a truck loaded with bricks slammed into the rear of a car on
the New Jersey Turnpike and caused a chain-reaction crash that
killed four people, including a toddler, the families of the
deceased were sued by the turnpike authority for damage to the
highway. The move horrified both the families and the public.
A turnpike spokesman called it a “stupid mistake,” and the suit
Tom Feeney, Star-Ledger, Dec. 18, 2007
- As if
billing Newark for thousands of dollars in travel wasn’t enough,
prosecutors said former Newark Mayor Sharpe James also billed
the city for pornographic movies and body lotions while in Miami.
James’ lawyer said, “What the heck does it matter if he watched
an adult movie?” As we say in The Soprano State, only in New
Jeff Whelan, Star-Ledger, Dec. 14, 2007
monitoring of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey ended Dec. 31. U.S. Attorney Chris Christie said law-breaking
has ended “at this time.” As for ethics, that “still needs substantial
improvement.” The cost of the monitoring, $8.5 million.
Tom Baldwin, Asbury Park Press, Dec. 14, 2007
- Joe Doria
was back in the news when his state Department of Community
Affairs gave all but $1.07 million of $16.3 million in special
aid to municipalities in Democratic-controlled districts. Bayonne,
where he served as mayor, got $1.3 million. DCA said politics
played no role.
Tom Hester, Star-Ledger, Dec. 12, 2007
real estate broker Anthony Spalliero pleaded guilty to paying
former Marlboro Township Mayor Matthew V. Scannapieco $100,000
in bribes for zoning approvals for home building. “With large
sums of bribe money, Spalliero bought the votes and influence
of the mayor on critical development projects that changed the
landscape of one of the state’s fastest growing municipalities,”
said U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
Bob Cullinane, Asbury Park Press, Dec. 6, 2007
attorney general Zulima Farber, who lost her job after she rushed
to the scene of a traffic stop involving her boyfriend -- the
one driving without a valid license or registration -- is back
in the public’s business. She landed a job as special counsel
to the public schools in Elizabeth, the city where she used
her connections after the incident to get the boyfriend special
service at Motor Vehicles.
Bob Ingle, Asbury Park Press, Dec. 2, 2007
- The confirmation
of New Jersey’s first comptroller in 60 years, Matthew Boxer,
was held up after Boxer went mum on his role in getting Rocco
Riccio, the brother of Gov. Corzine’s ex-girlfriend, off the
state payroll. Riccio received $15,000 from Corzine and his
personal business manager, some of it in $1,000 money orders.
Michael Rispoli, Jonathan Tamari, Asbury Park Press, Nov. 30,
Hazzard, the state’s internationally respected boxing commissioner,
was fired by the attorney general after he complained about
conditions that were putting the health of boxers at risk.
Tom Baldwin, Asbury Park Press, Nov. 27, 2007
- A federal
lawsuit accused Joe Doria, former Bayonne mayor and longtime
lawmaker now running the state Department of Community Affairs
(the agency that doles out grants) of firing parking authority
workers who helped with at ticket fixing probe. The suit charged
that when the two workers reported the misconduct to Doria,
he told them to shut up.
Bob Ingle, bobingle.blogspot.com, Nov. 26, 2007
- Gov. Corzine’s
attempt to milk the state’s toll roads for revenue could result
in tolls increasing by more than two-and-a-half times. Showing
he has no regard for those who will pay the tolls, Corzine tried
to keep a draft document about the plan – paid with $887,000
in taxpayer money – secret.
Larry Higgs, Asbury Park Press, Nov. 25, 2007
Golding, the woman Gov. Corzine gave $5,000 for jail bail, pleaded
guilty to stalking the state Democratic Party chairman’s girlfriend.
Associated Press, Nov. 16, 2007
- Jim Treffinger,
the former Essex County executive who served time for obstructing
a federal probe and putting no-show employees on the payroll,
joined Jim McGreevey in a quest for the ministry. Treffinger
enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Diane C. Walsh, Star-Ledger, Nov. 9, 2007
Kerik was indicted on federal charges that he abused his position
as New York police commissioner. Kerik’s downfall and failed
nomination for homeland security secretary stem from his connections
to two New Jersey brothers whose construction company has been
linked to the mob.
William K. Rashbaum, Maria Newman, New York Times, Nov. 9, 2007
Atlantic City Mayor Robert Levy pleaded guilty to lying about
being a Green Beret and using those lies to boost his veterans’
Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2007
- New Jersey
prosecutors accused four Jersey City judges of fixing tickets
not just for their friends but also for themselves.
Tom Baldwin, Asbury Park Press, Oct. 23, 2007
2.5 million cubic yards of contaminated materials have been
trucked to the EnCap golf resort and housing project in the
Meadowlands as the state Department of Environmental Protect
granted a series of breaks to the company, whose parent is the
politically influential Cherokee Investment Partners.
Jeff Pillets, The Record, Oct. 21, 2007
assemblyman and preacher Alfred Steele, of Paterson, pleaded
guilty to accepting a $15,500 bribe in exchange for helping
an insurance company get government business. The problem for
Steele: the company wasn’t real. It was a front for the feds.
A Baptist minister, Steele was caught in a federal sweep that
charged 11 local and state officials with bribery.
Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, Oct. 20, 2007