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In Our Opinion: Censuring Prasad Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The Township Council on Dec. 11 is set to vote on a censure resolution against Councilman Rajiv Prasad, charging that his actions bring “dishonor” to the governing body and that he has “lost the trust” of the council and many residents.

While that’s a nice gesture for the residents outraged by the rogue Councilman’s antics, in our opinion it falls far short of what the council should be voting on.

Based on Prasad’s record over the past three years, and culminating in the latest revelation, we believe that the Council’s vote should be on a resolution demanding – not requesting – Prasad’s resignation.

It was our story last week that Prasad apparently tried to get Township Manager Robert Vornlocker to fix several parking tickets that seems to be what pushed the Council into action. That’s in spite of months of revelations of how he tried to subvert the approval process for the now-defunct “Peace and Nonviolence” Monument Park – labeling its opponents as racists for good measure – and his actions three years ago revolving around opponents to Catalpa Park, who he not only smeared as racists, but suggested that they were part of a hate group.

And those are just the things we know about.

Up to this point, only Councilman Ted Chase has had the political fortitude to do what’s right and call for Prasad to resign. Mayor Phil Kramer also spoke strongly against Prasad’s actions in the past, but the rest of the Council has been glaringly silent.

It’s time for that silence to end, but not with the proposed slap on Prasad’s wrist.

We understand that a vote to censure a sitting legislator is not inconsequential under normal circumstances. But in reality, a censure resolution does nothing more than embarrass the person against whom it is passed. Based upon our observation of his activities over the last three years, we sincerely doubt that it’s possible to embarrass Prasad.

If there had been maybe one incident – short of the attempted ticket-fixing – in Prasad’s past, then we could support an action as minimal as a censure vote.

But when one considers that Prasad suggested a township employee take an action that was described by that employee – a former police officer no less – as “unethical and illegal” in conjunction with the monument park scandal and the Catalpa Park scandal, one has a pretty strong sense of Prasad’s record of abusing his power.

And for that repeated abuse of his power, a censure is woefully inadequate.

Nothing less than a demand that Prasad resign is called for, nothing less than that should be on the Council agenda, and nothing less than that should be deemed acceptable.

 

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