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Broad Bipartisan Effort Stops Democrats from Further Rigging New Jersey’s Elections


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on a report from leading academics on “Improving New Jersey’s Legislative Apportionment Process.”

“Last year, we raised the alarm when Democrats attempted to fast-track a constitutional amendment that would have made legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature,” said Kean (R-21). “With broad bipartisan support from outside groups and respected academics, we defeated their attempt to rig our elections. Any changes to improve how we reapportion legislative districts should focus on making the process fairer and more transparent.”

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Schools Development Authority Facing Continued Investigations

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Not since the Jim Mc Greevey era has corruption been so bad  , that the state’s Attorney General and State Commission of Investigation, “a legislative agency focused on taxpayer waste, public corruption and organized crime” have separately launched investigations into corruption at  Governor Phil Murphy’s Schools Development Authority. But the question remains , “Will we get an honest accounting or a political cover-up? “

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Murphy Administration Hiring Practices Come Under Fire Again !

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) and Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) said the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee (LSOC) should fulfill its mission of investigating the numerous questionable hires that have been publicized across the administration of Governor Phil Murphy.

“When I first called for hearings into the hiring practices of the Murphy Administration, the article revealing the allegations made against Al Alvarez had not been published yet,” said Corrado, a vice-chair of the LSOC. “Within a short period of time, however, we had several examples of people who were hired by the Governor that raised serious concerns. While our committee was formed to investigate these hirings in total, we have focused to date almost exclusively on Alvarez’s employment. It’s imperative that we not overlook our larger mission and what we seek to accomplish to protect both our valued public employees and New Jersey taxpayers.”

Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso criticized the Schools Development Authority’s firing of 26 veteran employees and hiring of 38 new people, many of whom have personal relationships with Gov. Phil Murphy’s top staff.

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Assemblywoman Schepisi Calls New Jersey ,”one of the most corrupt states in the entire country”

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Saddle River NJ, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi is calling on New Direction to release the list of its donors. She says with major legislation being debated, the Governor’s Office needs to be seen as above reproach.

“Under no circumstances should there be any perception, in one of the most corrupt states in the entire country, that people are being able to buy influence within the Governor’s Office,” she said.

Attorney Daryl Kipnis said on Facebook ,”This is what happens when career NJ politicians in both parties (mostly Democrats of course) get re-elected without trying. $2.4M spent on lobbying gets a $300M/year annual subsidy (that YOU pay for) for 1 company, who then cuts a $55K “Thank You” campaign check to the wrong political slush fund.”…/dark-money-debate-focuses-on-…/

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Hoboken Activists Rally Against Menendez Corruption

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hoboken NJ,  Calling him the disgrace of the Democratic Party, good government activists gathered Sunday, November 4, at 11:30am to rally in protest of the visit by formerly indicted Senator Menendez. Menendez who was unanimously admonished by the Senate Ethic Committee for bribery, fraud, and corruption was inexplicably chosen by the NJ Democratic Party to run for Senate. Perennial candidate for higher office, Senator Booker, who recently pressured Democratic law makers to change state law allowing him to run for re-election and president simultaneously in 2020, stumped for the embattled and morally corrupt Menendez.

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Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi plans to introduce legislation banning public officials convicted of corruption from holding jobs with state and local governments

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi said today she plans to introduce legislation banning public officials convicted of corruption from holding jobs with state and local governments.

“I believe in second chances, but not when it comes to putting corrupt politicians in positions of public trust,” said Schepisi. “This is a case about public bribery.”

Reports yesterday uncovered that the Murphy administration hired a former Passaic City councilman who served time in prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents. Marcellus Jackson was hired to work in the Department of Education with an annual salary of $70,000 over the summer.

Continue reading Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi plans to introduce legislation banning public officials convicted of corruption from holding jobs with state and local governments

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Guadagno Proposes Full-Scale Audit on New Jersey’s Finanaces

Kim Guadagno

October 24,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Kim Guadagno the Republican candidate for governor has proposed conducting a full state audit of New Jersey’s finances or lack there of  as part of her 8 point plan to right a sinking ship . Neighbors are fleeing New Jersey because of excessive taxes and the sky high cost of living, yet Trenton dose not seem to understand how dire the situation is for New Jersey families.

