Activity around Chalet allegations continue

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield Police Director Sam DeMaio confirmed to the Independent Press last week that Bloomfield police responded to a terroristic threat at Sanj’s Smoke Shop on Sunday evening, Nov. 22. The shop is on Broad Street. The police response had been heard on a police scanner by a resident who informed this newspaper. DeMaio said the response was because of a telephone call and the matter was being investigated by the State Police. State Police spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Gary Williams said he had no information on an investigation. Sanj Patel, the owner of the business, would make no comment on the threat.

Patel has been cited by Mayor Michael Venezia has the property owner of an abandoned East Passaic Avenue Getty gas station, which the township wants to purchase for a proposed water pumping station. Venezia had previously said the Getty site was the focus of a bribery charge, made by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, against Councilman Elias Chalet.

Chalet is alleged to have solicited the owner of a property for $15,000 in return for his support to buy the land. It is alleged Chalet accepted the bribe while being recorded on video and audio. He was arrested Monday, Nov. 16 in his real estate office and remains free on $100,000 bail.

It was also confirmed by Venezia at a community meeting on Monday, Nov. 30, that he learned that township records have been subpoenaed by the the Office of the Attorney General.

“I have no clue,” Venezia said of what records were being subpoenaed. “I heard it from Russ Zimmerman, the chairman of the county Democratic committee. The township administrator confirmed it. The subpoena was received last week.”

The Bloomfield Township Administrator is Matthew Watkins. He could not be reached for comment.