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Committee Members: We Were Misled About Vehicle for Public Safety Director

Two township committee members contend they weren't given the full story about a take-home vehicle recently approved for Public Safety Director Michael P. King.

Cinnaminson's township committee gave the public safety director an upgrade this week—unwittingly, some officials say—when it voted to allow him to drive a town-owned car off-hours.

Some committee members say they were led to believe that  was a spare car in the department’s fleet, not a brand new leased vehicle. Rather than an extra Dodge Durango, King has been driving a new Dodge Charger included in the purchase of a new fleet of police cars that township committee signed off on earlier this year. 

King's Charger costs $23,542, financed along with other cars for $110,719 by way of a three-year lease-purchase state contract. 

“It was never stated to us that one of these new vehicles would be the police civilian vehicle,” Mayor Don Brauckmann said Thursday. “We assumed they were going to the police officers, not the police civilian director.”

Brauckmann found out Thursday that King, public safety director, got the OK earlier this year from to purchase a new vehicle for his own use.

“That information was never relayed to committee,” Brauckmann said.

King told Brauckmann he was unaware that committee did not know about the car this whole time, the mayor said. Because of that, Brauckmann said, King declined the car for 24-hour use effective immediately.

Earlier this week at a , Committeeman John Rooney, who serves as the liaison to the police department, sought committee's permission for King to use the car he already drives while he’s in town, as a take-home car.

In a 3-1 vote (with one abstention), the measure passed.

However, committee members—not including Rooney—said they were under the impression King was driving a spare Durango that was already paid for and insured by the township. Rooney said Monday the only expenses the township would incur are .

Brauckmann said he learned two days after the meeting that King has used a new Dodge Charger for the past month.

“We didn’t know he was already in the Charger,” Brauckmann said, “which was a decision I assume [King], [Seneski] and John Rooney made.”

Earlier this year, committee members passed a resolution authorizing the lease-purchase of seven Dodge Chargers, one Chevrolet Impala, one Ford Explorer, and equipment for the police department. (A copy of the resolution is attached to the right.)

Brauckmann said this is when committee unknowingly voted for a new car for King. In one of the line items for a V6 Charger, there is no price listed under “equipment cost”—the car being for King.

Brauckmann added that the lease of a new vehicle for King was never explained by Seneski when discussing the police lease resolution.

“No one questioned it,” Brauckmann said. “We either didn’t see it, didn’t flag it, didn’t catch it. We did not know one of them was going to be for King.”

Rooney did not return phone and email messages seeking clarification.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Minniti said when discussion took place earlier this year about replacing police cars, it was specifically about vehicles for police officers.

As a civilian public-safety director, King has no police powers—he can't investigate crimes or make arrests. 

“The bottom line is, Mickey King’s vehicle is not part of the fleet, because the public safety director doesn’t have [his own] car,” Minniti said.

He said Rooney's request to allow King to take home the car he was already using during the day was done in “a misleading fashion.”

“Nobody [knew King] was driving a Charger,” Minniti said. “[Nobody on committee] said he could do that.”

However, Seneski knew, according to King. He did not return a call by press time. 

“He’s not here to tell us,” Minniti said. “That’s the problem we have. Best case—it’s a miscommunication.”

Committee passed a policy last year that no employee who lives outside of a 10-mile radius of the township could have a car. Earlier this year, committee granted King, who lives in Mercer County, access to a Durango, a former K9 vehicle, but not to drive to and from work. On Monday, committee voted to let him drive it to and from work.

Committeeman Ben Young, who voted to let King take the car home, said he was not aware a new car for King was included in the new fleet approved earlier this year. He added that he did not find out about King’s new Charger until Wednesday.

However Young stressed that the vote was for King to take a car home, and that’s what he voted yes to.

“I didn’t know anything about him driving the Charger,” Young said. “[But], I believe as a 24/7 responder, he should have a vehicle. I was voting on the purpose of the car.”

Now that King declined use of the car for 24-hour use, it is unknown at this time what it will be used for. Township committee will discuss.

Stay with Patch for more on this story.

Article updated 7 a.m. Friday.

