A lawyer who asked for a postponement in court after the landlords failed to appear for the eviction case against a disabled tenant, told the judge that Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw and his wife, former Councilwoman Kimberly Sharrock-Shaw, are vacationing outside the country, according to Fernando Casamor.
Casamor appeared via Zoom for a trial in the eviction case, but the Shaws failed to appear.
During the 24 years that Casamor has lived there, his rent increased from $750 to $900 a month but he was sent a letter signed by Kim Shaw informing him that his rent would double to $1800, which he believes is illegal under Elizabeth’s rent control ordinance.
He also claims that he was subjected to illegal abuse that worked to get tenants to vacate two other apartments in the four-family building.
“They banged on the walls, they have a dog barking at all hours and they play games with the water,” said Casamor. “When they bought this, the Covid restrictions were in place but they forced two other tenant families out and they tried all kinds of things with me that were illegal.”
“They know when I get into the shower, because every time I get into the shower, they start flushing the toilet over and over,” said Casamor, who said he defeated the tactic by washing himself at 4 a.m.
“The first time I met him, I introduced myself and asked if he is the new neighbor and he said, ‘No. I’m the new owner’ but real rude and gruff like that,” said Casamor. “He’s supposed to be a mayor, you would think he’d be a ‘people-person’ but he is just as asshole.”
“I’m telling you, this guy’s a crook,” said Casamor. “I wanted to find out if he’s going to be punished for fraud for getting a mortgage after saying this is his primary residence.”
“The old neighbor was a Portuguese lady who lived next door had a washing machine in the basement,” said Casamor. “They came and said she could have no access to the basement, so they also took her washing machine and threw it out. She was a nice lady, who let me use it to do my laundry. Now, I have to take my stuff to a laundromat.”
“They said she couldn’t take it, and gave up,” said Casamor, of his old neighbor and another tenant who lived downstairs from his apartment.
In addition to showing that the Shaw family violated New Jersey law since becoming landlords, Casamor may have had other rights violated. Casamor said that mail addressed to Donald Shaw has been delivered and the Mayor has gone into his mailbox without permission.
Neither Donald Shaw nor Kimberly Sharrock-Shaw responded to questions about their effort to drive their disabled tenant into homelessness, just as they ducked repeated inquiries since NJTODAY documented the sale of their former residence in Roselle and the purchase of the 4-family home in Elizabeth.
“When the previous owner sold the house, they did not even tell me they were going to sell the house,” said Casamor, who has lived in the same apartment since 1998. “Now, I got to change my whole lifestyle, I have to uproot my whole life.”
“I used to own two houses and two businesses,” said Casamor, who said he gave them to his ex-wife in their divorce.
Casamor is a retired electrician who fell off a ladder five years ago and has since been diagnosed with a brain tumor in his head and a degenerated lumbar spine, but his problems really got bad after Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw bought the property where the man has lived for the past 24 years.
While he has had some ups and downs, Casamor lived in the same apartment since 1998, his rent climbing to $900 a month until he became the victim of an illegal eviction attempt, which was dismissed by the Union County Superior Court in March.
Shaw and his wife, former Roselle Councilwoman Kimberly Sharrock-Shaw, doubled Casamor’s rent to $1800, according to the tenant, who survived an eviction attempted while New Jersey’s eviction moratorium was still in effect.
New Jersey’s eviction moratorium has sunset but Union County Emergency Rental Assistance Program could allow tenants to receive up to 12 months of assistance for unpaid back rent/utility bills and three months of forthcoming assistance.
The mayor’s wife is a former Fourth Ward councilwoman who is employed as an English teacher at Rahway High School, where she earned $86,652 last year.
In addition to his municipal salary, Mayor Shaw is paid $80,580 for a low-show job at the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, which was given to him by political bosses as an incentive to operate in the interests of power brokers and party leaders.
Casamor does not know when the case will continue, but citizens who are interested should be able to observe the proceedings.
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