[UPDATED] Councilman is accused of sexually harassing Press of Atlantic City reporter

McElwee and Weaver

McElwee and Weaver

I’m trying to get more information about this report from the Breaking News Network:

From: BNN-Police[SMTP:A@BNN.US]
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:24:57 AM

NJ| Atlantic| Galloway| *Breaking News*| | Councilman James McElwee
(D) of has been charged after allegedly sexually harassing Press of
Atlantic City reporter Donna Weaver. The incident occurred on Township
property after the Oct 8, 2013 council meeting. The incident involved
inappropriate touching which was captured on the buildings security
camera.| BNN | nj575/njs731 | #671252

I’ve left messages for Weaver and Press of Atlantic City interim editor Peter Brophy. Reached at home, councilman McElwee told me he wouldn’t discuss the matter until he talked to his attorney. He said he didn’t know about the charge against him until this morning, and asked how I found out about it. (A reporter sent me the BNN brief.) The Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson said she’s waiting for a report on the matter.

UPDATE — Brophy writes in an email: “I question that this is bona fide from a ‘police agency’ since the police have released no report on this matter. Other than that, we have no comment.”

UPDATE 2 — The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has issued this statement:

On Oct. 9, 2013, a 32-year-old female signed a complaint against James McElwee, 62, of Galloway Township. [You can see it here.]

This complaint alleged that on Oct. 8, 2013, Mr. McElwee subjected the female to an act of harassment by offensive touching in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4b.

The allegation alleges a Petty Disorderly Persons offense under the New Jersey Criminal Code. Petty Disorderly Persons offenses carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in prison and up to $500 in fines.

The Galloway Township Municipal Court has not made a finding of probable cause, so while a complaint has been signed, no summons has been issued to Mr. McElwee.

Due to Mr. McElwee’s position as a Galloway Township Councilman, the matter will be referred to another municipal court for a determination of probable cause and ultimate disposition.

It has not yet been determined which municipal court will handle the matter.