Christina Paciolla (Editor) August 10, 2012 at 06:07 PM
dajoepa, I can answer that because in some way, I think I've answered that in one of the three stories. The vehicle Rooney was asking for King to take home was the vehicle he was already using, yes that was said. At the time, a couple members of committee said they did not know he was driving the Charger as I reported. I think that answers your question. However, I did not record the meeting myself.
Cinnacide August 10, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I hear he steals pens from the Post Office.
Dan Smith August 10, 2012 at 07:59 PM
interesting chain of events... 1) John Rooney supported Michael King with the gift (oops, usage) of a township car. 2) Michael King is responsible for the Cinnaminson Police Department 3) Sergeant Frank Rooney of the Cinnaminson Police Department is John Rooney's cousing (Frank grew up on Pomona Road, and his dad was also a cop: Pennsauken or Camden, cannot recall which) Does anyone suppose Frank's career would have accelerated with this interesting nest feathering? Hmmm.....
Joe August 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Its called the "Good Old Boy" system. Alive and well in Cinnaminson!
kiki August 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Hmmmm....so maybe these kids st the sewer plant weren't really responsible??? this proves no one is doing there job.
Greg C August 10, 2012 at 10:18 PM
What is troubling to me in the article is that Brauckmann states, "We didn't know he was already in the Charger" is this odd to anyone else? Brauckmann then proceeds to blame Jerry and John stating he had no knowledge, he is only the Mayor! Explain to me how the Mayor does not know what is going on in his own town! I expect a proffessional performance from my elected officials, not a three ring circus. Cinnaminson has become an embrassement.
Dick Wilkitt August 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
And let the finger pointing begin !!! So the questions I must ask.....does the $24,000 Charger with CHROME rims and Illegally tinted side glass (NJS39:3-74 which by the way does NOT EXEMPT police vehicles)....plus the amount budgeted for Kings salary....add up to what Fowles was getting paid ??? AND.....you had a Chief that lived in town and drove an old Crovn Vic with over 100 thousand miles, A chief that COULD make arrests, a chief that had FULL POLICE POWERS....I really have to hand it to Committee.....they make some great decisions....Maybe Don can use the Charger as a chair lift to get sledders to the summit of Mt. Braukmann if it ever snows !!! BTW....Committee has ultimate accountability here...it's easy to blame Jerry now that he's gone...Mr. King will drive anything they hand him the keys to, so maybe Ben, Don and Tony should MAN UP and admit they screwed up !!
kiki August 10, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Lets give the committee an award for this outstanding acheivement!
Bruce August 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM
OK so you return the V6 leased Charger, sell the "extra" Durango to pay the penalty for early lease termination...and then you give every employee that is now driving a township car a $400.00 a month car allowance. This way, they will all have to pay their own insurance, and registration and maintenance and gas. You know, like the public sector employees do....The township will save THOUSANDS!...one less lease to pay, several cars that won't need to be kept or insured...what's so hard about that?
Charlie Keegan August 11, 2012 at 12:29 AM
If he was in the 10 mile area give him a car. preferably a Hybird. Mercer county commute is a gas guzzler we pay. No break for us.
Shut Your Hole August 11, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Congratulations Dan you win the award for the stupidest comment on patch every...One last thing please tell me your the Dan Smith from Patch Jan 10,2011 that would really help your credibility even more. http://cinnaminson.patch.com/articles/cinnaminson-man-charged-with-sexual-assault
Shut Your Hole August 11, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Christina Paciolla why don't you find out and do an article on all of the people who have take home vehicles in Cinnaminson. How much was paid for each vehicle. What they drive, and why they need it. Maybe it needs to be examined in detail for everyone. Can't see any reason why the PSD should be singled out. If they are going to say no to him, shouldn't it be no to all employees. Personally I have no problem with him having a vehicle and I am sure there are reasons for it, but would like to know how many other supervisors in the town have them and why they need them. Also have you reached out to Mr. Seneski again for comment?
Christina Paciolla (Editor) August 11, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Thanks for the idea. That might be something I look into. However, the people who have cars have them for emergency reasons—like the director of public works. However, they didn't say no to Director King. Committee passed a policy last year that no township employee gets a car if they live outside of the 10-mile radius. King was granted approval shortly after his hire to use a car while in Cinnaminson, then on Monday, to use it 24-7. However, it's been relayed to me and I've reported that Director King will not be taking the car to and from work. I reached out to Mr. Seneski, left him a voicemail message, and I did not hear back from it.
