NEW JERSEY 101.5

The embattled executive director of a municipal utilities authority in Lower Township has been suspended without pay.

The Press of Atlantic City reports the Lower Township MUA's Board of Commissioners took the action Fridayagainst Matthew Ecker. The move comes several days after Ecker was charged with witness tampering and obstruction charges stemming from a probe into authority operations.Cape May County prosecutors allege that Ecker intimidated MUA workers who have been cooperating with an ongoing probe led by the prosecutor's office. Several workers have claimed they were fired and disciplined for "trumped up charges."

Ecker has blamed the situation on labor problems and says he hopes to resolve the matter "as quickly as possible."

He told the newspaper he plans to meet with county investigators next week.

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