An outside law firm tapped to investigate allegations of workplace harassment by Trenton Clerk Matthew Conlon found the official created a hostile work environment in a “calculated effort” to intimidate a city councilman, the Trentonian reported Wednesday.
The probe, conducted by Michael Belostock of the Aloia Law Firm, was launched after Councilman Jerell Blakeley filed a harassment complaint against Conlon, who threatened to sue the councilman after he questioned whether the clerk actually passed the New Jersey Bar in 2012, as he claimed on his resume.
The Trentonian, which has reported extensively on Conlon, has been unable to verify his legal credentials.
During the city’s Dec. 8 council meeting, Conlon said Blakely “committed multiple felonies” against him — without listing any — after the councilman asked whether the clerk moved into the city, as his offer letter required.
He also threatened to call the FBI on Isaac Avilucea after the Trentonian reporter obtained a recording of a council executive session. He’d previously filed a police report alleging Avilucea harassed him and illegally obtained his phone number.
There is no law in New Jersey that bars reporters from obtaining municipal clerks’ phone numbers.
In a letter obtained by the Trentonian, Belostock recommended Conlon be disciplined for harassing Blakeley, though eh stopped short of recommending a specific course of action, saying he could not do so without knowing Conlon’s past disciplinary history.
“I found that Mr. Conlon’s conduct constituted workplace misconduct and created a hostile work environment, as part of a calculated effort to harass and intimidate Mr. Blakeley, and to destroy his ability to function and perform his duties,” Belostock said in the letter. “I also found that Mr. Conlon’s actions constituted conduct unbecoming a public employee.”