Mitch Remig Has to Resign from Point Boro Council by July 9 to Start as County Detective
Point Borough Republican committee to submit 3 nominations to council to fill unexpired term
Point Borough Councilman Mitch Remig has to resign from his council seat before July 9, when he will be sworn in as a full-time detective with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, said county Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford on Thursday afternoon.
Remig, who will earn $38,000 annually in what will be his first full-time job as a law enforcement officer, said on Thursday that he hasn't decided yet when he will resign, but acknowledged it will be before July 9.
Remig will have to resign from his council seat, which expires at the end of the year, because appointees to the county prosecutor's office are not permitted, according to county and state ethics guidelines, to be active in partisan politics, Ford said.
Ford said that when she interviewed Remig for the job, "I explained to him that he has to disassociate himself from partisan politics. He was comfortable with that."
As for the new job, Remig said, "I'm very excited about the change in career path." He said he hopes to some day be an arson investigator within the county prosecutor's office, which would seem to dovetail from his volunteer firefighter experience.
He said he does not know which unit of the prosecutor's office he will work in immediately after starting the job and completing training.
Freeholders and Budgets
Remig, 23, the youngest person to ever serve on Borough Council, was sworn into that seat on Jan. 3, 2010.
The county freeholders voted unanimously on Wednesday afternoon to authorize funding for Remig's hire and a number of other positions.
Ford said she hired Remig and that the freeholder vote on Wednesday afternoon was only to authorize her to spend funds for the position and to confirm that there was a vacancy to be filled.
Ford said there were a large number of applicants for two county detective positions, the other to be filled by Michael Dennis, 24.
"There were a lot of applicants who had a lot of experience who we couldn't hire because we would have had to bring them in at a much higher level of pay," Ford said, referring to guidelines mandating that level of pay be commensurate with years of experience.
Ford said, "It has been fairly common to hire applicants with little to no law enforcement experience because they have other talents, interests and abilities that make them suited to the job and because they undergo extensive training and are often mentored by much more experienced agents."
Ford said the advantage to hiring entry-level employees who have not had a lot of full-time law enforcement experience is that they can be hired at entry-level salaries, which helps the office stay within their limited budget, and the prosecutor's office is able to train them in a way that is custom-tailored to how the members of the prosecutor's office do their jobs.
Remig's Selling Points
When asked what made Remig stand out from other applicants who were strongly considered, Ford said, "What impressed me about him was his record of public service as an elected official on council."
She said Remig's two Ocean Community College associate degrees in Fire Science and Criminal Justice, the bachelor's and master's degrees he is pursuing, his interviews and recommendations also weighed in his favor.
When asked on Thursday if had decided not to run for re-election because he knew he might get the county appointment, Remig said, "No, it was school that was taking up a majority of my time."
Remig, who is close to earning his bachelor's degree, said he is starting a master's program soon. "It would have been impossible to keep up with everything," he added.
Ford, a Democrat, said she decided to hire Remig, who was competing against a large, impressive pool of applicants, as an entry-level employee because of his public service, education and experience as a special officer in Manasquan. And he also graduated first in his class from the Monmouth County Police Academy to be a special, she noted.
"When we hire entry-level people, we know they are blank slates and that we have to work with them," she said.
She said Remig will spend his first couple of weeks in the office and then attend daily training at the state Division of Criminal Justice's training academy in Sea Girt, as required for incoming investigators (unless they had already worked as full-time police officers) with county prosecutors' offices, from August through mid-December.
Remig is replacing Lt. Jeff Vogt who worked for the office for 25 years before retiring on Feb. 1 at a salary of $111,619. Longtime county investigator Thomas Hayes also retired last year.
Who Will Replace Remig on Council?
His resignation opens the door for the Borough Republican Committee to vote for three names of possible replacements and submit them to Borough Council to vote for one of the three, said Councilmember Antoinette DePaola, who is running for re-election.
DePaola and Borowsky are running for two, three-year council seats against Democratic newcomers Sal Martino and Jim McClure.
DePaola said the local Republican club has to take the vote to pick three nominees within 15 days after Remig's resignation. When asked if the club would select her running mate, Bill Borowsky, as one of the names, she said she didn't know yet who would be selected and that no specific meeting date has even been selected yet because Remig's resignation date is not yet determined.
"Bill would be a good person to nominate, but I don't know yet what the committee is thinking," she added.
She said Remig has indicated he wants to stay on council until the new municipal budget is adopted. Council has scheduled a special budget meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday to introduce the budget and its next regular meeting is July 17.
Remig Past and Future
Ford, who will be replaced by Toms River attorney Joseph Coronato this year, said new detectives usually start by working on grand jury or juvenile cases, but that she did not know what Remig would specifically be doing after he completes training.
Remig said his new job is the result of a two-year process involving an application process and a number of interviews with Ford and senior members of her staff. He said he expects to earn his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Management from Kaplan University in the fall and will then pursue a master's degree, most likely in public administration, and most likely from Kaplan.
Remig was born and raised in Point Borough and graduated from Borough High School in 2007.
In April, Remig had said he was busy with his studies and looking for work as a full-time police officer.
Because he had taken a civil service exam in December 2010 to be a police officer and began applying for potential positions, he was on a hiring waiting list in Point Borough as well as other towns, he had said at the time.
"I have a lot of resumes out," he had said in April. The civil service list is valid for all police departments in Ocean County and also for the state Department of Corrections.
"It wouldn't be fair for me to run, I just don't have enough time to put into it," Remig had said. "But I'll miss it. I truly enjoy the work."