Just six weeks after Mayor John McCormac reassured the public that Woodbridge Police Chief William Trenery could stay as the town's police chief "as long he likes," Trenery decided he didn't like it very much at all.
Trenery's resignation will be effective in April, according to the Star-Ledger.
A month ago, the council approved McCormac's call to create the civilian police director and assistant director positions for the police department. The mayor has not announced who will fill the two positions.
Trenery is a 37-year-old veteran of the Woodbridge police department; he was appointed as chief by former Mayor Joseph DeMarino after Trenery graded highest on the police civil-service exam.
DeMarino has opposed McCormac's plan to place civilian bosses in the department. DeMarino, a former Middlesex County sheriff himself, said he is concerned about morale in a department that's already lost officers .
Councilman Bob Luban, who with fellow Councilman Charles Kenny, voted against the civilian director positions, said he was "shocked, but not surprised" at Trenery's sudden announcement.
"I still believe this is a political power grab. Nothing's happened to make me think otherwise," Luban said. "I'm keeping my eyes on this situation and I intend to call things exactly as I see them."
McCormac positioned the move to hire civilian directors as a savings to taxpayers. Trenery earns $192,000; there are no exact figures on what the new civilian positions would cost the department.
"(Trenery) had a long and successful career as an officer who moved up the ranks to chief. A new chief should be promoted from within the department, not forced on the department," said Luban. "The mayor has created two purely political posts at a huge cost. The mayor wants control, period. That's what this is all about."
John Hagerty, spokesman for Mayor McCormac, did not return calls for comment.