Skip to content

Northgrave Advised Redevelopment Caution,

Fought election fraud in Perth Amboy

It was one year ago, exactly, that I reported that Edison’s mayor was ruled to have committed ethics violations by accepting free personal legal services from Edison Borough Attorney William Northgrave.

Couple of things I learned in Googleland about Northgrave this morning where he was on the right side of things….well sort of.

First of all, in a 2011 column he urged towns to be extremely careful about invoking redevelopment law.  Click on the image to read the whole piece.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 6.07.01 AM

If he believed his own words he must have been very uncomfortable defending the town against the Henry Grau beach redevelopment case that was successfully prosecuted by Ken Pringle.  I’m sure it was no fun also having to defend the town against the more recent beach utility lawsuit on less than a week’s notice.  The administration lost that case in similarly spectacular fashion.

Unfortunately Matt keeps handing him these stink bombs he then has to defend.

However, in a Perth Amboy case Northgrave was on the right side…sort of…and won.  I say “sort of” because up there they were all bad actors. Northgrave successfully prosecuted election fraud charges against a group of bad actors.  In a very rare action, a judge overturned the election and ordered a new one.  Unfortunately, his clients, the victims of the election fraud, were also bad actors.  Both sides are Democrats, BTW. covered the judge’s ruling.  Click on either image to read the whole story.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 7.02.11 AM

It’s always the mail-in ballots.  Further down in the story:

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 7.06.08 AM

But his client, candidate Sergio Diaz, got a lot of money from some pretty unsavory types, including an illegal contribution from Maser Engineering, that had to be returned.  Also, it was initially unclear if Northgrave, who was a campaign volunteer for Diaz, billed the campaign for his work.  Eventually the campaign reported a $20,000 expenditure.

Again, click the image to read the story.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 7.25.08 AM

Diaz lost the second election too, but it seems some of his powerful backers tried to pressure Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, unrelated to Sergio but a political ally, to hire Nothgrave as the town’s law director:

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 7.16.31 AM

It didn’t work:

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 9.00.34 AM


  1. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    Too bad, having that knowledge still resulted in Mr. Northgrave signing off on the designation of the Belmar Beachfront two years later as an area for redevelopment. Belmar lost based on the very constitutional issue raised by residents. Fast forward, Belmar has designated funded and unfunded Green Acres parkland ( Marina and Maclearie Park), this will be a first!. Talk about a legal challenge. How can Belmar which is responsible under DEP law for the maintenance of Green Acres parkland seek to redevelop same properties claiming they are blighted?

    Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  2. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    It appears to me that all Belmar Redevelopment Areas are gone …. on February 20, 2013 by Resolution no. 2013-66 the entire Borough was designated as an area in need of Rehabilitation pursuant to the Redevelopment Law …. there was no attempt to carve out or otherwise preserve existing Redevelopment areas.
    Then …. good Judge Lawson struck the October 23, 2013 Boardwalk Redevelopment Plan.

    Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Teddy Ehmann wrote:

    Remember this all to well. Resolution was passed based on statement by borough engineer Paul Calabrese. Oddly the statement was created only after I OPRA’d it. Criteria in Resolution for designation: “water and sewers over 50
    years old. Paul added buildings over 50 years old later. Resolution supported a tax abatement for building improvements.

    Monday, December 7, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    How many dwellings, buildings, structures are over 50 years old in Belmar? How are monies made available for “rehabilitation”?

    Monday, December 7, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  5. Eugene Creamer wrote:

    #3 …. the legitimacy of any Belmar Redevelopment Law contract with a developer …. post February 20, 2013 …. is questionable. I reviewed the Belmar – Chef’s contract on this site …. and didn’t find a date!

    Monday, December 7, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.