Wednesday, November 7, 2012
An East Orange firefighter was issued summonses after police found him
selling gas from the back of a pick-up truck on the first day of
mandatory gas rationing, authorities said.
East Orange police
confiscated several containers of gas from a pick-up truck driven by
firefighter Marc Jackson, East Orange Fire Chief Charles Salley
Jackson, 27, was issued summonses for creating widespread risk to the public and creating a public nuisance, Salley said.
East Orange police confirmed that Jackson was caught selling gas but
deferred all other comments to the fire chief. Nutley fire department's
hazmat team also responded to the scene. But according to Salley, the
firefighter wasn't actually caught in the act.
"From what I understand that was for the potential sale of gasoline," Salley said.
Jackson was discovered by authorities after his gas selling exploits were mentioned on Facebook or some other social media, Salley said.
The incident took place on Saturday, the day that Gov. Chris Christie's
mandatory odd-even rationing for gasoline purchase went into effect in
12 counties including Essex County.
Christie announced a
limited state of energy emergency last week in the wake of Hurricane
Sandy, when widespread power outages drove demand for fuel. Thousands of
New Jersey residents left in dark homes flocked to gas stations to
power their generators at the same time that gas stations across the
state were rendered inoperable by the storm, creating gas lines that
stretched more than a mile long in some towns.
four-year veteran of the fire department, has been suspended without pay
pending an investigation conducted by Deputy Fire Chief Christopher
Weiss, Salley said.
It was not immediately clear how much Jackson was charging for the gas or how much supply he had in the truck.
Salley said he was "totally surprised" when he received a phone call
about one of his firefighters selling gas in the storm's aftermath.
"You would not want someone charged with protecting the public's safety to do something of this nature," he said.
The incident was isolated and there have been no other reports of illicit gas peddling in East Orange, Salley said.
Public records show Jackson earns an annual salary of $35,588. Attempts to reach him by phone today were unsuccessful.