Wiley in his office at West New York City Hall on August 24, 2012
|West New York Commissioner|
|Assumed office |
May 17, 2011
|Born||North Bergen, New Jersey|
|Residence||West New York, New Jersey|
Count Wiley is an American chiropractor and politician, known for his work as the former Commissioner of Public Works of West New York, New Jersey, and as a challenger to West New York Mayor Felix Roque, whom Wiley had previously helped unseat previous Mayor Sal Vega in the May 2011 elections. In 2013 Wiley was ranked #30 on The Hudson Reporter's list of the 50 most influential people in Hudson County.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Count Wiley was born in North Bergen, New Jersey, the son of James Wiley. He attended Franklin Elementary School and North Bergen High School, where he played full back in football field and participated in the shot put on the track and field team.
Wiley earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from East Stroudsburg University. He did post graduate work in Public Administration at Farleigh Dickenson University. In 2003, Wiley graduated from University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic.
Career[edit | edit source]
After college Wiley owned and managed a recycling business, mechanical shop and exported products to Central and South America.
Wiley's practice, Friends and Family Center for Health, is located in North Bergen, where he once lived. It offers chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, a foot and ankle specialist and massage.
In 2010 Wiley, now living in West New York, had been working as a chiropractor for 10 years when he joined Dr. Felix Roque in his efforts to recall West New York Mayor Silverio Vega. Their case was dismissed the case on a technicality, as Roque's campaign had not collected sufficient signatures for the recall.
Roque ran against Vega in the 2011 election, and on May 10, 2011, Roque and his team, which included Wiley, defeated Vega and his team of Commissioners. Roque's victory surprised many in the community, with Vega spokesman and political consultant Paul Swibinski attributing the election results to the raising of taxes in February 2009, while other sources attributing Roque's victory to the fact that the Hudson County Democratic Organization did not assist Vega opposing Roque. Wiley was appointed Commissioner of Public Works.
By July 2012, many who supported Roque as a reformer came to turn against him, amid Roque's endorsement of Republican state Senator Joe Kyrillos over Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez during the 2012 Senate race. Roque eventually reversed his endorsement, apparently under significant pressure from his closest political allies, who were loyal to Menendez. In a late June 2010 reorganization meeting, Roque and the majority of the five-member board voted to reassign each commissioner to a new department, including Wiley, who was removed from the Department of Public Works, and had to be restrained by police officers. The Hudson Reporter characterized Wiley as "the latest victim in what many see as Roque’s desperate attempt to root out political enemies", in what the Reporter characterized as a divided administration in which such raucous and dramatic commissioners' meetings recurred.
On September 13, 2012, Wiley formally launched a recall campaign against Roque, during which he would run to replace Roque as Mayor. Wiley has invested $50,000 of his own money into his campaign. Wiley may face political opponents in his run for Mayor, in part due to the fact that his father, James Wiley, who served as the head of North Bergen’s Department of Public Works from 1995 until his retirement on August 31, 2012, pleaded guilty on September 11, 2012 in County Superior Court to second-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct after having used North Bergen town employees to work at his house and perform campaign duties and personal chores for him.When asked after the event whether Count Wiley thought his father’s actions would affect his chances as mayor, Wiley answered, "No, it won’t. I love my father to death. I don't condone what my father did. He is an individual as everyone else, but I have no control over the decisions he made. It has no bearing on anything I would do in West New York and my records prove that. Whatever decisions I have made have been for the people and not for myself. He did something wrong and he's paying the price for it." Tempers flared between the two politicians at an October 10 Board of Commissioners meeting, where the board majority passed a 4-1 resolution censuring Wiley for conduct unbecoming of an elected official, following Wiley's admission earlier in the month that some North Bergen employees painted his house the previous year, explaining that it was part of a "shared services" agreement with North Bergen. At the same meeting Wiley threatened to file a civil suit against West New York for threatening to dissolve his office. Wiley also charged that a resolution to place Roque's sister, Aida Roque on the town's Planning Board was a conflict of interest.
In January 2013, Wiley was ranked #30 on The Hudson Reporter's second annual list of the 50 most influential people in Hudson County, his first time appearing on the list.
Wiley and his allies presented their recall petitions with over 6,500 signatures to Town Hall on September 18, 2013, but over 40 percent of them were invalidated because they did not come from registered voters. Based on the previous election, in which 21,030 voters cast votes, Wiley needed to collection 25 percent, or 5,257 signatures.
On December 17, 2014, Wiley unveiled a ticket called West New York United to oppose Roque's in the May 2015 election. The ticket includes Carlos Betancourt, Myrli Sanchez, Hector Hernandez, and Thomas Leung. Wiley lost to Roque in the May 12, 2015 election, with Roque getting 2,871 votes, and Wiley receiving 2,144 votes.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Wiley and his wife, Beatriz, live in West New York. They have four daughters and a son: Katherine, Genesis, Nicole, Italia and James.
References[edit | edit source]
- Elected Officials: Commissioner Dr. Count J. Wiley. West New York, New Jersey. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
- Pope, Gennarose (September 23, 2012). "'Total recall'". The Hudson Reporter. September 23, 2012.
- "Judge dismisses West New York recall effort case". NJ.com/The Jersey Journal. April 29, 2010
- Pope, Gennarose (June 17, 2012). "It all snowballs". The Hudson Reporter.
- Sanabria, Santo. "Roque slate wins by large margin". The Union City Reporter. May 15, 2011. pp. 1 and 7
- "Is Count Wiley the one?". The Hudson Reporter. July 15, 2012.
- DeChiaro, Dean (October 21, 2012). "Vote held to censure Wiley over DPW scandal". The Union City Reporter. pp 1 and 6
- Cruz, Vanessa; DeChiaro, Dean; Rambay Fernandez, Adriana; Palasciano, Amanda; Sullivan, Al; Wright, E. Assata (January 13, 2013). "Power Surge". The Union City Reporter. pp. 1, 5-7, 10.
- "No dice on West New York recall". "Briefs". The Union City Reporter. October 6, 2013. p. 2.
- Sullivan, Al (December 21, 2014). "Mayor Roque’s opposition announces ticket". The Hudson Reporter.
- Sullivan, Al (May 17, 2015). "Roque ticket sweeps WNY election". The Union City Reporter, Vol 19, No 12. pp 1 and 8.
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- Media related to [[commons:Lua error in Module:WikidataIB at line 466: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|Lua error in Module:WikidataIB at line 466: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).]] at Wikimedia Commons
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