ONLY ON CVP: Bergen County GOP chairman candidate Anthony Rottino told Franklin Lakes police and the county prosecutor’s office that state Sen. Gerry Cardinale threatened him over the telephone earlier this month, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. The Republican lawmaker called the accusations “nonsense.”
Rottino is “losing the race badly and lashing out,” Cardinale told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
A supporter immediately argued that Rottino has been “gaining steam” the past few days because of what has become a “negative and nasty” campaign by Cardinale to keep Bob Yudin as chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization.
The election is this Thursday at party headquarters in Hackensack.
Three independent sources confirmed that Rottino filed a report with police in his hometown and on Friday met with two members of County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli’s staff after a seven-minute phone call a week earlier from Cardinale (R-39), of Demarest.
Cardinale, in turn, told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that he’s “had many conversations” with Rottino but never one in which he threatened the former freeholder candidate.
“Anthony is very litigious,” the state senator said. “I have sitting on my table lawsuits that he brought against his opponents that tried to prevent them from campaigning for the Assembly. At one point, he even got a restraining order.
“He goes through strings of misinterpreting language,” said Cardinale, who’s backing the re-election of Yudin over Rottino and John McCann of Cresskill. “This fits the bill.”
Rottino, for his part, said he didn’t want to discuss the issue.
Rottino maintains that Cardinale called him on June 1, claiming to have incriminating information and threatening to go public with it, the sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT on Friday.
Besides urging his client to speak to the authorities, Rottino’s lawyer sent Cardinale a cease-and-desist letter, they said.
Rottino owns a construction company and is co-owner of Gold’s Gym in Teterboro.
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