What to Know
- The police chief of a New Jersey suburb is fighting to keep his job following his suspension after threatening the former council president
- In recordings, Englewood Cliffs Chief Michael Cioffi allegedly threatened to kill the now former council president Carrol McMorrow
- Cioffi has filed a legal action to overturn his suspension
The police chief of a northern New Jersey borough is fighting to keep his job following his suspension after recordings came to light of him saying he’d “like to kill” the former council president.
In the recordings, Englewood Cliffs Chief Michael Cioffi threatened to kill the now former council president Carrol McMorrow and also called her a derogatory name.
“She is one h--- of a b---h, let me tell you,” Cioffi is heard saying in the recordings, as well as “I’d like to kill her, but I can’t do that.”
Cioffi had to turn these recordings of himself over as part of a lawsuit deposition.
“I don't believe there's any reason that anybody should make a threat to anyone,” McMorrow tells NBC 4 New York.
However, what is occurring in this suburb is difficult even for lawyers to sort out. James Patuto, Cioffi’s attorney, boils the suspension down to small-town politics.
Patuto says that Cioffi is embarrassed of his comments.
“Whether or not it was rude or shouldn't have been said or should have been said it was a joke that was made under an awful lot of tension,” Patuto said.
However, McMorrow, a Republican, resigned effective Monday, saying she has had enough, while blaming the Democratic council majority for failing to back her up at last week’s special meeting.
“This is not about being Republican or Democrat, this is about acceptable behavior and how to treat people and what's right and wrong,” she says.
For his part, Cioffi has filed a legal action to overturn his suspension.
Aside from Cioffi’s suspension, he is also facing criminal charges for not returning the borough-owned tape recorder he used to make the recordings.
The suspension is indefinite, until the charges against the chief can be adjudicated. The mayor has called for a special meeting of a divided council for Thursday morning concerning the matter.