ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : A quick ride home without a sobriety test is the focus of an investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, after CLIFFVIEW PILOT uncovered details of an accident last month in which North Bergen High School Vice-Principal Edward Somick’s Jeep smashed at least two cars and rolled over on Kennedy Boulevard, two sources independently confirmed.
Both sources are involved in the investigation, one of them directly.
Following the Dec. 18 incident, Patrolman Frank Mena reported through desk Sgt. Thomas Ferrari that Somick swerved “to avoid an animal” when his vehicle “struck a parked car” at the corner of 70th Street and Kennedy Boulevard at 1:50 a.m.
Details of an accident report subsequently obtained by CLIFFVIEW PILOT determined that Somick was headed south on Kennedy Boulevard, in the opposite direction of his Durham Avenue home off 90th Street, when his Jeep struck a car that crashed into another.
Mena also confirmed through Ferrari, the shift commander the night after the crash,
that that he gave Somick a ride home in his township police car
after working a pre-Christmas DWI detail.
“It was pretty cold out,” Ferrari
told the website
, less than 24 hours after the incident.
Asked why an ambulance wasn’t summoned, Ferrari said Somick apparently didn’t need one.
Just last week, Port Authority Police Chief Robert H. Belfiore resigned amid charges that he got a uniformed officer to give daughter a ride from JFK Airport to their Jersey Shore home after her flight got diverted from Newark. CLICK HERE FOR THAT STORY .
RELATED STORY : Recorded radio talks and statements from police could help investigators reconstruct the department’s response to a multi-car crash this weekend involving North Bergen High School Vice-Principal Edward Somick, an officer on duty that night told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . CLICK HERE
Somick lives a little over a mile from the accident site, which is only four blocks down Kennedy Boulevard from the high school.
Two officers found Somick outside his vehicle; next thing they knew, Mena was there. He took Somick away before the EMS arrived just minutes later, sources with direct knowledge of the incident told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
The crash follows a series of incidents involving the police and Somick, whose mother is North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco’s longtime girlfriend.
Kathryn Somick and her four sons all work for the North Bergen Board of Education.One of them, Steven Somick, is the business administrator of the seven-school district, which has nearly 7,500 pupils and students.
The assistant superintendent: Sacco.
Besides holding that position, and being mayor nearly 20 years, Sacco is also a state Senator in District 32, where he serves on the Law and Public Safety Committee.
Kathryn Somick is also on the Board of Directors of the North Bergen Housing Authority, which is being investigated for misuse of funds by the federal office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Six months ago, Ed Somick tangled with a student from the school — leaving the boy with a ripped shirt after being dragged in a headlock — outside a sports dinner at a township facility near police headquarters. The outcome of that case couldn’t be determined this morning.Nicholas Sacco
Somick, 39, drew police attention just weeks earlier, when he was accused of calling a neighbor a racial epithet and then scuffled with officers sent to keep the peace — before Police Chief William Galvin ordered him released from the township lockup without charges.
The incident began when Somick returned from the school’s senior prom in May to find a neighbor’s car blocking his Durham Avenue driveway.
Several witnesses told police that Somick called the 18-year-old Hispanic NBHS student a racial epithet, then went after officers sent to calm things down. Somick was handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, where, witnesses said, he repeatedly banged his head against the window.
( CONTINUED BELOW )
CLIFFVIEW PILOT ‘s investigations of North Bergen High School Vice-Principal Edward Somick’s involvement with North Bergen police:
*New trouble involving NBHS vice-principal
*Sacco calls chief’s order to free disorderly VP ‘non story’
*Key figure emerges in case of disorderly school official linked to Sacco
*Prosecutor to NB cops: Talk to us
*Township spokesman’s answers raise questions
*Cops ready to talk to investigators
*Chief orders disorderly VP freed with no charges
*Dispatches tell if school VP got special treatment
*NBHS official not accused in neighborhood spat
Police put Somick in a holding cell, but Galvin showed up at headquarters at 1 a.m. and ordered him released. Capt. William Dowd, who also came to headquarters, then drove Somick home, with Galvin going along for the ride, several witnesses told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Confronted briefly at G.P.’s restaurant in Guttenberg two weeks later, Sacco called CLIFFVIEW PILOT ‘s reporting nothing more than its publisher/editor’s “interpretation of the facts.”
“If I didn’t call you back,” Sacco, 64, added, referring to unreturned phone calls and emails, “why would I talk to you now?”
He also questioned why no other media had reported the incident.
“It’s passé,” Sacco said, dismissively. “Maybe if there’s another issue you want to talk about….”
Authorities from both the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Justice Department told CLIFFVIEW PILOT they would investigate if any police personnel agreed to talk.
As a result of that story, officers with knowledge of the incident came forward, the sources said.
The accident scene:
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