1)Conduct Full-Scale Audit
On day one, Kim will order a complete audit of state government finances, operations and programs to root out waste, abuse and inefficiencies in all areas of state government. Savings realized from the “Audit Trenton” initiative will be given back to the taxpayers in the form of property tax relief.

2) Support An Independently Elected Attorney General
New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that allows the governor to appoint its top law enforcement official. A Guadagno administration would support a proposal to establish an independently-elected attorney general, or commission an independent special prosector in the event the governor or lieutenant governor is under investigation. This will ensure the state’s top law enforcement agency in the state is accountable only to the people of New Jersey to root out potential corruption and abuse.

3) Use Zero-based Budgeting
The first budget proposal presented by the Guadagno administration will utilize “zero-based budgeting” techniques, forcing all state spending to be justified based upon need and cost. Kim will also nominate Cabinet officials who understand that finding savings for taxpayers ranks second only to protecting our citizens’ health, safety, and welfare.

4) Ensure Education Dollars Get To Classrooms
New Jersey taxpayers currently spend an average of $19,600 per student, but that amount varies widely district to district and a large portion never gets to the classroom. Before we can ask taxpayers to fork over another penny for schools, we must ensure that the education funding formula is fair and our tax dollars are actually being used to improve student performance. That’s why a Guadagno administration will immediately call on the State Department of Education to conduct an audit of the state’s 586 school districts to ensure we’re spending the money on improving educational outcomes for students.

4) Fix School Procurement And Construction
School district procurement rules and practices often get in the way of getting the best product at the lowest price. We must review and change these rules and develop benchmarks for districts regarding smart purchasing practices. Like collective bargaining, we should establish a uniform, statewide procurement policy and system that will allow for the leveraging of statewide bargaining power to secure the best possible price for school goods. New Jersey must also bring fairness to school construction by requiring the SDA districts to pay the same percentage on capital improvements as they do for their entire district budget.

5) Sell Surplus State Assets
A Guadagno administration would sell buildings and other assets no longer needed by the state. This would yield the two-fold benefit of producing income that could be used to reduce debt and would put these properties back on the local tax rolls to help municipalities reduce property taxes. This proposal would not affect parks, beaches or environmentally sensitive properties owned by the state.

6) Take The Politics Out Of Road Building
In New Jersey, it is no secret that it costs too much and takes too long to build roads and other infrastructure projects. Yet instead of fixing the problems, Trenton insiders created a politically-appointed panel of four to control how our transportation dollars are spent and demand everyday New Jerseyans pay more at the pump through higher gas taxes. A Guadagno administration will demand better and work to bring efficiency and common sense to road construction. This includes auditing the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), eliminating political appointees, disbanding the panel of four politically appointed bureaucrats and ensuring infrastructure projects are funded based upon need, congestion and economic impact.

7) Oppose New Long-Term Debt
New Jersey’s state debt is about twice the national average and threatens to further erode the state’s declining credit rating. As governor, Kim will close the loophole that allows New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority to take on new debt without voter approval. In fact, Kim will oppose any plan that adds additional long term debt to the state’s balance sheet without getting voter approval via a referendum.

8) Scrap Plans To Build ‘The Palace Of Versailles’
At a time when we have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, New Jersey cannot afford to turn the State House into the Palace of Versailles. Instead of spending $300 million on renovating the State House, Kim believes we should set up a charitable foundation to raise funds from private sources to make any necessary repairs to the aging building. This effort can be assisted by making charitable contributions tax deductible.

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Former Deputy Director of Public Works in North Bergen Pleads Guilty to Ordering Municipal Employees to Perform Political Errands Using Township Vehicles While Being Paid by the Township


October 23,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

North Bergen NJ,  Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that Timothy Grossi, former deputy director of the North Bergen Department of Public Works (DPW), pleaded guilty today to a charge that he ordered subordinate employees to run political errands while they were on duty and being paid by the township.

Grossi, 77, of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty today to a charge of third-degree misapplication of entrusted property and property of government before Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti in Bergen County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Grossi be sentenced to five years in state prison. However, the judge indicated on the record in court that she intends to suspend the sentence because of the condition of Grossi’s health. Grossi will be permanently barred from public office or employment in New Jersey. He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 8.

In pleading guilty, Grossi admitted that he directed on-duty DPW workers using township vehicles to go to the county clerk’s office to perform errands related to his personal political activity in the township – and unrelated to township business – including picking up and dropping off challenger badges.

