- Associated Press - Friday, April 6, 2018

SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) - A municipal official in a New Jersey shore town who said he would resign after police found a hypodermic needle in his vehicle has changed his mind.

Spring Lake Heights Councilman Robert Merriken is charged with possessing drug paraphernalia. But he’s maintaining his innocence, telling the Asbury Park Press that the charge was “ridiculous” and that the needle did not belong to him.

Merriken and a woman in his vehicle were both charged Thursday following a traffic stop in Neptune City.

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The 69-year-old Merriken initially told the newspaper he would resign his council post, and the town soon issued a statement announcing the resignation and the process to fill the vacancy.

But Merriken contacted the newspaper later Thursday and said he had decided not to step down.

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