Mayor John Ekdahl, center, calls the annual reorganization meeting to order at Bingham Hall. Below, Ekdahl swears in Scott Paterson as police chief while Paterson’s wife, Stephanie, and children look on. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The start of the new year signaled changes in command of Rumson’s emergency services Tuesday.
Scott Paterson, a 19-year veteran of the police department, was sworn in as police chief, succeeding Rick Tobias. And Jymm Fenn moved up the ladder at the fire department for a one-year term as fire chief.
The calendar change also saw the departure of the borough’s longtime recreation department head, John Hird.
Emergency workers hustle Shaun Foley to an ambulance moments after rescuing him from the Navesink River on November 22.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Fair Haven’s former fire chief pleaded guilty to drunken driving Monday, putting an end to legal troubles caused by a November accident that quickly turned into a search-and-rescue effort when he fled the scene and jumped off the Oceanic Bridge.
Shaun Foley, 27, entered the plea in Rumson Municipal Court before Long Branch Municipal Judge George Cieri. Three other charges reckless driving, failure to report and leaving the scene of an accident were thrown out as part of the plea deal. Foley, who was also a Rumson Police dispatcher and part-time police officer, was ordered to pay about $675 in fines, undergo a state-mandated evaluation and lost his license for seven months.
“I just want to apologize to everybody,” he said in court. “I embarrassed myself, definitely, but both organizations and my family.”
He added that he was thankful that even though his crash caused a second accident on River Road, nobody was injured as a result of what he said was “just a pile of bad decisions.”
The sheared stump of the utility pole struck by Foley’s car on East River Road was still there Monday, more than a week after the accident.
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
[EDITOR’S NOTE: See update below]
Former Fair Haven Fire Chief Shaun Foley had an accident in his fire department vehicle 20 months before a second wreck prompted charges that led to his resignation last week, police records confirm.
A report on the March 16, 2008, accident, which occurred on Ridge Road near Kemp Avenue in Fair Haven, says no test for alcohol was given to Foley.
Foley faces a charge of drunken driving in the more recent incident, which occurred November 22 in Rumson. In that case, police allege that Foley crashed his fire chief’s vehicle into a telephone pole on East River Road shortly before 6p, fled the scene on foot and, after being located a mile away on the Oceanic Bridge, and jumped about 30 feet into the Navesink River, prompting a massive rescue effort. He was uninjured.
In the earlier accident, Foley also smacked a utility pole, according to records obtained by redbankgreen.