Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did Sharon personally profit from $.5M Teppers basement project?

Wall left untouched, debris left behind ... questions, questions, questions...

Did Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs profit personally in any way from the breathtakingly incomplete Teppers basement 'rough out'?

The question came to mind when several photos and a video of the still-secret project that were taken a couple of months aga recently came my way.

One glimpse and I could see why former Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson reneged on a pledge to then-Council President Annie McWilliams to allow the Council and the public to take a walkthrough during the Council's June 2010 retreat (see reports here, and here).

This is 'roughed out'?

... an unfinished ceiling...

Is it any surprise the management views it as a storage area?

No roughing out here...
Everyone always knew that the $460,000 grant secured by Sen. Frank Lautenberg was to 'rough out' the approximately 15,000+ square foot basement, which has been deeded to the City in perpetuity as part of the Horizons at Plainfield redevelopment project.

However, several of the photos show apparently untouched walls and ceilings and piles of construction debris evidently left behind.

Among the questions that these photos suggest need to be resolved in this $460,000 matter are --

  • The proposed size and scope of the project;
  • Plan(s) on which the work was based;
  • The bid process, including advertising;
  • Fiscal controls that were put in place for the project;
  • Quality of materials used;
  • Quality of workmanship;
  • Speed with which the money was spent;
  • Proof of fiscal oversight of expenditure of funds; and
  • Speed with which the grant funds were drawn down.
Annoyingly -- though perhaps understandably, considering the City has yet to put the space to use -- one area is used as storage space by the building's management. And I am told that jacks supporting the extra weight from the laundromat in the front of the first floor have been installed, evidently without the required permission from the City.

With confidence in the Robinson-Briggs administration's performance at such a low point, this project seems to me to demand a forensic audit in order to uncover financial misdoings, if any, and resolve outstanding questions.

But first, the Council should demand a public walkthrough at the earliest possible moment. The taxpayers deserve no less.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe..


olddoc said...

Who had the contract and what was it to for the 480K? to finish off the space?

Are you going to follow up on your questions?

Rebecca Williams said...

The contract was awarded on Wednesday, August 22—the project had a “rough inspection” on Monday, September 17. So, $460,000 was spent in THREE WEEKS—including weekends and the Labor Day holiday? This is inconceivable to me—as you look at the photographs, I am sure that you, too, will find this hard to imagine.

The basement looks like a wasteland. I have all (at least, that is what I am told) the documents related to this $462,000 project—as well as photos and video. I have been flagging the questionable issues in the paperwork regarding how this money was spent, and will be forwarding my questions to the appropriate authorities in the federal government.


Anonymous said...

A $462,000 grant to be exact. Doesn't look like much was spent on the job. There was no competitive bidding from my recollection just assignment of a contract at the last minute as the deadline loomed. The contractor probably submitted one big invoice and never did the bulk of the work.
This was a federal grant secured by Frank Lautenberg. The feds should be notified to investigate this.

Alan Goldstein said...

With all the real misdeeds of the Robinson-Briggs administration, why speculate about something you have no particular evidence for? But if you want to know who personally profited from the Teppers project, you need look no further than our illustrious political boss, Assemblyman Green, who has received $13,500 in campaign loot from Larry Regan, the developer.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I thought Solid Rock construction got paid a lot of money to finish the basement. Solid Rock A/K/A George Lattimore friend of GG & SRB also gives to PAY TO PLAY !

Anonymous said...

So what do we do?

Anonymous said...

Sharon is notorious for taking grant monies from accounts and putting the money to use on her own "projects". This is a fact!

Just because the grants are not utilized in one year "Madame Dishonorable" does not mean YOU can take cash awards put it into the general fund and use it for what you wish.

There is a paper trail! And you have gotten caught before!

Anonymous said...

Can the City go after the contractor for taking money and not finishing the basement? The red flags should go up and let everyone know the name of the construction company who did this so NO one else gets ripped off!

Anonymous said...

The people involved in this project should all have to pay to clean up this mess and then go to jail for stealing funds from the city.

Anonymous said...

How did you get pictures of the secret liar?