Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More DeCotiis Dirtbag Skeeve Connections

The Union County Improvement Authority's darling DeCotiis law firm, and more specifically, Michael DeCotiis, is cited as playing a role in the latest Soprano State episode, entitled "Investigation of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor" prepared by the State of New York, Office of the Inspector General.

The report indicates key findings of conflicts, abuses, misconduct, incompetency and worse against former Waterfront General Counsel Jon Deutsch, a former Union County Prosecutor, and former NJ Waterfront Commissioner Michael Madonna, who, until September 1, 2008, was simultaneously employed as a detective in the Borough of Oakland and between 2001 and 2008, Madonna served both as commissioner of the Waterfront Commission and president of the New Jersey State PBA.

Although the NJ Attorney General's Office and Inspector General cooperated in the investigation, so far, no report or findings have been issued by the NJ Attorney General's Office or Inspector General nor has anyone been indicted.

According to one section of the Report entitled, "General Counsel Deutsch Obtained the Position through Political Influence", Michael DeCotiis, then-Chief Counsel to New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, recommended Deutsch for the position. In a letter addressed to Madonna, DeCotiis wrote that he personally interviewed Deutsch and found that he was 'uniquely qualified to be General Counsel.' Decotiis neglected to reveal that he and Deutsch had a familiar relationship."

Some other findings according to the Report:

"Former General Counsel Jon Deutsch used his position at the Waterfront Commission to improperly assist others despite obvious conflicts of interest."

"In one particularly egregious instance, former General Counsel Jon Deutsch fashioned a scheme to allow Frank Cardaci, a convicted felon, to place his warehouse in his wife’s name and continue to operate uninterrupted in direct violation of the Waterfront Commission Act." (Michael DeCotiis represented Cardaci)

"Deutsch had a series of violations which involved his relationship with Al Cernadas, Jr., Deutsch’s former co-worker and friend. Deutsch conducted the questioning of Cernadas, Jr.’s father during an official investigation, leaked non-public information to him, and was inappropriately involved in a police investigation for a friend of the Cernadas family."

It is becoming more than troubling that the UCIA employs the DeCotiis law firm and relies almost exclusively on the judgment and advice of this firm. Not a comforting thought. Linden taxpayers are footing substantial costs for three failed UCIA projects. Freeholder Dan Sullivan basically admitted that Charlotte DeFilippo, Executive Director of the UCIA, answers to no one. The amount of legal bills paid by the UCIA to the DeCotiis law firm are staggering. There appears to be no oversight of the UICA.

We learned another sleazy character, Leroy Robinson, was sentenced last month in connection with his guilty plea to money laundering. It's alleged that Robinson has close ties to Eric Wisler, senior partner at the DeCotiis law firm, a key Encap attorney. Robinson was steered an $8 million no-bid contract by Wisler in connection with the Encap project.

It was reported a while back in The Auditor section of the Star Ledger that Assemblyman/State Democratic Chair/Union County Undersheriff, Joe Cryan, returned campaign donation money to the DeCotiis law firm. Why? Cryan's former partner in the Camelot Title Agency, Charlotte DeFilippo apparently thinks the world of the DeCottis law firm and pays them very well.

If you have the stomach and time, read the sleazy Waterfront Commission report here:

To read about Encap's alleged mob ties, see here:


Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that no matter how bad the performance of a pay-to-play attorney, the contracts just keep coming as long as the campaign contributions keep flowing in. Wasn't't the DeCotiis law firm just awarded a contract by NJ transit in connection with the rail line to no where? NJ & Your Tax Dollars: Going Down Every Rat Hole Imaginable.

just ed said...

Man these guys are dirty

just ed said...

big guy going down today citizens voice

NFS said...

The feds do an excellent job.

NFS said...

To anon: Former Linden Mayor Werkmeister suggested that somene ought to be appointed by council or the council president to attend freeholder meetings which is a good idea. Someone also should be appointed to attend UCIA meetings as well. Someone should also get a hold of those DeCotiis bills for review. Obviously that person cannot be a City attorney either. Why should Linden taxpayers be footing those outrageous bills with no oversight?

just ed said...

I will try to send more your way god knows you need them

Anonymous said...

DeCotiis seems to have his hands in everything that's politically connected and taxpayer funded.