Jump to content

PVSC cuts


Guest BlueTideBacker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Three top-level Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners officials are arrested, charged with misconduct

Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 12:15 PM Updated: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 2:20 PM

By Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger

Passaic County Sheriff's OfficeKevin Keogh, 45; Anthony Ardis, 56; and Chester Mazza, 69, officials at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, were charged with misconduct.

Three top-level officials at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners were arrested at work this morning, charged with official misconduct.

The three were charged by complaint of using subordinate employees to complete repairs or improvements at their homes while those workers were on the clock, during their regular work shifts for the PVSC.

Charged were Anthony Ardis, 56, of Paterson, a former congressional aide and one-time PVSC commissioner who is the highest paid employee on the Passaic Valley payroll; Kevin Keogh, 45, a former West Orange councilman and superintendent of special services; and Chester Mazza, 69, of Totowa, a retired New Jersey State Trooper who serves as assistant superintendent of special services at the sewer authority.

“These defendants allegedly used their supervisory positions at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission to require subordinates to complete home improvements for them while on the job for this public agency,” said Attorney General Paula Dow. “We have zero tolerance for officials who unlawfully use their public positions for personal gain.”

All were taken to the Passaic County Jail, and were expected to be released on $75,000 bail.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

• Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners employees making more than $100K have salaries cut

• Jersey City pol booted from Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners says he would have paid for Florida trip

• Political contributions from workers at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners exceed $100K

• Two more members of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners resign

• Four members of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners to resign

• Jersey City department director and Harrison official bow to Christie and call it quits as Passaic Valley Sewerage commissioners

• Records reveal Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission a gold mine for insiders

The criminal charges are just the latest hit on the troubled public authority, following revelations of widespread abuse, sweetheart deals and unchecked patronage detailed in a series of stories in The Star-Ledger.

Passaic Valley, with a $161 million budget, serves more than 1.3 million people, handling the sewage of 48 communities in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex counties.

Last week, Gov. Chris Christie fired six of the commission’s seven board members, accusing them of using the agency as their own private piggy bank. And earlier this week, the PVSC’s new executive director, Wayne Forrest, hired in July at the governor’s behest, slashed the salaries of everyone making over $100,000 and imposed new ethics rules banning most political activity.

Ardis was making over $220,000 before recently taking a voluntary salary cut. He also had an agency issued Ford Expedition that he drove home at night.

He had been the former district director for Rep. William Pascrell (D-Passaic) when he was appointed as a PVSC commissioner in 2002. He was subsequently hired three years by his fellow board members as director of management services and clerk to the board. Additionally, Ardis also served as the commission’s ethics officer.

Keogh, who made $186,201 as superintendent of special services. A former West Orange councilman who now lives in Roseland, Keogh was first hired as a safety inspector at a salary of $48,633 in 1999. He, too, had a PVSC car at his disposal — a 2009 Dodge Durango.

Mazza was the assistant superintendent of special services, whose $127,276 salary more than doubled in the past ten years. Mazza also had a Dodge Durango assigned to him for his own use.

The Star-Ledger first reported on Sunday that several PVSC officials were under investigation for improvement work done at their homes by carpenters employed at the sewage treatment plant. The work was allegedly done using PVSC materials and supplies, while the employees were on the clock, and included the building of new kitchen cabinets.

The newspaper also reported that the attorney general is investigating whether employees were pressured to contribute to political campaigns out of fear of losing their jobs.

Over the years, PVSC employees and commissioners have given more than $100,000 in contributions to elected officials — both Democratic and Republican, according to election finance reports.

According to the criminal complaint, all three had PVSC workers do home improvements on their homes, or in the case of Ardis, at the homes of his mother and a girlfriend, during hours that the employees were on the job. Investigators said the workers used PVSC vehicles, equipment and tools to travel to the homes and complete the home improvements. They were not paid for any of the work, authorities said.

The work at Ardis’ house included the tear down of wall board in a garage, installation of wood paneling and repairs around the house. Keogh allegedly had employees install replacement windows at his home in Roseland and install new kitchen cabinet doors that were fabricated at the woodshop at PVSC, Mazza had workers install a roof vent or fan in the roof of his home and repair an outside wall, while on their regular shifts for the PVSC.

