A Democratic committeewoman in New Jersey has been censured after she allegedly accused the town’s Republican mayor of using his wheelchair as a prop to get elected.
The Rochelle Park Township Committee voted 3-2 to formally reprimand Linda Boniface last week over comments she reportedly made to Mayor Nicholas LiBassi during a meeting on June 24.
Boniface is said to have told LiBassi: ‘The only reason you got elected was because of your wheelchair.’
She reportedly added: ‘You used that wheelchair as prop during your campaign. There was not one headshot of you, every picture of you included the wheelchair’.
Democratic committeewoman Linda Boniface (left) has been censured after she allegedly accused the town’s Republican mayor, Nicholas LiBassi (right) of using his wheelchair as a prop to get elected
According to NewJersey.com, LiBassi has been confined to a wheelchair since 1996, when he suffered a spinal cord injury. He has been serving as Mayor of Rochelle Park since 2018.
In their censure of Boniface, the Rochelle Park Township Committee declared that she failed to ‘conform to a high level of personal, moral and ethical conduct, especially while performing the duties and responsibilities of their elected position’.
Boniface has denied making the comments.
However, Michael Kazimir – the Republican committee member who voted to censure Boniface – alleges she has a history of making offensive remarks.
Kazimir claims that Boniface once called former committee member Frank Valenzuela ‘a cripple.’
Valenzuela suffers from multiple sclerosis and moves with some degree of difficulty.
Boniface has also been accused of calling former committee member Frank Valenzuela (right) ‘a cripple’
Kazimir claims he heard Boniface whisper ‘Let’s hear what the cripple has to say’ as Valenzuela approached the microphone to speak at a separate local meeting.
It’s not the first time Boniface has hit headlines.
Last month, the local politician filed a lawsuit against the township’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, Peter Donatello, claiming he tried to run her over with his car.
The pair had reportedly become embroiled in a spat, with Donatello allegedly accusing Boniface of leaking embarrassing photos of his son wearing a yarmulke.
The photos caused controversy as the Donatello family are not Jewish.
NorthJersey.com reported that, prior to that incident, the Boniface and Donatello had quarreled with each other frequently, although it’s unclear what their arguments stemmed from.
Boniface’s lawsuit claims that the car incident left her ’emotionally and psychologically traumatized’ and exacerbated a ‘pre-existing psychological condition’ she has, although it’s unclear what the condition is.
She is asking for unspecified damages and court costs.
Boniface is pictured in a social media snap
Boniface last month filed a lawsuit against the township’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, Peter Donatello (right) claiming he tried to run her over with his car. He is pictured with his son, who was publicly shamed after appearing in photos wearing a yarmulke.