NORTH WILDWOOD -- Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam Jr. and City Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy II entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday in connection with assault and harassment complaints filed by three employees of the Golden Nugget after a Nov. 11 fight outside the casino.
Gilliam, whose home was searched by FBI and IRS agents last week in an unrelated matter, did not appear at the brief hearing in North Wildwood Municipal Court, where the cases were transferred to avoid a conflict of interest in Atlantic City.
His plea was entered via a letter sent to the court by his attorney, Christopher St. John, court officials said.
Fauntleroy appeared without an attorney and said, “Not guilty,” when asked for his plea after Judge Louis Belasco read the charges against him and their potential penalties, which include fines and probation, and a possibility of up to 180 days in jail.
Fauntleroy told the judge that 1301 Bacharach Blvd. -- the address for Atlantic City City Hall -- would be fine to send any notices for the next court hearing.
He left without commenting further, followed by television and other reporters down the sidewalk to his car. He later posted a message on Facebook quoting Malcolm X about the power of the media.
According to the citizens' complaints, obtained by the Inquirer and Daily News through an Open Public Records request, Gilliam is accused by Gregory Aulicino, an employee of the Haven Nightclub, of attempting to punch him. “Aulicino stated that Gilliam swung a punch but missed but kept trying to attack him,” the complaint states.
A second complaint, by Joseph Camerota, also says Gilliam swung and missed, and chased him around a car.
The third complaint, by Julie Rodriguez, accuses Gilliam of harassment and says he yelled and made threats to her, saying “I’ll f— you up.”
Rodriguez filed a similar complaint against Fauntleroy. Aulicino’s complaint against Fauntleroy states that he punched him several times and threw him to the ground.
The incident was captured on security video, released by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Gilliam appeared earlier in the day at a meeting of the Atlantic City Executive Council, chaired by Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who has oversight power over Atlantic City government operations under a two-year-old state takeover. Gilliam declined to comment on his multiple legal issues.
Oliver chaired the meeting, which unlike the council’s previous closed-door meetings was open briefly to the news media at its outset. Before asking reporters to leave, Oliver spoke of efforts to bring a supermarket to Atlantic City in 2019, hire a city planning director, and combat infant mortality. She also spoke of developing high-tech training and internships for the city’s students to keep them from leaving for better jobs.
She has previously said that the state continues to monitor Gilliam’s legal issues, but that “Atlantic City is bigger than just one person.” Gilliam has virtually no power under the terms of the legislative takeover, whose authority extends another three years.