The chief of staff to the mayor of New Jersey's capital has been suspended without pay following his arrest for allegedly attempting to buy heroin, an incident that left two police officers injured.
Trenton Mayor Tony Mack announced Monday that Paul Sigmund IV had been relieved of his duties "indefinitely" following his arrest by city police earlier in the morning, just blocks from city hall.
The mayor said Sigmund — who also was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, obstructing the administration of law, loitering to commit a drug offense and resisting arrest — will seek treatment "through a comprehensive rehabilitation program."
Sigmund was arrested at about 9:10 a.m. in the 200 block of East Hanover Street, shortly after a police officer saw him acting in a suspicious manner in the city's downtown area, Trenton Police Director Joseph Juniak said.
When the officer, Sgt. John Breece, asked Sigmund why he was in the area, Sigmund walked away. But Breece soon spotted him on East Hanover Street and requested backup.
Breece and Officer Edwin Holmes then tried to question Sigmund, but he would not follow their commands and directions, Juniak said. A struggle ensued. The officers subdued Sigmund and arrested him. Breece injured his right knee in the struggle, while Holmes sustained a possible fractured right index finger.
Juniak called the incident "unfortunate" but commended Breece and Holmes for their "professional performance of their duties." He said Sigmund would receive no preferential treatment and that he would face the "appropriate consequences" for his actions.
The 46-year-old Sigmund could not be reached for comment on Monday, and it was not known if he had retained a lawyer. He joined Mack's administration in March after state officials urged the mayor to hire a chief of staff, but his short tenure in Trenton has proven to be contentious, including an incident last month in which he was stopped by Trenton police after he allegedly was speeding on Route 1 in a city-owned vehicle.
He was later charged with driving with a suspended license.
Noting that incident and his arrest, City Council President George Muschal said he would call for Sigmund's immediate resignation.
"I'm a strong proponent of drug testing and background checks. It bothers me that Mayor Mack keeps putting these individuals in positions without doing the proper background checks," Muschal said. "We saw this with Sigmund already when they gave him a car without him having a license."
A former Mercer County Freeholder, Sigmund is a member of a prominent political family. His late mother, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, is a former mayor of Princeton and the daughter of former Louisiana congressman Hal Boggs. His aunt is ABC commentator Cokie Roberts.
Sigmund's arrest was first reported by The Times of Trenton.
Associated Press Writer Beth DeFalco contributed to this report.