Deputy Attorneys General Cynthia Vazquez and Charles Wright prosecuted Grossi and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice. Grossi is the fourth supervisor from the North Bergen DPW to plead guilty or be found guilty at trial in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau into abuses involving DPW employees being paid by North Bergen Township for work unrelated to DPW functions. On Sept. 11, 2012, former DPW Superintendent James Wiley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct, admitting he directed DPW employees to perform hundreds of hours of chores at his home and to work on campaigns while being paid by the township. He is awaiting sentencing. In 2015, former DPW supervisors Troy Bunero and Francis Longo were convicted at trial of second-degree charges of conspiracy and official misconduct for assigning municipal employees to work on election campaigns and complete personal chores or projects for them or their boss, Wiley. Bunero and Longo were each sentenced to five years in state prison.

“Grossi was one of the top officials in the North Bergen Department of Public Works, but this guilty plea will make him a convicted felon, just like the three supervisors under him who previously pled guilty or were convicted at trial,” said Attorney General Porrino. “By arrogantly abusing the power entrusted to him and exploiting public workers for political purposes, Grossi promoted a culture of corruption within his department, a culture we exposed through our investigation.”

“North Bergen residents pay taxes to fund essential government services, not to fund officials who misuse public resources for personal gain or political advantage,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to protect public assets by aggressively investigating and prosecuting corrupt officials like Grossi.”

Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free Corruption Tipline 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities confidentially. The public can also log on to the Division webpage at to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially

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Over A Dozen N.J. mayors were forced from office over criminal charges in the Last Decade

October 1,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey has a long and proud history of public corruption.  A dozen Garden State mayors who have been forced to resign over the past decade due to criminal convictions. Mostly Democrats (10) ,but a few Republicans trying to get in on the action .

Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, a Democrat, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit official misconduct for having employees with the Department of Public Works perform work for the mayor and his family members while bilking the city out of overtime. Torres follows a long line of Mayoral criminality .

Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco, a Democrat, was sentenced in April to more than two years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal bribery charge for soliciting $110,000 in bribes from developers in exchange for sending federal housing funds their way.

Passaic Mayor Samuel “Sammy” Rivera, a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2008 to extortion for accepting $5,000 in cash from an insurance brokerage firm. Rivera, who was among 11 public officials swept up in a statewide FBI sting, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Newark Mayor Sharpe James, a Democrat, was convicted in 2008 on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for helping a woman described as his mistress buy nine plots in a city redevelopment zone, among other acts of wrongdoing. James was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack, a Democrat, was sentenced in May 2014 to nearly five years in prison in connection with a $119,000 bribery scheme linked to a parking garage project operated by FBI informants.

Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo, a Democrat, was released from prison in December 2014 after serving more than 18 months in federal prison. He was sentenced to 38 months in prison for accepting $12,400 in bribes from Marliese Ljuba, a close friend and health insurance broker for the school district.

Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammaranno, a Democrat, was among 44 people swept up in Operation Bid Rig. Cammarano, who’d been in office for only 22 days before his arrest, was sentenced in August 2010 to two years in prison, and later disbarred.

Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, a Democrat, was sentenced in April 2012 to two-and-a-half years in prison after he was convicted of accepting $10,000 in cash through a middleman from Solomon Dwek, as part of Operation Bid Rig. Elwell, who resigned from his position shortly after his arrest, later lost an appeal challenging his conviction.

Northvale Mayor Paul Bazela, a Democrat and a former foreman for the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, pleaded guilty to theft in March 2016 to having his workers perform renovations at the home of the commission’s former superintendent, Kevin Keogh, while on agency time. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Guttenberg Mayor David Delle Donna, a Democrat, and his wife were each sentenced in 2008 to more than four years in prison for accepting more than $40,000 in gifts and cash campaign contributions from a local bar owner.

Of coarse Democrats don’t have all the fun ;

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, a Republican, was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud in connection with a $1.2 million farm deal. Convicted on charges of wire fraud, an illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, false statements to the IRS, aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Chesterfield Mayor Lawrence Durr, a Republican, was sentenced in April 2016 to four years probation after he admitted to filing false ethics disclosure forms that failed to disclose his financial relationship with a real estate developer. Durr was accused in an indictment of selling development rights on his farm to Renaissance Properties at a profit and then using his official positions to advance the company’s interests in Chesterfield.