AC Councilman John Schultz Deserves Pre-Trial Intervention
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
????? Last week, Atlantic City’s Councilman Eugene Robinson and ex-mayor-and-soon-to-be-mayor-again Lorenzo Langford publicly demanded that Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel indict fellow councilman John Schultz for a crime of the second degree.
Their goal was clear.?? If Schultz were indicted for a more serious crime, he could not qualify for Pretrial Intervention, and would be forced to leave office.?? Langford could then replace him with one of his friends.
Crimes of the second degree are serious.? They include kidnapping, burglary, drug and gun trafficking, and conspiracy to commit murder!?? Schultz was wrong.?? But is he that kind of criminal?
This whole mess started in 2005.?? Craig Callaway got Lorenzo Langford elected mayor in 2001, and when Langford refused to return the favor, Callaway worked day and night to get Langford out, and put himself in.
When Callaway got caught taking cash to give a friend a zoning break, he could not run for mayor in 2005.?? So Callaway put together a winning ticket that made Bob Levy the mayor of Atlantic City, and allies John Schultz, Eugene Robinson, and Ramon Rosario councilmen-at-large.??
John Schultz, was the first successful independent businessman to hold any elected office in Atlantic City government in 15 years.?? Schultz had tried to get elected as an independent in 2001, but got clobbered.? ?To have a voice in city government, he had to line up with Callaway.
In 2006, Craig Callaway got weaker, and Eugene Robinson was the first to turn against him.?? Callaway believed he had gotten Robinson elected in the first place by cleaning him up, dressing him up, and making him respectable.?? Now Callaway wanted a do-over.
Callaway’s method was a C.O.P.S. type sting on Robinson, complete with embarrassing x-rated video.?? But everything went wrong.?
????? First, unknown to Craig Callaway, public outrage over the 1997 sex videotape of Kathy Lee Gifford’s husband caused New Jersey to create a brand new crime in 2003.
????? New Jersey Criminal Code:? 2C:14-9(b) 😕
“An actor commits a crime of the third degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he videotapes the image of another person. . . who is engaged in… sexual contact, without that person’s consent and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed.”
Second, Craig Callaway went too far in demanding Robinson’s resignation to avoid release of that video.
????? New Jersey Criminal Code:? 2C:13-5:?
“A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose unlawfully to restrict another’s freedom of action to engage . . . in conduct, he threatens to. . . (a)ccuse anyone of an offense, (or) (e)xpose any secret which would tend to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule. . . Criminal coercion is a crime of the fourth degree unless the threat is to commit a crime more serious than one of the fourth degree or the actor’s purpose is criminal, in which cases the offense is a crime of the third degree.”
Both of these are crimes of the third degree.?? And from what I read, there is no evidence that John Schultz was in any way involved until after Callaway had finished his operation, and produced his videotape.???Schultz allegedly only assisted in editing the face of the girl out of the video.?
So how do we get to a second degree crime??? I guess some folks think that because John Schultz was a public official, he should be charged with “official misconduct,” a second degree crime.?? But that is not how that law works in New Jersey.
????? “So far as his private behavior is concerned, an official is subject to the same standards of behavior and penal controls as other persons; i.e., he may be?punished for assault, extortion, or criminal trespass.? It is only when he make[s] use of his official status to wrong another that the more comprehensive prohibitions of the legislation against oppression become appropriate.”
??? Final Report of the New Jersey Criminal Law
??? Revision Commission, The New Jersey Penal Code:
??? Commentary on New Jersey Criminal Code 2C:30-2,? “Official Misconduct”, 1971.
????? What then is second degree “official misconduct?”?? The classic case was the male cop who used his uniform and official patrol car to pull over cars driven by attractive women to make sexual advances.?? But there is also the public works employee who used a city truck for private work.???So is any city councilman who drives a city owned car for personal use, like Eugene Robinson!
For more information, visit
www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-927-7333.??? Seth Grossman hosts a two way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.