City Hall scuffle breaks out between Newark employees

By Michael Anthony Adams | NJ Advance Media, for NJ.com
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on September 26, 2016

 

NEWARK — A fight broke out inside an office at Newark City Hall Monday morning between two employees, NJ Advance Media has learned.

Around 10 a.m. Monday, "a disgruntled employee" came into chief of staff Amiri "Middy" Baraka's office and became "very verbally abusive" to Baraka's secretary, said Frank Baraff, Director of Communications for the city.

The confrontation grew into a "struggle" between the two women, Baraff said.

A Newark police officer assigned to executive protection detail observed the two female employees "shoving" one another, and intervened, said Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose.

The employee, Porscha Fleming, was escorted out of the building, he said. She has been charged with simple assault, Ambrose said.

While it's still unclear what Fleming was upset about, and why she allegedly attacked Baraka's secretary, Ambrose said it stemmed from a disagreement between the two women.

It's also unclear what, if any, injuries Baraka's secretary suffered in the altercation, but Baraff said she was "OK."

"Everything has a two-way street," said Jay Jones, a family member and spokesman for Fleming. "The (secretary) did make a gesture towards her and (Fleming) acted on the gesture."

Fleming was taken to St. Michael's Medical Center for evaluation before being released without bail, Ambrose said.

As of 4:15 p.m. Monday, the secretary had not returned to her office in city hall. Middy Baraka, brother of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, could not immediately be reached for comment on the incident.

The incident remains under investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor's office.

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