Greg C August 11, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I was passionate when I left the above comment and I did not see the typo until a friend called. I along with many others see Cinnaminson as an embarrassment.
Chip August 11, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Interesting vehicle driven by our director of public works.......it was nice seeing it drive on the grass at Wood Park Thursday night ...... Guess the driver needed a closer view of the concert........... No wonder people get upset in our town! I wonder who really runs this town??????
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Hot Water is on the Left and Cold Water is on the Right. Crap Flows Downhill. How big is the Drain in the Meeting Room? Re Instate the Chief of Police Position before you loose all cotrol. When I proudly served on Cinnaminson, P.D. under Chief Tom Adams, we never had a Scandal nor any semblence of one! ~Rick Magee, FL Det.ret.
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 06:36 PM
You're getting close! ~Rick Magee, FL
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 06:42 PM
i.e.: 1.The Director of Public Works may need on to respond to Emergencies? 2.On Call Police Detectives need one 3.The Chief of Police needs one. Oh, that's right your civilian politicians disolved that position and put one of their own in it's place. Hey, two out of three ain't bad..... ~Rick Magee, FL. , det.,ret.
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Communist/Scialist Saul Alensky wrote in his book, "Always blame your predessor". In this case the one that left town. I would guarantee that if it were a member of the Police Department that did this, All Hell would raised and made to pay. ~Rick Magee, FL
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 07:04 PM
AMEN! ~Rick Magee, Fl
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 07:11 PM
DEBORAH, EXACTLY! Well said. When I was up there I really loved Cinnaminson and it's good people. CPD was well supported by the Residents and deserved it. It was reciprocated. A canine with no head cannot wag it's tail. You cannot put a Cat's head on it. It just doesn't work. Only a Certified Police Officer knows how to do the job of Protedting the Public. ~Rick Magee, FL
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Bill C. I totally agree. Vote them Out of Office and restore honesty and respect. This is a Republic and NOT a Democracy as the left would have us believe. In A REPUBLIC the Elected Officials do OUR Bidding and Not Theirs! I miss the Old Cinnaminson. God Bless you all. ~Rick Magee, FL det.,ret.
Richard Magee August 16, 2012 at 07:16 PM
ZUZU: Gee that sounds just like the U.S. SENATE! ~Rick Magee, FL
John September 24, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Where do U live in la la land, our taxes have not gone down and our tax bills were late b/c of burlington county not passing there tax reductions till the middle of sept.....What win win situation, having someone get a free car to drive to his home, your a trip....how about giving me a charger so I can drive around cinnaminson....ha ha...
John September 24, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I guess thats why U live in FL now Richard.....how are the taxes down there...
Nancy VanTwistern September 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM
"Drive on the grass at Wood Park thursday night?? I'm amazed at the stupidity of some..........our elected officials or just their 'hires'?? God Lord, and the 'scold' kids for acting like kids oft' times???
louis larocca March 01, 2013 at 05:47 AM
sgt john rooney or cousin john rooney friend david okin sgt rooney has no respect pedestrian in crosswalk sgt rooney says ok run over people at intersection in crosswalk as long light change green . pedestrian beware sgt rooney gives green light drivers run over people crossing rt 130
louis larocca March 01, 2013 at 05:55 AM
any body knows david okin and way sgt rooney let him go with out writing him ticket running me over crossing rt 130 law is motorist stay stop see pedestrian in cross walk other law road rage and assault by auto i was only one get ticket . i was 1 sec from sidewalk after crossing 8 lane highway officer rooney said light change green ok david okin ran me over
Scott F March 04, 2014 at 12:17 PM
in response to Dan Smith from Aug 10, 2012: The whole family are cops, I remember the idiot brother Dennis who's now a cop in Delran, can't wait to see what fresh scandal springs forth there. That Frank even got in as a cop is testament to the good old boy network being alive and well.....
John March 05, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Wow alot of comments about people having there heads in the sand....No wonder our taxes are so high....

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