Englewood, NJ Mayor Michael Wildes is stepping up the fight to keep Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi—and his air-conditioned Bedouin tent—from the estate the Libyan mission to the U.N. owns. Wildes is going to court to file an injunction on the renovation work being done at the estate, "If the U.S. State Department won't shut this down, we will. New Jersey's governor, its two U.S. senators and its U.S. congressmen are all on board on this."
Gadhafi is scheduled to travel to the U.S. next month, with a speaking engagement at the United Nations on September 23. Thus, work on the mansion has been taking place. According to the AP, "Wildes said mansion workers have violated numerous city ordinances by tearing down trees and part of a neighboring fence and expanding the mansion's pool without proper permits. He said they may also have violated state environmental rules by encroaching upon a stream that runs through the 5-acre property." While Englewood officials have filed stop work orders, the workers at the estate have ignored it—so now the injunction would allow cops onto the property. Just want the press wants: NJ cops facing off against workers hired by the Libyan government!
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who lives next to the 25-room mansion told the NY Times that the Libyan mission isn't concerned with fines, "They don’t care how much money they spend on fines because they have an endless supply of oil money." The Times also spoke to Wildes, who didn't mince words, "I would have no problem of any diplomat sleeping within the city limits. I have every problem with a person who admittedly blew up a plane killing 38 New Jersey residents and has the audacity in recent days to give a hero’s welcome to a convicted terrorist. To have to remove his rubbish free of charge is insulting." We suppose that's why NYC officials refused Libya's request for Gadhafi to set up his tent in Central Park—damage to the Great Lawn, and all.
A State Department official anonymously said, "We expect we’ll be able to come to an arrangement that will respect the sensitivities of the local population."