Princeton Council to Hold Special Sessions This Week, Next Week on Closed Sessions, Parking Meter Scandal

OlivesThe governing body of Princeton will hold a special session to meet with the town’s citizens finance advisory committee tonight at 7 p.m. in the main meeting room of the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street, but a meeting with the Mercer County Prosecutor to discuss the recent parking meter scandal has been postponed until next week.

The council and mayor will hold another special meeting tomorrow night at 7 Monument Hall to discuss PILOT negotiations with Princeton University in closed session. At 8 p.m. the governing body will then meet in public to discuss closed session protocol and council communications. Last week the mayor and half of the governing body members refused to go into closed session because of alleged closed-session leaks to the press. After the meeting about closed session protocol, the council will then go back in to closed session to discuss personnel and professional appointments such as the appointment of the law firm for the municipality.

Next Monday night the council will meet with a representative from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in closed session to discuss the recent parking meter scandal and whether criminal charges may or may not be filed in the case. One parking meter enforcement officer was suspended and another one was demoted after Planet Princeton ran stories detailing how employees of some local businesses were allowed to park at expired meters all day and in two-hour parking spots in exchange for food and other goods. The town suspended the meter enforcement personnel, investigated the issue, and then fired one officer and demoted the second one. Some officials think the case should be pursued by the prosecutor’s office, while others don’t think accepting goods in exchange for preferential treatment should lead to criminal charges for official misconduct and say the officers have been punished enough.