Carlos Luaces, a resident of Byram in Sussex County, was hired as public works superintendent in April of 2015. Three months later, he ordered employees to remove a bird’s nest that was in the public works yard.
When the employees did not comply, Luaces sprayed insecticide on the nest, killing two robin chicks. Employees complained to the West Milford police. Police contacted the Passaic County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the state Department of Environmental Protection.
On Aug. 21, the county SPCA filed animal cruelty charges against Luaces. Mayor Bettina Bieri fired Luaces from his $80,000-a-year post the day the charges were filed. Luaces lawyer, Gary A. Kraemer, said he plans to go to trial to fight the charge. He said Luaces took over the DPW during what he termed “a chaotic situation” and said some employees resented his leadership.
“He’s innocent,” Kraemer said. “He…
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