Atlantic City Democrats Call for Mayor Frank Gilliam Suspension After Casino Nightclub Fight

Posted on: November 27, 2018, 06:41h. 

Last updated on: November 27, 2018, 06:41h.

Atlantic City Democrats want Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. (D) and Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy (D) suspended as an investigation into their participation in a casino nightclub fight continues.

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam fight
Atlantic City Democrats want their own party’s Mayor Frank Gilliam out of office. (Image: Edward Lea/Press of Atlantic City)

The Atlantic City Democratic Committee voted 27-3 in favor of urging New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D) to use the power bestowed to the state’s executive office to “temporarily suspend and remove both immediately from their positions without pay until the legal process is resolved.”

The Atlantic City Democratic Committee are publicly apologizing to the victims of a vicious physical and emotional attack imposed upon them by the two elected Atlantic City officials,” the committee resolution stated. “We also apologize to the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel and the citizens of our city.”

Earlier this month in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Gilliam and Fauntleroy were involved in a physical altercation outside the Golden Nugget’s Haven Nightclub. Surveillance video captured the mayor exchanging punches with a man, while the councilman wrestled another person to the ground.

The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Officer is overseeing the investigation. After meeting with Oliver after the fight, Gilliam was asked by reporters if he was still the mayor. “Today,” he answered with a smile.

It’s not the first time the Atlantic City Democratic Committee has opposed Gilliam. In late 2017, the group investigated whether the mayor secretly took $10,000 from the committee. He said the check was wrongly deposited to his account, and he later returned the funds.

Court Date Scheduled

Gilliam, the top official in Atlantic City, is supposed to be leading the beleaguered city into more prosperous times. There was hope that the state would return its governance, a campaign issue Murphy pledged to local leaders and residents, but the governor backtracked in September and said Trenton would retain oversight through 2021, the original deadline set under the Chris Christie (R) administration.

Without direct power, Gilliam has apparently found time to club hop the city into the early morning hours. He’ll explain his actions in court on December 3.

Gilliam has been issued three summonses, two for simple assault and one for harassment. Fauntleroy received two, one for simple assault, and another for harassment.

The mayor declined comment to the Press of Atlantic City regarding the Democratic Committee action. The councilman, however, took issue with the erroneous spelling of his name.

“It’s with two ‘ee’s at the end,” he stated. “Jeffree, like Jeff is free from their nonsense.”

AC as Usual

When it comes to the gaming industry, Las Vegas has long declared its market, and rightfully so, as the gold standard. Atlantic City has always trailed Sin City, and black eyes such as the mayor and a city councilman brawling in the middle of the night doesn’t help overhaul its image many there so desperately seek.

Atlantic City is on the rise, but I don’t want to see this great and historical city on the mat again,” Murphy explained in not returning governance.

Gilliam sits on Murphy’s recently formed Executive Council, an agency consisting of state and city officials tasked with revitalizing Atlantic City. The mayor revealed in October that violent crime is down in the Beachfront city.