8Do you ever feel like telling the press about this issue.

9 Are you aware of towns in New England that require quorums of 236 for a decision to be made?

10Are you aware towns like Princeton Township made local decisions in peaceful assemblies into the 1900’s?

11 So you feel you and other citizens in the order of state, capable of standing up to the State Constitution?

12 Capable of standing up to the all the mayors and council people out of a job and prestige by this construction of law

13 Most of all capable of standing up to to glaring omission of knowledge in public eye; can you simple tell the people something they don’t know, have never known, and is very important.

14 Is it these limitations, or something greater else holding back benevolent government.


2 Responses to “Letter to Local Finance Board, of N.J. Attorney General Office regarding conflict of interest in local officials”

  1. State Ethics Commission « Vicfedorov's Blog Says:

    […] Blog It's about dealing with the situation « Letter to Local Finance Board, of N.J. Attorney General Office regarding conflict of interest in loc… The Etruscan Revival […]

  2. More Letters regarding peaceful assembly in N.J. « Vicfedorov's Blog Says:

    […] https://vicfedorov.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/letter-to-local-finance-board-of-n-j-attorney-general%e2%… […]

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