Day: February 12, 2020

State Police Arrest Four in Connection with Shooting of Task Force Vehicle

February 12, 2020

On Scene News Photos and story provided by Brian McCarthy

Trenton, N.J. – The New Jersey State Police have arrested three men and one woman in connection to the shooting of a task force vehicle earlier today in Trenton.

Based on the preliminary investigation, at approximately 2:17 p.m., a Hamilton Township police officer assigned to the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit Task Force observed a shooting in progress in the area of West State Street and Parkside Avenue.

The officer, who was operating an unmarked task force vehicle, followed the suspect vehicle to the area of the Oakland Park Apartments on Coolidge Avenue when he was fired upon. The task force car was struck, but the officer was not injured.

When the suspect vehicle stopped, multiple occupants fled on foot. At this time, three male suspects and one female suspect are in State Police custody, and several weapons have been recovered.

This is an active investigation, and there is no additional information available.

Hamilton Township Mayor Martin Announces Legal Team, Deputy B.A., and Deputy Chief of Staff

February 12, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–In continuing the process of putting together his new leadership team, Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin announces his picks for Director of Law and Assistant Municipal Attorney, Deputy Business Administrator, and Deputy Chief of Staff.

The Department of Law will be led by Elissa Grodd Schragger, Esq.  Grodd Schragger is a seasoned attorney and litigator with broad experience in municipal, civil and criminal matters. Most recently serving as an associate at Mason, Griffin, Pierson, P.C., she focused on litigation, local government, and land use law. Grodd Schragger is barred in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the states of New Jersey and Florida where she earned her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law.

Serving under Grodd Schragger as Assistant Municipal Attorney is Hamilton resident, Jennifer M. Eugene, Esq. Eugene most recently served as an Assistant Prosecutor for Mercer County in the Internet Crimes Against Children and Special Victim’s Units. She earned her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and is barred in New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Schragger states: “I would like to thank Mayor Martin for this tremendous opportunity to serve the residents of Hamilton Township. Both Jennifer and I are eager to bring our experience to assist this Administration and the Township with its legal matters.”

For Deputy Business Administrator, Mayor Martin selected Hamilton resident, Mark Murranko. Murranko has previously worked with the New Jersey State Police for over thirty years, retiring at the rank of Major. He has over a decade of experience in various leadership roles within the law enforcement agency, including serving as the Commanding Officer to the Administrative Section. In this role, he provided oversight of administrative functions related to maintaining the daily operational needs of 4,500 employees. Murranko earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice and Human Services from Thomas Edison State College before receiving a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University Law School.

“I am honored to be a part of Mayor Martin’s administration,” says Murranko. “I thank the Mayor for the opportunity to serve and look forward to working with the team he has put together to make a positive difference for the residents of Hamilton.”

For the position of Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor Martin has selected Kate Bradley, a lifelong resident of Hamilton. Bradley has previously worked as Legislative Director to Assemblyman Dan Benson where she balanced the Assemblyman’s legislative agenda and constituent casework file.  She is a graduate of Rider University.

“It is clear from their professional backgrounds that each individual in this new administration have an uncompromising devotion to public service,” says Mayor Martin.  “Hamilton Township residents will be in trustworthy hands and I am thrilled that Elissa, Jennifer, Mark and Kate have accepted the offer to join us.”

In addition, these moves were made by filling vacant positions.

Softball Coach Charged With Stealing Team Money

February 12, 2020

FREEHOLD – A Neptune Township man who coached a competitive youth softball team is facing charges of theft after he misused about $14,000 of the team’s funds earmarked for traveling expenses and tournament costs, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Michael Lane, 54, of Neptune Township, was charged Monday with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Misapplication of Entrusted Property by detectives from the Tinton Falls Police Department with assistance from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Lane, in his capacity as the coach for the Monmouth Surf softball team (a youth sports travel team) since 2013, received money from players to cover traveling expenses and tournament costs. But last July 2019, parents for the players were informed by Lane he misused the funds given to him for personal use and the money was no longer available. He then informed parents he would pay back the funds but the player’s participation would have to be cancelled. When money was not paid back, parents reported the crime to law enforcement and an investigation by the Tinton Falls Police Department, with assistance from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, revealed the defendant did not utilize the funds for the softball team and instead deposited approximately $14,000 of the stolen money into his personal account.

If convicted of the third degree crimes, Lane faces up to five years in a New Jersey state prison on each count.The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer. Lane is represented by Jacqueline E. Cistaro, Esq. of New York.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Monmouth County contributes to State Shared Services Agreements milestone 1,000 shared services agreements reached in 2019 throughout New Jersey

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders was recently notified by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs that the State reached the major milestone of 1,000 shared services agreements achieved since the beginning of 2019, 214 of these agreements stemming from Monmouth County.

“Since its creation in 2011, shared services in Monmouth County have generated more than $40 million,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Office of Shared Services. “Two of the County’s largest shared services agreements that I am most proud of include the 9-1-1 Communications Center, which I commend Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden for running the best 9-1-1 Communications Center in the State, and the agreement with Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Earle.”

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Communications Center serves as a hub for County-wide emergency services, generating a revenue of $4,360,766.38 in 2019. This agency handled communications and dispatching for 46 municipalities, 26 police departments, 43 fire districts as well as 38 EMS and rescue squads.

In 2018, the County entered into a shared services agreement with NWS Earle, which includes traffic signal maintenance, unimproved road maintenance, snow and ice control and storm drainage repairs among other services. This was the first shared services agreement in the State between County government and the U.S. Navy.

“All 53 municipalities share some type of service with the County and I cannot thank County Department and Division Heads enough for dedicating the time and energy to expanding shared services,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “Whether it is municipal police departments, fire departments, first aid squads, authorities, commissions, public school or institutions of higher learning, all shared services have been positively impacting municipal budgets while delivering quality services to residents. “

“The County’s Office of Shared Services has truly paved the way for other counties to streamline the process, create greater cost savings for taxpayers and offer new revenue opportunities,” said Freeholder Director Arnone. “Throughout 2020, I plan to continue promoting shared services by meeting with municipal committees and elected officials with Monmouth County’s full-time Shared Services Coordinator, Liz Perez, to explain how shared service agreements benefit the taxpayer.”

For more information about Monmouth County Shared Services, call 732-431-7460, ext. 2115 or go to