The charges of second-degree official misconduct carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

© 2011 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Public Information

Christie today cut the salaries of every PVSC employee making over 100K back to 2009 levels. Way to go Governor !!

This is public information for year 2009 available on the data universe page of the Asbury Park Press (app.com):

MCDONOUGH RAYMOND J PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $108,008 2 $110,508 Public Employees Retirement System

PETTIGREW ARTHUR PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $97,988 1 $97,988 Public Employees Retirement System

BENNETT LAURENCE M PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $97,988 3 $102,488 Public Employees Retirement System

MANDAGLIO ROCCO PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $67,489 1 $67,489 Public Employees Retirement System

VILLALTA VICTOR PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $61,694 1 $61,694 Public Employees Retirement System

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Top financial officer of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners resigns, 5 employees are fired

Published: Wednesday, February 02, 2011, 9:45 PM

By Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger

Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-LedgerKenneth Pengitore, former PVSC CFO.

NEWARK — In the latest turmoil to hit the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners, the agency’s chief financial officer resigned today and five other employees — including the wife and brother of a former commissioner — were fired, officials said.

At the same time, the State Police were called in to take over security at the agency’s facility in Newark. The move came after the discovery of a small hole drilled into the office of the executive director, allowing anyone to eavesdrop from a storeroom below, officials said.

The resignation and terminations followed the arrests Tuesday of three top-level executives charged by the Attorney General’s Office with official misconduct in connection with improvements and repair work allegedly done at their homes by Passaic Valley employees who were supposed to be on the job.

"These actions are necessary to restore public trust and accountability to the agency," said Wayne Forrest, the executive director of the agency, who took charge last July.

Passaic Valley, which treats the sewage of more than 1.3 million people in Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties, has been all but torn apart in recent weeks after a series of stories in The Star-Ledger documenting the hiring of wives, brothers, in-laws and children; special-interest contracts; and the hiring of politically connected officials at six-figure salaries.

Forrest late today said he had accepted the resignation of Kenneth Pengitore, who quit his $163,869-a-year job without explanation.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

• Three officials at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners are accused of misuse of public resources

• Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners employees making more than $100K have salaries cut

• Jersey City pol booted from Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners says he would have paid for Florida trip

• Political contributions from workers at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners exceed $100K

• Two more members of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners resign

• Four members of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners to resign

• Jersey City department director and Harrison official bow to Christie and call it quits as Passaic Valley Sewerage commissioners

• Records reveal Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission a gold mine for insiders

Pengitore — a Passaic County Republican and former college football star who played in the World Football League — had been the mayor of Haledon and a PVSC commissioner himself when he was tapped by his fellow board members to become CFO. While still a commissioner, Pengitore secured jobs for his son, daughter and daughter-in-law, all of whom remain on the PVSC payroll.

Officials said those terminated today included the wife and brother of former Hudson County commissioner Carl Czaplicki — who was forced to quit last week after Gov. Chris Christie demanded the resignations of six of seven PVSC board members after the disclosures in The Star-Ledger.

Czaplicki — who also serves as director of the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce — confirmed in a letter to the governor that he helped find jobs for both after he became a commissioner.

Vanessa Czaplicki was a multimedia technician being paid $70,676 a year. John Czaplicki was getting nearly $90,000 a year as a liquid waste acceptance specialist, according to payroll records.

Also fired were Kevin Bolan, an $82,500-a-year account clerk; Kevin Holland, an $81,300 EMS coordinator; and Maureen Critchley, an administrative clerk who was paid $66,300. The names of all five were disclosed in response to a request under the Open Public Records Act.

Four of those fired today worked for two of the men criminally charged on Tuesday, Forrest said. Those arrested were Anthony Ardis, 56, of Paterson, a former congressional aide and one-time PVSC commissioner who served as the agency’s ethics officer; Kevin Keogh, 45, a former West Orange Democratic councilman and superintendent of special services at the agency; and Chester Mazza, 69, of Totowa, a retired New Jersey state trooper who served as assistant superintendent under Keogh.

