Watch CBS News

CBS2 Exclusive: Jersey City Bar Says Sanitation Workers Demanded Drinks For Trash Pickup

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Sanitation workers in Jersey City are accused of refusing to take out the trash unless a bartender gave them drinks.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported exclusively Tuesday night, the Jersey City mayor's office said firm that employs the workers is already in trouble.

"The guy was so blatant, and he seemed to think in this day and age that he wouldn't get caught," said Wolf Sterling, owner of The Pint in Jersey City.

Sterling is fighting back against sanitation workers he claimed tried to shake down employees at his bar. It all started on Aug. 13, when surveillance video showed a man with the Jersey City Incinerator Authority walking up to the bar window and allegedly demanding that the employee step outside.

"He informed my employee his supervisor told him he could no longer pick up our recycling, but he would do so if we bribed him with liquor," Sterling said.

The bartender refused, and the man promised to return. The worker is employed by the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, an independent agency contracted by the city.

When the worker returned last week, Sterling said his surveillance cameras captured the man once again demanding alcohol in exchange for doing his job.

"They asked for liquor, and made it clear they would have to supply them liquor on a weekly basis for this gentleman and his entire truck in order for them to continue picking up our trash," Sterling said.

Sterling said when he tried to report the incident to the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, he was met with resistance.

"They said that if I pursued the complaint that I would have city inspectors come through my business, so it was a threat not to pursue the complaint," he said.

Though the Jersey City Incinerator Authority picks up the city's trash and recyclables -- a representative of Mayor Steven Fulop's office told CBS2 the agency is not managed by the city, and said, "We are working to shut it down after a long history of corruption."

On July 4, workers from the agency were arrested for allegedly taking money in exchange for mixing construction debris with the city's trash.

"It bothers me a lot that we have a few corrupt people who mar the reputation of other city employees and the city that so many of us love," Sterling said.

The city of Jersey City also said it is investigating this incident. CBS2 reached out to the Jersey City Incinerator Authority for its reaction to the claims, but did not hear back.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.