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'Egregious Abuse Of Power:' Former P-Burg Councilman Fires Back At Info Trafficking Allegations

Town of Phillipsburg
Town of Phillipsburg Photo Credit: Town of Phillipsburg via Facebook

The ex-Phillipsburg councilman accused of trafficking the social security numbers, banking info, and other personal details of at least seven of his coworkers has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, calling the accusations an “egregious overreach and abuse of power” involving Mayor Todd Tersigni.

Robert W. Fulper, 44, was indicted by a Warren County Grand Jury on second-degree counts of official misconduct and trafficking in personal identifying information, DailyVoice.com previously reported.

Fulper, a councilman between 2018 and 2021, was allegedly found with “numerous documents containing…social security numbers, bank account information, passport information, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers” of approximately seven people who worked for the town.

However, Fulper adamantly denies any wrongdoing. Donald E. Souders, Jr., Esquire, says in a statement made on Fulper’s behalf that the former councilman “declares his innocence of any alleged criminal misconduct as it relates to the indictment…”

Souders also points out that Warren County Prosecutor James Pfeiffer is the former personal attorney for Phillipsburg Mayor Todd Tersigni.

Souders then references a “politically motivated witch hunt” against former Phillipsburg council vice president Frank McVey, who was charged for misusing the 911 system and indicted for official misconduct and criminal coercion last November. According to Souders, the case was improperly venued in Warren County and was required to be transferred to a different county.

“County Prosecutors are political appointees. They are not elected by the constituents they are charged with protecting,” Souders says. “In this instance, the former personal attorney for the current Mayor of Phillipsburg utilized the substantial resources of his office to silence – if not destroy — a political critic of his former client. There could not be a more egregious overreach and abuse of power.”

According to the statement, the alleged personal information involved in the case — which Sauders says was received legally — was found on devices that were taken during a “secretive” search warrant that Pfeiffer obtained “behind closed doors.”

Finally, Souders references the “plague” of violent crime and narcotic-related activity around Phillipsburg that could have been prioritized over “alleged matters having nothing to do with corruption or actual criminal conduct.”

“Rather than the County Prosecutor directing its resources at actual criminal behavior jeopardizing the health and safety of its residents, it has singled-out former elected officials in alleged matters having nothing to do with corruption or actual criminal conduct,” Souders says.

“Robert Fulper is innocent and did nothing wrong. He looks forward to his day in court and the objective determination, fortunately, available through a jury of his peers. The residents of Warren County should be cautious of who they cross in their advocacy of transparency.”

Scroll down to view Souders’ statement on behalf of Robert W. Fulper in its entirety.

“Mr. Fulper, a lifetime resident of Phillipsburg, former elected official and advocate for transparency in government, declares his innocence of any alleged criminal misconduct as it relates to the indictment announced earlier by the Warren County Prosecutor, James Pfeiffer, who happens to be the former personal attorney for Phillipsburg Mayor Todd Tersigni. It is confounding that these charges were announced in a press release dated November 1, 2022, while the actual indictment was not issued until the following day, November 2nd. Further, on the same date the indictment was obtained, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled that a similarly politically motivated witch hunt against Frank McVey was improperly venued in Warren County and, thus, had to be transferred to another county. County Prosecutors are political appointees. They are not elected by the constituents they are charged with protecting. In this instance, the former personal attorney for the current Mayor of Phillipsburg utilized the substantial resources of his office to silence – if not destroy- a political critic of his former client. There could not be a more egregious overreach and abuse of power. Mr. Fulper committed no crimes. There are no victims in this matter. Information received and obtained through lawful means and within the context of Mr. Fulper being named a defendant with other elected officials in civil litigation and Open Public Records Act requests was allegedly found on devices seized through a secretive search warrant obtained behind closed doors by Mayor Tersigni’s former attorney, James Pfeiffer. Despite efforts to provide the Prosecutor’s Office with explanatory and exculpatory information, the matter proceeded, in secret, in a closed door grand jury proceeding. The Town of Phillipsburg is plagued with crimes of violence and narcotic activity. Rather than the County Prosecutor directing its resources at actual criminal behavior jeopardizing the health and safety of its residents, it has singled-out former elected officials in alleged matters having nothing to do with corruption or actual criminal conduct. Robert Fulper is innocent and did nothing wrong. He looks forward to his day in court and the objective determination, fortunately, available through a jury of his peers. The residents of Warren County should be cautious of who they cross in their advocacy of transparency.”

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