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Korean newspaper story of Palisades Park recall election ‘filled with baseless lies,’ mayor says

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

A report citing anonymous sources in The Korea Daily claims that “the initiation of a recall election” of Palisades Park Mayor James Rotundo “is gathering great interest” in town, “New Jersey’s largest Korean area.”

Citing “parties concerned with the Palisades Park government,” the article says that Democratic Party Chairman Michael A. Pollotta “recently revealed his intentions to the council and town officials” to seek a recall.

A “prospective candidate” as successor, should the bid succeed, would be Councilman Jason Kim, the borough’s deputy mayor, the Korean-language story says.

Pollota “brought up that there was much criticism about Mayor Rotundo using his position to give his relatives preferential treatment at the expense of the municipality,” it says.

“It is unknown whether or not the votes needed for the recall will be actually achieved,” a source identified only as “a party involved with the Palisades Park government” reportedly told The Korea Daily. “[H]owever, surely big changes are to occur.”

Rotundo, in turn, said the article is “filled with baseless lies.”

“I guess this is what Michael Pollotta meant when he cursed me out in front of the council and threatened to take me out office by the end of the year,” he said tonight.

Rotundo, who has been mayor since 2004, is serving a term that expires at the end of 2018.

“I have always been open and honest with the residents of Palisades Park and I will not stop now,” he wrote.

“Michael Pollotta joined with Jason Kim to plan a recall election to remove me as Mayor and install Jason Kim,” Rotundo added. “A recall election will cost the taxpayers of Palisades Park over $100,000.

“If this continues to go forward it will divide this community that I worked so hard to unite.

“Remember this fact: Jason Kim resigned from the council [one] day after he accepted a job at the Palisades Park Library,” Rotundo noted. “That job allowed Jason Kim to close his school and rent his building to a proposed adult day care center.”

The Korea Daily piece closed with a note that more than half of all Palisades Park residents are Korean, which, it says, “justifies the need for a Korean mayor.”

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