Atlantic City ‘Star Chamber’ Process Succeeds In Removing Devlin
HARRY HURLEY OPINION - EDITORIAL
John Devlin’s fate was sealed before his Atlantic City “Star Chamber” prosecution even began.
Late last evening, Devlin was removed from his position as Board Member and Chairman of the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority by a 4-3 vote of The Atlantic City Council.
The “political game” was rigged from the beginning.
It was a disgraceful moment in Atlantic City political history.
According to Devlin and his attorney David Castellani, they believe that this is the first time in American history that an MUA board member has been removed from office.
That’s 245 years. New Jersey joined The Union on December 18, 1787, that’s 234 years ago.
I opened this piece with the term “Star Chamber.” It fits here.
A Star Chamber was an English court of civil and criminal jurisdiction that was developed in the late 15th century, for the purpose of charging and trying those cases which affected the interests of The King.
It was noted for its arbitrary and oppressive judgments and was abolished in 1641.
In this case, it is a local politician named Marty Small, who falsely believes that he is a “King” of sorts.
Truth be told, he has less power than almost every Mayor in America, as the state of New Jersey has all of the power and control in Atlantic City.
What Small has accomplished is opening up the taxpayers of Atlantic City to a pending massive lawsuit that will be promptly filed by Devlin and Castellani.
You expect low-brow retaliation politics from the small-minded Small. No surprise there at all.
You don’t expect it from Atlantic City Council President George Tibbitt, who sealed Devlin’s fate last night.
Only Tibbitt knows why he caved in so big to Small and decided to choose dirty politics over principle.
We have the only public comment from Devlin since last night’s (4-3 ) vote to oust him.
The outcome was disappointing but expected- I won every point of their frivolous allegations yet lost the vote 4-3. Moving forward I will be consulting with my attorney in next few days and will decide on what direction to take, said Devlin.
I took the time to listen to many hours of the 2 days of Atlantic City Council special meetings. It and they were a public disgrace.
Listening to Atlantic City special legal counsel George Frino repeatedly talk about “The Prosecution of John Devlin” was disgusting.
Atlantic City Attorney Robert L. Tarver, Jr. was a gentleman and highly professional at all times.
It was the classic “Good Cop, Bad Cop” strategy in effect.
During the questioning of long-time Atlantic City MUA insurance expert Gene Siracusa, my observation is that Frino was unnecessarily rude and unprofessional towards Siracusa.
Siracusa was a gentleman at all times and unflappable throughout a very aggressive line of questioning from Frino.
During his sworn testimony, Siracusa used the term “Wolf in Sheep’s clothing” describing how the insurance selection process was handled over the past year. It fit well for what was going on here.
Frino repeatedly “tortured” the English Language as it related to the words “Consultant” and “Broker,” to try and win his point about the ACMUA vote for insurance services.
Siracusa expertly managed the ACMUA’s insurance needs for the past 25-30 years, until this past year.
In the end, a dirty political agenda was served last night. However, every sign seems to point towards Devlin having the last laugh in this matter.
Of course, it will be at full Atlantic City taxpayer expense.
Atlantic City's Firsts Throughout History