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Woodcliff Lake Administrator Albrecht charged with falsifying primary election forms

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Woodcliff Lake Borough Administrator Wolfgang Albrecht was issued a complaint by borough police today on charges of falsifying government documents, which CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned were change-of-party-affiliation forms.

The documents were applications for changes in party affiliation in advance of next week’s U.S. Senate primaries in New Jersey, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.

Party Affiliation Declaration forms must be submitted 55 days in advance of any New Jersey primary by those who already have registered an affiliation but want to apply for a change. However, because of this year’s special Senate election, the deadline was moved up to June 19.

Without going into details, Woodcliff Lake Police Anthony Janicelli said Albrecht used an incorrect timestamp “with the possible intent to backdate” certain items, in violation of New Jersey state statute 2C:21-4A.

Specifically, Albrecht is accused of “falsifying a writing or record knowing that it contained false statements or information with the purpose to deceive,” Janicelli said in a news release.

Reached at his office in Borough Hall, Albrecht said: “The borough attorney has advised me not to comment.”

Albrecht, who has held several municipal and county positions in Bergen County, received summonses to answer the charges, which the chief said were brought after his detectives consulted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

They had accumulated the evidence as part of an investigation that began July 1, Janicelli said, declining further comment.

The statute under which Albrecht was charged specifically states: “A person commits a crime if he[she] falsifies, destroys, removes, conceals any writing or record, or utters any writing or record knowing that it contains a false statement or information, with a purpose to deceive or injure anyone or to conceal any wrongdoing.”

Albrecht is the day-to-day manager of the municipality and was also appointed Borough Clerk in March.

A former county parks chief, Albrecht was also once Leonia’s business administrator; a Bogota Board of Education member from 1980 – 1991 (and former board president); and the president of the Bergen County Special Services School Board in 1997-1998.

He was also once the business administrator in Oradell, where officials were upset over the loss of potential grants because of application errors, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Albrecht’s history in government includes his involvement in a sex-abuse lawsuit that cost the county a $2.75 million settlement in 2009.

He was the parks director in 1993 when an employee exposed himself and asked a colleague for sex. The employee, Michael Rand, was suspended and later charged with sexual misconduct. Six months later, the county rehired Rand and assigned him to work in the same park — as the other employee’s supervisor.

Albrecht said he was no longer with the county when authorities arrested Rand in 2005 on charges of sexually abusing the victim, who suffered from learning disabilities.

That didn’t stop the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders two years ago from rejecting county Executive Kathleen Donovan’s attempt to return Albrecht to the parks director post — out of concern over his involvement in the lawsuit.

Albrecht, who’d been Donovan’s acting parks director nearly three months, resigned as a result.

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