On April 20, Assemblyman Brian Bergen sent a threatening letter to BettyLou DeCroce. He promised retaliation if she disclosed information about Bergen’s failed attempt to obtain a $12,000 Covid relief loan in 2022 through the County of Morris Small Business Grant Program.
Bergen’s letter to DeCroce said he will seek damages “to the fullest extent possible” from her for “allegations of wrongdoing” against Bergen that would “have a serious impact on my business, my family, or my personal reputation.”
BettyLou DeCroce has not accused Brian Bergen of anything other than bad judgment and the wrong temperament to be an effective state legislator.
It’s been 40 days since Bergen‘s threat – and he has provided no explanation for why the taxpayer-funded loan he applied for was ultimately denied. He wants to silence anyone from talking about his business failure or the reason his loan application was rescinded.
The loan application is a public record open to scrutiny. We know that the business Bergen was running at the time – a flower and plant business – ceased operations around the time the loan was to be issued. The county tried to issue him the loan. However, a check from the county that was sent to Bergen’s business address was returned. The flower business was not at the Denville address Bergen claimed it was; instead, the building had been a campaign office. The check was returned to the county. In emails to the county, Bergen expressed his ill-temper.
Brian Bergen never explained why the loan was denied. Did he know the business was going under when he applied for the loan? Why was the business address he gave the county actually a campaign headquarters for Bergen?
Business failures happen, but when the business is applying for public money, we deserve answers. We are waiting for Bergen’s answer and an explanation for why he would threaten anyone who talked about his failed effort to get a county loan.
Why did Brian Bergen feel it necessary to threaten BettyLou DeCroce?