TRENTON, N.J. – If there’s anything worse than government largess, Save Jerseyans, it’s when the waste is compounded by fraud.
Recently, following an investigative report by News 12’s Walt Kane, the public learned that the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office had passed on pursuing a whistleblower’s reports of witnessed fraud at the Mercer County agency charged with overseeing administration of the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). The AG decided there was “insufficient evidence of a crime” and closed the case.
It now looks like the AG’s conclusion was not accurate.
A 2016 report from New Jersey’s state comptroller corroborates the whistleblower’s allegations.
What is more, a brand new spring 2019 report from New Jersey’s state auditor added critical details: LIHEAP doled out $3 million to individuals who might have underreported income.
According to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website, “The Home Energy Assistance Program helps very low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance within the Home Energy Assistance Program.”
Assemblymen Jay Webber (R-26) and Hal Wirths (R-24) have introduced a pair of bills (A2543 and A2540) which would (1) require income verification by LIHEAP applicants and (2) require confirmation that the purported applicants aren’t deceased.
“How much evidence do we need before we do something to stop the DCA from awarding millions of dollars to people who underreported their income?” said Wirths.
The N.J. AG has devoted most of its energy in recent months to developing a Sanctuary State directive and suing the Trump Administration over a variety of issues.
Here’s the original report from Walt Kane: