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Bogota mayor says councilman whacked him during borough meeting

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: Bogota Mayor Tito Jackson was nursing a welt above his left eye that he and witnesses said he got when Councilman Evaristo Burdiez Jr. took a swing at him during budget discussions in council chambers tonight.

“He was drunk. You could smell it on his breath,” Jackson said of Burdiez, who left Borough Hall without commenting after challenging the mayor to a fight.

Jackson said he and others attending the closed-session meeting signed affidavits about the incident.

“The whole council witnessed it. The CFO. The borough attorney,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “The guy went nuts.”

Jackson said he couldn’t divulge what was being discussed tonight, but he acknowledged that the council was “in the process of introducing a zero-percent budget” for next year.

That process will now be delayed by roughly a week. Another discussion was scheduled for this Thursday.

“You could tell [Burdiez] was agitated when we got into the meeting,” Jackson said.

Finally, he said, he told the councilman that “he was being inappropriate. He started using expletives.

“I picked up the phone and said, ‘I’m going to have you removed from the meeting.’ That’s when he swung over the business administrator.

“He hit me, then said I hit him with all of those witnesses there,” the mayor said.

Because the alleged crime involved a simple assault, there was no arrest. A probable cause hearing will be held in Central Municipal Court in Hackensack, where cases that can’t be heard in local towns are brought.

Jackson said Burdiez was “trying to derail the good work we’re doing here. But I’m not going to be bullied from the path we’re on.

“We have so many better things to do here, and he tries to give Bogota a black eye.”

This was the second time in nine weeks that Jackson’s been hit. The 80-year-old father of a political rival allegedly took a swing at the mayor after he voted in the June 3 primary at the borough recreation center.

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