Haddonfield resident expresses opinion on incident involving Commissioner Kasko
Deputy Mayor Jeff Kasko, the defendant in a serious criminal case, needs to resign immediately from the Haddonfield Commission.
Although in court he is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a less stringent criterion applies to the court of public opinion — especially for an elected official. The charges against Mr. Kasko are severe. Among them are leaving the scene of an accident and striking a Haddonfield police officer with his car. His continuing to sit on the panel with jurisdiction over the police department by itself makes his continuing to serve on it untenable.
The reality is that his every appearance at a public function or performance of an official act will now be tainted by the pall that overshadows him. Although this unfortunate development comes at a particularly bad time because of Mayor Rochford’s medical leave, such an inconvenience cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the proper course of action. In fact, it would border on farce if Mr. Kasko were to become acting mayor.
The appropriate replacement procedures must be promptly followed if the mayor’s continued absence and Mr. Kasko’s departure deprives the commission of a quorum for an unacceptable length of time. This is a terrible situation all around, and it would not be made any better if the residents of Haddonfield were to continue to be governed by an individual whose reputation has been so grievously tarnished.
Stephen G. Young