Middlesex commissioner director calls on Sayreville Democratic chairman to resign from position, boards after alleged bribery charges

SAYREVILLE – Middlesex County Board of Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios has called on the chairman of the Sayreville Borough Democratic Organization to resign from his position, as well as the many boards he is currently affiliated with after he was alleged to have accepted “several thousands of dollars” in bribes.

“We are deeply troubled by the allegations against Planning Board Member Thomas Pollando,” Rios said in a statement on Sept. 2. “Actions like those alleged are fully unbecoming of anyone in public service. We urge him to resign as soon as possible to give the boards he is currently affiliated with time to regroup and rebuild.”

Thomas V. Pollando, 72, was charged with second-degree bribery in official matters, and second-degree receipt of unlawful benefit by public servant for official behavior, according to a press release through the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 1.

Pollando was charged on a summons and released the day of his apprehension, according to the press release.

Over a several week period in July and August, detectives from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office were conducting electronic surveillance of a business in Sayreville. While conducting surveillance, detectives observed Pollando allegedly accept “several thousands of dollars in cash, and state that he would attempt to use his political clout to influence an ongoing criminal case,” according to the press release.

An investigation conducted by Sgt. Joseph Celantano and Detective Shadi Zaiton of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined Pollando has influence and strong ties to the community.

Pollando formerly served as council president of the Sayreville Borough Council, he is the current vice-chairman of the Middlesex County Planning Board, and a long-time president of the Sayreville Athletic Association.

He also holds a seat on the Sayreville Economic & Redevelopment Authority and is currently employed with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Pollando was subsequently apprehended after allegedly leaving the business and was found in possession of the reported cash payment, according to the press release.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Zaiton of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-4263.

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