ATLANTIC CITY — The Democratic Committee has distanced itself from the mayor and an at-large councilman in the wake of the officials’ involvement in a melee outside a casino nightclub earlier this month.

The Atlantic City Democratic Committee voted to denounce Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. and Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy II following their roles in a fight outside Haven Nightclub at Golden Nugget Atlantic City on Nov. 11. The vote took place during a special emergency meeting Monday night at Local 54 UNITE HERE headquarters.

By a 27 to 3 vote in favor of the formal resolution, the committee denounced “in the strongest terms the egregious situation” the two elected officials “put themselves in.” The resolution further called on Gov. Phil Murphy or Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver to exercise their executive power to “temporarily suspend and remove both immediately from their positions without pay until the legal process is resolved.”

Atlantic City mayor, councilman involved in Sunday morning fight outside Golden Nugget nightclub

Gilliam did not respond to a request for comment.

Fauntleroy responded via text message that the ACDC news release announcing the meeting spelled his name incorrectly.

“It’s with two ‘ee’s at the end,” he wrote. “Jeffree, like Jeff is free from their nonsense.”

The committee’s resolution acknowledges that the body supported both Gilliam and Fauntleroy during their 2017 campaigns.

“We then, the Atlantic City Democratic Committee are publicly apologizing to the victims of a vicious physical and emotional attack imposed upon them by the two elected Atlantic City officials,” the resolution stated. “We also apologize to the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel and the citizens of our city.”

Video footage reviewed by The Press of Atlantic City showed Gilliam and Fauntleroy getting into a fight with at least two unidentified men outside Haven at 2:22 a.m. The video shows Gilliam exchanging punches with an unidentified individual and Fauntleroy tossing another man to the ground from behind.

Three summonses were issued to Gilliam, two for simple assault and one for harassment. Fauntleroy was issued two summonses, one each for simple assault and harassment. According to the documents, the elected officials were issued the summonses Nov. 14 and are due in court on Dec. 3 for determination of probable cause.

The committee chair, Gwen Lewis, said the body would not be entertaining a recall petition until the legal process was complete. By law, a recall petition cannot be circulated until Jan. 2, 2019, one year after both officials were sworn into office.

The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident at the Golden Nugget. No charges have been filed or arrests made in connection with the incident.

Monday’s denouncement is not the first sign of discord between Gilliam and the Atlantic City Democratic Committee. In March, the Democratic organization filed a complaint in municipal court against the mayor and his former campaign manager alleging theft by unlawful taking when Gilliam deposited a $10,000 check meant for the committee into his own campaign account. A judge dismissed the complaint in April after finding no probable cause.

In June, Gilliam lost his ward’s Democratic County Committee seat to Fire Chief Scott Evans. Fauntleroy choose not to seek re-election to the county committee.

Gilliam and Fauntleroy were both elected to their respective offices in 2017, running on a joint ticket with At-Large Councilmen Moisse “Mo” Delgado and George Tibbitt.

Contact: 609-272-7222 Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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