All three were terminated after their arrests by detectives from the criminal division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Aristide Econompoulos/The Star-LedgerCommissioner William F. Flynn, left, and Wayne Forrest, the executive director for PVSC listen to Anthony J. Luna, the chairman of PVSC with Carl Czaplicki Jr., the vice chairman of PVS and commissioners CFrank Calandriello and Kenneth Lucianin, right, during a public meeting. The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners is an obscure agency whose payroll is swollen with the friends and family of those with political clout.

Forrest said that, effective immediately, the State Police will be responsible for overseeing and evaluating security at PVSC’s facility in Newark.

"I asked for their assistance to assess the security here," he said. The State Police will supervise all duties associated with security and review the qualifications of the current PVSC in-house security officers, along with assessing the physical security of the facility, he said.

Forest said he would review the State Police findings and work with the Department of Homeland Security to determine if security changes need to be made.

Any faith Forrest may have had in PVSC’s security system may have been lost after the small hole was recently found in the floor of his office, allowing anyone to eavesdrop on conversations inside.

"We are continuing our efforts for a reorganization of the agency and will be looking at all aspects of its operations," Forrest said. "It is my intention for a comprehensive review of every function of this agency."

Earlier this week, Forrest imposed a new ethics code on his staff banning political activity, and slashed the pay of more than 80 top-salaried individuals making more than $100,000.

He said with those cuts, the arrests and terminations, the agency’s salary budget has already been cut $1.4 million.

© 2011 NJ.com. All rights reserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The domino effect is in full swing at PVSC. The family members of some people who resigned or arrested have already lost their jobs. Indictments and arrests are coming very soon to the resigned commissioners including Harrison's little man who got tossed. Losing 2 jobs and getting arrested for prison terms of 5 to 10 years is a bad start for Powell this year and the people he got jobs for are coming out of his mouth like a fountain so he can try for a less severe sentence. Sorry Ray, I think your 15 year adventure is going to end up in the crapper along with you and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is public information for year 2009 available on the data universe page of the Asbury Park Press (app.com):

MCDONOUGH RAYMOND J PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $108,008 2 $110,508 Public Employees Retirement System

PETTIGREW ARTHUR PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $97,988 1 $97,988 Public Employees Retirement System

BENNETT LAURENCE M PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $97,988 3 $102,488 Public Employees Retirement System

MANDAGLIO ROCCO PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $67,489 1 $67,489 Public Employees Retirement System

VILLALTA VICTOR PASSAIC VALLEY SEWERAGE COMM $61,694 1 $61,694 Public Employees Retirement System

talk about personal gain, John Doran PVSC salary = $********* what trade is he in?

My brother the councilman/superintendent of Harrison School Dristrict? Can you say ************

Edited by KOTW
Content. Amount Does Not Match Public Record.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The key here is the Public Employees Retirement System. For years as, Mayor and Councilman, McDonough and other members of the council received a stipend of about a thousand dollars a year for their service. The key here is that they were also in the Public Employees Retirement System. Because of their small stipend, the contributions into the system were minimal. However, your retirement is based on your highest three years of service. Thus the Job at Passaic Valley, which means his retirement is based on $106,000, although he only paid into the system based on that amount for three years. This is in part why the system is broken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Tax and Spend

The same type of investigation is coming to small towns in Hudson County. I will call and write until someone takes a look at these uneducated slobs who work in this town. 100K for an admin asst. my a@@. You are next sweety!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about Villalta's Son, Doran's Brother, Fife's Girlfriend, Russomano's Cousin and a host of many many others who got their jobs ******* ********** *****. Just has to stop.

Edited by KOTW
Content.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Guest*******

Christie today cut the salaries of every PVSC employee making over 100K back to 2009 levels. Way to go Governor !!

It's about time, There is alot of Shit that needs to come out of the place...Kiss Politicians ass Get a job working in the Shit Hole...The closer to the Family You are the better The Pay....Come on Christie....Keep on going after them.....They are all in cohoots with each other, the only way to get in there is Who You Know or Who You Blow!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...