The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The stinging difference between Plainfield and Trenton


Envelopes of cash, a time-honored method.

Several Plainfield Today readers who have been following the corruption saga involving Trenton Mayor Tony Mack asked  after his arrest yesterday (see stories here -- Ledger, PolNJ, Courier) why there has been no comparable FBI interest in alleged corruption in Plainfield.

The answer is that we don't know if the FBI has a similar interest in Plainfield ... yet.


Certainly, suspicions of wasteful and fraudulent expenditures go all the way back to Mayor Robinson-Briggs' first term, especially the QuadTech information technology deal -- in which over $153,000 was spent ($36,000 without Council knowledge or approval), there were questions about 'deliverables', and evidence of an illicit notarization suggesting the bid had been changed after submission -- (see my series of posts from 2007 in the right-hand column
here).

More recently, there have been stories circulating in which the Recreation Division figures large -- including the alleged diversion of funds away from the City coffers by a scheme involving the soccer field at Rushmore Playground (see my posts
here and here) and a golf-related event in which participants were said to be offered the choice of making checks personally payable to a public official.

The difference between Plainfield and Trenton is a 'stinging' one, as it has become clear that Mayor Mack was tripped up through an elaborate 'sting' operation that took place over a period of time, with many meetings and several exchanges of cash.


This also involved people wearing 'wires'.


Though the buzz in the street in early 2011 was that the FBI was conducting 'interviews' in Plainfield (see my post
here), nothing has come to fruition yet -- suggestions were they were possibly interested in ARRA money that went to The Incubator though unqualified to operate a jobs program, or to a possible ripoff in the sheetrocking of Tepper's basement paid for with a grant secured by Sen. Lautenberg that was about to be lost, or to the WBLS matter.

Though there were 'interviews', I did not hear anything about Plainfield folks wearing wires (as they had years before, when there was said to be an FBI investigation of the administration of Mayor Mark Fury -- see my post
here).

The thing to remember about a successful 'sting' operation, though, is that you don't know about the sting until the arrests are made and the story hits the papers.


So, who knows?


Maybe the FBI will yet hatch a Plainfield story.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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4 comments:

Bob said...

It's good to know that there is still hope for justice in Plainfield and the Shady Sharonda gang may still pay for their poor governance and deals behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

Last in the county, last in the state, last in the hearts of our countrymen.

Anonymous said...

Dan you left out in the tax office the cash that was stolen from there. We need the FBI in here, I bet you one ting for sure there will be several people leaving in handcuffs

Dottie Gutenkauf said...

All this started after Sharon was elected? Nothing like this ever happened before in Plainfield? C'mon..get real! You must be new to the Queen City, I guess.