O’Scanlon: Red Light Camera Corruption Warrants Investigations By Fishman, Wisniewski

declan-oscanlon-budgetAssemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) said today that he is asking U.S Attorney Paul Fishman to open criminal investigations into the municipal clients of Redflex Traffic Systems, an Arizona based red light camera company, due to legal claims by a former executive that the company routinely bribed municipal officials in 13 states, including New Jersey, in order to obtain the lucrative contracts to operate camera systems that issue summonses for red light infractions.

Additionally, O’Scanlon is writing to Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski to ask that the committee open an investigation into New Jersey’s red light camera program in light of the recent bribery allegations and scientific proof commissioned by O’Scanlon that red light cameras are a detriment to public safety that are rigged to cheat motorists.

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Posted: February 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Declan O'Scanlon, NJ DOT, NJ State Legislature, Paul Fishman, Public Corruption, U.S. Attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Strange Justice

Two former public servants were in Judge Thomas F. Scully’s courtroom this morning to be sentenced for crimes to which they had negotiated plea bargains.

The courtroom was crowded for former Eatontown detective Philip Emanuelle’s sentencing.  On one side of the gallery were Emanuelle’s wife, and many supporters.  On the other side was the 25 year old woman who said she was raped by Emanuelle while he was armed, the woman’s family and many supporters.   The tearful and tragic emotion in the room was raw.

Emanuelle, 33, of Brick Township, served in the Eatontown Police Department for eight years.  He was charged with one count of Sexual Assault, two counts of Official Misconduct, a count of third degree Criminal Coercion and a fourth degree count of Tampering with Physical Evidence.

The Sexual Assault charge and the Official Misconduct charges were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.  He was sentenced to five years probation, the loss of his job, and prohibited from public employment for life for the Criminal Coercion and the Tampering with Physical Evidence charges.  Emanuelle left the courthouse with his family and friends.

A different and smaller crowd was in the courtroom a short while later.  There were no tears shed by former Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham or his family. Burham quoted Kipling’s The Road Less Traveled, while pleading with Scully to give him a lesser sentence than the one to which he had already agreed to serve.

Burnham, who presided over Brookdale for more than two decades, pled guilty to stealing roughly $44,000 from Monmouth County’s community college;  $24,000 in charges for personal expenses to the college’s credit cards over an 8 year period and $20,000 in tuition reimbursement for his son that had already been paid for by the federal government.   He was sentenced to five years in State Prison with no eligibility for parole for the first two years. Burnham was taken into custody after sentencing.

Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor, Christopher J. Gramiccioni, described Burnhman as “a king who ruled Brookdale with an iron fist,” a greedy arrogant man compensated very generously with a pay package worth over $300,000 per year who still betrayed the public trust by stealing $44,000.

In contrast, Emmanuelle’s victim graphically described being forcibly raped after she declined to perform oral sex on the detective who was still wearing his gun during the act.  She said another victim had come forth.  Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Schweers told Scully that his office did not believe they had sufficient evidence to prosecute Emanuelle for the other woman’s allegations.

The victim asked Scully to disregard the plea bargain that she agreed to and send Emanuelle to prison.

Scully told Emanuelle that his actions were “utterly hideous.”  The judge repeatedly expressed his shock at the high level of support Emanuelle was receiving from his wife, family and friends. Then Scully gave Emanuelle a longer probationary term than callled for in the plea agreement.

Burnham went to jail today.  Emmanuelle went home.

The fact that these two sentencing hearings occurred back to back is legally irrelevant. While they occurred moments apart, they seemed like alternate realities playing out on the same stage after a brief intermission.

Each case was probably disposed of justly on its own merits.   But viewed together, back to back, by a layman, it seemed that the cop got away with rape while the college president went to jail for a relatively minor infraction.  Burnham’s infraction seemed very minor compared to Emanuelle’s crime. Yet Burnham’s next five years will be much harsher than Emanuelle’s.

Posted: November 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Brookdale Community College, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Court, Monmouth County Prosecutor, Peter Burnham, Philip Emmanuelle, Public Corruption | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Pay to pay investigation probes Birdsall Engineering

The State Attorney General’s office executed search warrants on Birdsall Services Group’s Eatontown office yesterday, according to reports in Politickernj and The Asbury Park Press.

Politickernj cites a source saying that the investigation is into campaign contributions, including the Middlesex County PACS first exposed by Harold Kane writing for MMM in September of 2011.  Politickernj is erroneously claiming credit for first exposing the activities of the Middlesex County PACs and their donors.

Birdsall Services is cooperating with the investigation, according to The Asbury Park Press account.

Posted: May 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Harold V. Kane, Pay-to-play, Public Corruption | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Pay to pay investigation probes Birdsall Engineering

Crony Capitalists: Handlin lets them have it, and gives you the tools to do them same

crony-capitialists-handlin“If you want to survive in this business, keep your mouth shut.”

That was the first piece of advice I got as a newly elected member of my county’s governing board in the 1990s. I was an idealistic political neophyte. My self-appointed mentor was a jaded party boss, one of the longest-serving political strongmen in the state. To me, accountability was key to integrity. But among his sycophants and hangers-on, this was a silly notion for suckers, fools or wimps.

Assemlywoman Amy Handlin in no sycophant or hanger-on.  Nor is she a sucker, fool or wimp.

In her hard hitting ebook published by HarperCollins, Handlin tells of her encounters with Monmouth County and New Jersey “Crony Capitalists”, and gives Tea Party members and other citizen activists and blueprint on how to fight corruption at the lowest levels of government.

The essay includes tales of Hanlin’s career as a Middletown committeewoman, Monmouth County Freeholder, Assemblywoman, as well as references to corrupt practices throughout the nation.

Crony Capitalist in Out Backyards: Who they are, What they do, and How to fight back is a must read for every citizen who wants to actually do something, and not just complain, about the wasteful and corrupt practices in government.

It’s only 30 pages and it only costs $1.99.  You can buy it here or here.

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you’ll recognise some of the characters in Handlin’s essay.

Posted: January 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Public Corruption, Reform Agenda | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Spicuzzo Faces Corruption Charges

By Art Gallagher

Middlesex County Democratic Chairman and former Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo turned himself into the State Police this morning to face charges of bribery and official misconduct, according to multiple news reports.

It is important to note that these are State charges.  New Jersey U.S Attorney Paul Fishman doesn’t think their is a culture of public corruption in New Jersey.

Posted: March 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Public Corruption | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »