Linden Mayor Derek Armstead was arraigned today on charges that he assaulted a city councilman.
Armstead is charged with striking John Francis Roman at a council meeting last May.
According to a criminal complaint, Armstead came within one inch of Roman’s face, slammed his shoulder into the Roman’s shoulder, knocking him backward, and causing the councilman to fear for his immediate safety.
The mayor, who was re-elected to a second term last year after a contentious Democratic primary, faces accusations that he harasses and bullies political adversaries.
Armstead faces up to six months in prison if he is convicted.
“I don’t want to discuss the particulars of this case as I want Mayor Armstead to receive a fair and impartial trial. However the truth needs to come out and I look forward to justice being served.,” Roman told the New Jersey Globe. “I also look forward to eventually moving passed this and hope everyone can come together to improve the lives of the citizens we serve in Linden.”
The issue was moved from Linden to Elizabeth Municipal Court, where Judge Roman A. Montes heard Armstead’s not guilty plea today.
Montes will determine a court date for Armstead, said deputy court administrator Carmela Mazza.
The judge found probable cause to move forward with a trial.Armstead Complaint