Criminal Complaint Filed Against Town Manager


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Michael Nochimson on MyVeronaNJ's 2011 election page
Councilman Michael Nochimson

Town Council member Michael Nochimson has filed a criminal complaint against Town Manager Joe Martin.

The Verona Observer reported on Tuesday that Nochimson had filed a police report on June 28 after receiving a threatening phone call from Township Manager Joseph Martin on May 21. According to the Observer, Verona’s town attorney, Michael Gannaio, had tried to block the release of the report to the paper.

The complaint alleges that Martin placed a call to Nochimson at 9:02 p.m. on May 21 “while under the influence of some substance”. The Observer reported that Martin called Nochimson after the councilman got a copy of the Martin’s contract and distributed it to the other council members. The paper said that Martin threatened Nochimson saying, “Good luck, and watch yourself buddy boy.” Martin’s contract expires in August.

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On Tuesday, Verona Mayor Bob Manley said that, while Martin’s call to Nochimson was “inappropriate”, Martin had apologized for his actions. Manley defended Martin’s overall conduct in office and expressed the hope that an apology would suffice to end the matter.

A criminal complaint could be the precursor to a civil action by Nochimson against Martin, who has been Verona’s manager since 2004.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. This is the kind of despicable behavior from one of the highest paid “professionals” when he thinks he is the godfather of Verona. We need to voice up against him at the next town meeting on Monday to urge all the council members who claim to be independent thinkers to not to renew his contract.

  2. While I do not like to see disruption and divisiveness in our town government, Mr. Martin has a long history of haughty, arrogrant, and rude behavior toward residents of Verona. For reasons I have never understood, the Council all too often seems cowed in his presence and submissive to his will. If Mr. Martin worked in my organization he would be scheduled for customer service training immediately, and disciplined for his abysmal attitude and demeanor. Verona deserves better.

  3. While I was away last week, a friend forwarded all the links to this embarrassing story. Needless to say, after I shared the story with my fellow NJ vacationers, they couldn’t believe that our town council or attorney had not asked Mr. Martin to resign to avoid any further embarrassment, including a town council member from another town. And I thought Bergen County had crazy politics….Verona is in a class all it’s own.


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