NJ town council president charged with misuse of 911 system

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey town council president has been charged with misusing of the county 911 emergency telephone system.

Phillipsburg Town Council President Frank McVey faces a fourth-degree charge of false public alarms and if convicted could face up to 18 months in state prison, according to Warren County First Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Robinson.

McVey said Wednesday that his actions were in line with his sworn duties as a council member, the Express-Times reported.

Before calling authorities, McVey emailed several Phillipsburg employees claiming that if he didn’t receive a response, he would call 911 and have an officer come to his home and respond to his inquiry.

According to prosecutors, the email stated: “Maybe most of you … work Monday through Friday 7-3 but I don’t with this position. Somebody give me an answer and respect the $0.35 an hour that I’m getting for this job. If I don’t receive correspondence by 6PM I will be calling 911 asking for an officer to come to my house and to give me an answer on this inquiry.”

Around 6 p.m. McVey called authorities, stated that he was not calling for an emergency, identified himself, and requested a “welfare check” on Mayor Todd Tersigni and police Chief Robert Stettner because he had not heard from them in “12 hours.”

Tersigni and Stettner declined to comment.