MAHWAH, N.J. -- Former Mahwah Fire Chief Edward Sinclair, a popular Mahwah Department of Public Works director, died of a massive heart attack at his home on Aug. 13.
The ambulance call to Sinclair's Lynn Terrace home came in at 3:20 p.m. It was cancelled after he was found unresponsive.
"He had gone home early today because he wasn't feeling well," Mayor Bill Laforet told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. "His wife found him."
Sinclair, who was unanimously reinstated by the Township Council after being fired by Laforet earlier this year, had been "prominent with the Fire Department as a chief and rose through the ranks in the DPW," the mayor said. "Our hearts go out to family. We will miss him."
Sinclair, 57, who was defeated by Laforet in the 2012 mayor election, became DPW director last year after working for the department for 25 years.
He took care of his terminally ill father and his mother, both in their 90s -- and, besides his wife, leaves a son, a daughter, a sister and two grandchildren. He also coached local youth baseball.
Ed and Jackie Sinclair in June announced their intent to sue the township for $40 million for damages to their reputations, along with physical and emotional injuries, accusing Laforet of political retaliation.
Laforet suspended Sinclair for 20 days with pay in March after detectives investigated an anonymous report of DPW garage computers being used to view "inappropriate material."
His reasoning, the mayor said, was that a director is responsible for his department.
The investigation found adult sexual images that authorities said were downloaded in May 2014 -- two months before Sinclair became DPW director.
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