A judge at the Paterson Municipal Court gave Jerome King, head of the troubled needle exchange operator the Well of Hope, four more weeks to prepare his case. King was issued 12 summonses for health violations at his nonprofit’s building on Broadway.
King appeared in court with his attorney on Friday morning. He requested more time from municipal court judge Giuseppe Randazzo. Randazzo granted the request. This is the second time Randazzo granted King additional time.
Randazzo in October gave King more time to correct issues at 207 Broadway. Health inspectors discovered extensive mold growth inside the kitchen cabinets, ceiling, and floor. There were also obstructed hand washing facilities, no running hot water, no paper towels, and debris and dust inside the refrigerator. Missing tiles on the floor indicates a possible vermin problem, according to reports filed by inspectors.
King’s organization was given an unsatisfactory health inspection certificate for the second year in a row. He is barred from serving food or drinks to the public. King has been described as “irresponsible” for unloading millions of needles in the city since 2008 by council members.
Some told King to take his program, which serves mostly out-of-town drug addicts, to Bergen County. King lives in Lodi. He also had multiple protests outside his organization by community leaders and residents. Some candidates for mayor have vowed to eject the Well of Hope from Paterson.
King was issued the summonses in August. Municipal officials last week said King has not addressed any of the issues at his building. His attorney in October said some of the issues at the building are “structural” and must be addressed by the landlord.
Well of Hope leases the building at 207 Broadway from the New Shiloh Missionary Gospel Church.
King’s future in Paterson is uncertain.
Council members have a resolution before them to pull $93,327 in grant money the Well of Hope receives via the city to provide services to people with HIV/AIDS.
King angered local leaders in August when he attempted to shift responsibility for clean-up of dirty needles from his organization to community residents. The New Jersey Department of Health later provided a $10,000 grant to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation to assist in clean-up of needles in Paterson.
The judge postponed the court hearing to Friday, December 22nd, 2017.