Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Authorities & Fee Churning Scams

I came across this press release on NJpoliticker.com regarding the Bergen County Improvement Authority.  Many Authorities, including Improvement Authorities, operate away from public view.  If it wasn't for the County Watchers, UCIA records wouldn't have been available on the internet.  While the County Watchers has sought to review legal bills, it's an impossible task when your OPRA request is answered like this

Corzine promised, but never delivered, on his promise to make State Authorities more accountable.   Today, regardless of whether an Agency, Commission or Authoritity is operating at a State or County level, they continue to operate with little to no oversight. 

The UCIA, like the BCIA, doles out millions of dollars in fees with no oversight.   A quick search reveals that those rewarded with contracts are big campaign donors. The DeCotiis law firm, the primary attorney for the UCIA, donates gobs of campagin money and the UCIA churns out staggering payments to cover the fees of the DeCotiis law firm.    

The UCIA has a feel good Annual Report posted on its website.    That report holds back information on  projects that have failed, such as the Morningstar or the South Wood Avenue Projects.  That report fails to mention the grand plans it had for Lesniak's client, The Morris Group, to develop land owned by other companies, namely ISP & Dupont.  How is it that the UCIA can enter into a Developers Agreement with a third party for land owned by other companies?   Five years of litigation later, the details of the ISP/Dupont settlement have not yet been made public.       

The Asbury Park Press/Gannett Newspaper is publishing a report it compiled shedding light on why taxes are crushing us.  That report is being published in an eight day series which can be accessed here.  I'd be surprised if the report doesn't cover what these secret patronage pit agencies add to our tax burden.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's going to take to vote these hollihans out of office? Got a few out, no thanks to NJ, but to Chris Christie ... now what can we do? Vote every last one of the dirty mother effing scoundrels out of office.