A new report from the state comptroller dropped on Wednesday and, surprise surprise, it disclosed findings of massive tax dollar abuses in Newark city government, building on an equally disturbing audit report from December 2013. The report alleges that Newark’s former mayor and current junior U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-Twitter) and council failed to provide adequate oversight of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation.
I’m reasonably sure this is the first you’re hearing about it… any guess as to why?
The details are blood pressure-pumping bad.
New Jersey’s comptroller cites Booker & Co.’s lax attitude as the primary reason why the notorious agency’s director was allegedly able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in risky investments, write herself $200,000 in authorized checks, and award $1 million in no-bid contracts to her ex husband and close associates.
As it turns out, Booker applied zero effort to his administration’s much-discussed efforts to “reform” water management in Newark:
In establishing the NWCDC, the City provided for a built-in oversight mechanism by ensuring its representation on the Board itself. Specifically, the NWCDC’s Articles of Incorporation and by-laws provide that the City’s mayor is an ex officio Board Trustee and also acts as its chair. As chair, the mayor has a lead role in ensuring the Board properly manages the affairs of the NWCDC, sets appropriate policies and responsibly spends taxpayer funds. Notwithstanding that role, we found that during the time period covered by this investigation then-Mayor Cory Booker did not attend any Board meetings. The then-Mayor told OSC that he is an ex officio member of numerous boards and commissions, and did not personally participate on all of them in light of time constraints. He stated that with respect to the NWCDC, he relied on the City’s Business Administrator to attend Board meetings on his behalf. However, that individual resigned from the City’s employment and the Board in May 2010 and the Mayor never designated a replacement. [Emphasis added.]
State Senator Sam Thompson (R-Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean) wants the Bridgegate committee, formally known as the “New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation,” to roll up its sleeves and dig deeper.
“This Committee is empowered to investigate any matter ‘raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power’ over the next two years,” said Senator Thompson in a press release. “Democrats vowed that this would remain a bipartisan committee. Just as other legislative committees address many different matters during a legislative session, this committee can investigate how New Jersey’s largest city has been wasting billions of dollars from taxpayers all across this state — and potentially covering up such action.”
You can click here to read Thompson’s complete letter.
The Middlesex statesman also pointed out how, despite some good faith efforts by the Christie Administration, Newark’s waste and corruption is funded by the New Jersey taxpayer.
“Today’s report is the latest unfortunate chapter in the story of persistent abuse of taxpayer dollars and negligence by the City of Newark,” Thompson continued. “Clearly, we need to conduct a thorough legislative investigation into how this city has been using some $100 million a year in state tax dollars and hundreds of millions of public money from local and federal sources. This Legislature has already established a joint legislative committee that can do the job. There are many important questions for which we need answers.”
Some of us challenged Cory Booker’s objectively pathetic mayoral record BEFORE New Jersey promoted him to the U.S. Senate.
The mainstream media didn’t care then or now.
Cory Booker is one of their “good guys.” He’s certainly not a Republican president prospect. The Tweeter-in-Chief is someone they’d like to see in the Oval Office one day. Tom Moran would gladly butt in here or anywhere else for Cory’s future.
So let’s keep talking about traffic while Booker bureaucrats flush our credit down the toilet. Sounds like a plan.