A New Jersey police chief is under fire after he allegedly made threatening remarks towards a town council president- and the comment was recorded on audio tape.
Englewood Cliffs Police Chief Michael Cioffi reportedly said he would like to “kill” Council President Carrol McMorrow on a recording initiated by Cioffi himself.
“I’d like to kill her but I can’t,” the CLEO allegedly said in the recording.
McMorrow played the tape last Wednesday, after the audio surfaced during the discovery phase of a lawsuit filed by Cioffi against the borough.
According to NJ.com, attorney James Patuto, said the tapes were Cioffi’s idea and were used to protect him against the mayor, who has allegedly accused the chief of “all types of nefarious things.”
Cioffi “could’ve taken the tapes and thrown them in the garbage,” Patuto said. “Instead he told the federal court, I have these tapes.”
There are about 120 tapes, making up over 40 hours of recordings. In one tape, Cioffi prays for a sick child.
The comment was made “in humor” towards a fellow borough employee in January of 2017, and was recorded using a government-owned recorder.
Other comments included calling McMorrow “one hell of a b***h,” and accusing her of “breaking his balls.”
In the “threatening comment,” he followed up with a film reference and laughter .
“I look at the Shawshank Redemption and say, ‘Hmm,’ you know?” he said before breaking into laughter, and a female colleague also complaining about McMorrow.
McMorrow, however, took it quite seriously.
“Just imagine, our chief of police, on duty, carrying a borough-issued gun, discussing with a borough employee whether or not ending my life would be worth it,” she said. “I am extremely concerned about this conversation.”
Attorney Patuto dismissed the comment as workplace jokes.
“The chief has been harassed for the last two years by the mayor and council president,” Patuto said. “There was some joking going on between a lot of people in city hall just to break the tension. No one is proud of these things but it’s normal…Workplace talk when you have an ill-tempered chief executive who just doesn’t follow the law.”
McMorrow expressed frustration that public officials aren’t as outraged as she hoped they would be, particularly after the Bergen County Sheriff was forced to resign when he was recorded making racist comments.
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