SECAUCUS AND BEYOND - Suspended Secaucus Tax Collector Alan Bartolozzi was rushed to an area hospital shortly after midnight on Jan. 18 after experiencing difficulty breathing, sources said.
Citing patient confidentiality rules, neither Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus nor Jersey City Medical Center would confirm whether Bartolozzi was admitted to their facility.
Bartolozzi was admitted to hospital just hours before jury selection was scheduled to begin in an alleged union theft case involving the former tax collector. He is charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking in the third degree for allegedly stealing nearly $25,000 from a municipal workers' union. In addition to working as the Secaucus Tax Collector for 24 years, Bartolozzi also served for many years in a voluntary capacity as treasurer of the Secaucus Public Employees' Association.
Bartolozzi has pleaded not guilty to this charge.
He has also been indicted on six counts in connection with his job as the town's tax collector. He is alleged to have stolen $777,725 in taxpayer money over a period of several years.
Bartolozzi has pleaded not guilty to all charges. No trial date has been set in the tax collector case.
Bartolozzi's hospitalization marks the third postponement for his union case. Earlier trial dates had to be pushed back due to a long-running homicide trial before Judge Kevin Callahan, the judge who is also hearing Bartolozzi's case.
In light of Bartolozzi's hospitalization, Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez said Tuesday he was waiting to hear from Bartolozzi's attorney and did not know when jury selection would begin. - E. Assata Wright