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Democrat makes controversial comment

Linda Boniface and a photo of Nicholas L’iBassi
Linda Boniface and a photo of Nicholas L’iBassi Image credit:

A Republican mayor from New Jersey has been accused of using a wheelchair so they can be elected by a Democratic committeewoman.

Linda Boniface made the controversial dig to Mayor Nicholas L’iBassi on June 24 when she allegedly told him: 'The only reason you got elected was because of your wheelchair.

'You used that wheelchair as prop during your campaign. There was not one headshot of you, every picture of you included the wheelchair'.

It’s reported L’iBassi became a wheelchair user in 1996 following a spinal cord injury, in 2018 he be began his role as the Mayor of Rochelle Park.

Boniface, who denies making the comment, has been censured by the Rochelle Park Township Committee because she 'conform to a high level of personal, moral and ethical conduct, especially while performing the duties and responsibilities of their elected position'.

She was censured by committee member Michael Kazimir who says it’s not the first time the democrat has caused offence to disabled people.

He said Boniface once called former committee member Frank Valenzuela ‘a cripple’ because he had multiple sclerosis.

Kazimir claimed he overheard her whisper ‘Let's hear what the cripple has to say' at a meeting just before Valenzuela took to the microphone.

The democrat has also fallen out with the township’s Office of Emergency Management coordinator, Peter Donatello, who accused her of trying to run him over in her car last month.

Boniface’s lawsuit claims the incident left her 'emotionally and psychologically traumatized' and exacerbated a 'pre-existing psychological condition'.

The Rochelle Park Township Committee voted 3-2 to approve a resolution censuring Linda Boniface last month.