Atlantic City Mayor Missing, City Official Appoints Himself In Charge
NEW YORK – Where is Atlantic City's mayor?
That's the question being asked not only by residents of the New Jersey gambling mecca, but by local and state officials.
Mayor Bob Levy's administration has said he's absent on temporary medical leave, but won't reveal if he's hospitalized and, if so, where Levy might be.
The city's business administrator, Domenic Cappella, appointed himself acting mayor last week, claiming Levy verbally transferred power to him on Sept. 26.
Some residents are outraged.
"That's like a dictatorship," one resident told a city council meeting Wednesday night. "If I can write a letter saying I'm in charge, this is a third-world — if this is a democracy, what about the voters?"
Levy vanished a week ago — after signing seven city ordinances — amid reports that he was under federal investigation for falsifying his military record. The Press reported that the mayor had falsely claimed to be a Green Beret and was under investigation by the Justice Department.
The Newark Star-Ledger, citing unidentified sources, reported that Levy was suspected of embellishing his military record for financial gain. As a veteran, he could have received more money by exaggerating his service accomplishments.
"If you are sick, if you are in the hospital, let the public know, let the council know," City Councilman Tim Mancuso told CBS station KYW-TV in Philadelphia.
Several councilors have called on Cappella to withdraw. Cappella declined to do so at a recent meeting, defending his move to step in by declaring the city needed his leadership. He then walked around to shake hands with all nine councilors before leaving the meeting.
Levy does have a solid military record, having served two tours in Vietnam with the Army. He was never a Green Beret, though.
Ed Kline, a former assemblyman who grew up with Levy, told the Star-Ledger newspaper that the mayor was "down and out," "devastated" and "destroyed" by the revelations about his military record.