New Jersey court wants Elkton inmate deposed

LISBON – A court handling a civil case in New Jersey is requesting a deposition from a former New Jersey mayor currently incarcerated at the Elkton Federal Correction Institution.

According to court documents filed Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, a New Jersey court is seeking the statements of Joseph Vas, the former mayor of Perth Amboy, N.J. A former city employee has filed the civil lawsuit for unlawful termination.

A New Jersey Star-Ledger story from February 2010 states James Morejon, a former Perth Amboy tax collector, claims he was fired after he talked to authorities about illegal activity at city hall.

According to the story, Morejon claims he was hired on June 5, 2006 for a four-year term to begin Jan. 1, 2007, but fired in November of that year after going to the authorities in August. The city’s attorney at the time, Frank G. Capece, reportedly told Morejon he was let go from his $70,000 per year job because he did not live in the city. However, Morejon’s attorney is claiming he was unlawfully fired because he was a whistleblower.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a Hudson County court in 2008 and unsealed in 2010 continues. The former mayor, Vas, is named in the lawsuit along with Capece and the city of Perth Amboy.

Vas is reportedly serving a six and a half year sentence at Elkton, which he received following an October 2010 conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced him to federal prison and ordered $90,000 in restitution for corruption charges. Included in the accusation was a real estate deal where he reportedly bought property, and quickly flipped it with the promise to the purchaser he would provide city redevelopment money for him. Additionally, Vas was convicted of illegally funneling money into his failed congressional campaign, lying to FBI agents and misappropriating city funds.