The Paramus Township Council has initiated an internal investigation following allegations that their township administrator, Hector Olmo, used municipal public works employees to do repairs on his personal vehicle.
Olmo acknowledged the probe.
“There’ nothing I can really tell you right now. There will be an investigation,” Olmo told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m not going to comment.”
Councilwoman MariaElena Bellinger said that she brought the car repair matter up at a recent council meeting.
“The issue was brought to my attention, so I questioned it,” Bellinger said. “It was not denied that it occurred. I requested an investigation.”
Bellinger is the Democratic candidate for mayor of Paramus this fall. Olmo, a GOP councilman in Cresskill who ran for Bergen County freeholder in 2018, became administrator earlier this year after Republicans took control of the governing body.
Olmo has a township vehicle assigned to him.
Bellinger doesn’t think municipal employees should be using government resources to fix their own cars.
“Our business administrator should be putting an end to that practice, not participating in it,” she said.
Mayor Richard LaBarbiera, a Democrat who is not seeing re-election this year, initially rejected the council majority’s pick of Olmo, a former part-time Wallington administrator and retired Tenafly police officer. He said he wanted to do a broader search.
But when the council voted in March to appoint Olmo, Bellinger voted yes.
In the race to succeed LaBarbiera, Bellinger is facing off against Republican Councilman Christopher DiPiazza.