Re: Top Fulop allies on tape trying to steer city bid, court depositions say

Posted by BarbaraCamacho on 2017/10/12 0:32:05

Mayor Fulop Must Release the Tape

Civic JC is a non-partisan, Jersey City community-based initiative advocating for strong government practices through neighborhood information sharing and the helping to create strong discourse of progressive initiatives.  Since its founding in 2007, Civic JC’s objective has been to develop a more open, honest and transparent municipal government.  Civic JC has worked on those issues across administrations since its inception.  

Last night, Civic JC requested the Jersey City Council pass a resolution to release a tape which captured a scheme by senior officials within the Fulop Administration to subvert the Jersey City’s fair bidding process.   The following is a statement read at Wednesday night’s Council meeting by Barbara Camacho, Acting President, of Civic JC:

“Good evening Council President and members of the Council.

“My name is Barbara Camacho and I live in Greenville. Council President, I’d like to read a statement into the record and follow with a question to the Council when I conclude.

“In an unseemly reminder of the Healy Administration shenanigans, Jersey City has been in national headlines: according to the sworn testimony of two career civil service employees – former Chief of Staff, Muhammed Akil, Department Director Anthony Cruz, and city employee Shawn Thomas- schemed to circumvent the proper bidding process by influencing a member of the bid scoring committee to chose a particular consultant, contrary to procedure. A corroborating discussion of the scheme was captured in a voicemail by Akil left on Kakoleski’s work phone. After hearing the recording and speaking with the employees who objected to interference with the bidding process, Mayor Fulop deemed the conduct described so seriously offensive to the process that he ultimately cancelled the bid.

“The scheme described is a far-reaching betrayal of the public trust. Senior level employees violating procurement rules is precisely the kind of unsupervised impropriety that breeds corruption. Putting a thumb on the scale for one bidder, while ignoring the value of another has a chilling effect on future bidders. It also demoralizes the conscientious career civil service employees who just want to do the right thing.

“Government works best when its activities are well-known to the public it serves. The public has an interest in hearing what was sufficiently improper to cancel an RFP permanently but not odious enough to impose discipline. Without disclosure of the tape, how can the public be confident that the actions described under oath, are not representative of a broader lack of integrity in the bidding process?

“Civic JC requests that the Jersey City Council increase public confidence in the integrity of public bidding by adopting a resolution that urges Mayor Fulop to ensure the transparency and accountability he promised years ago by releasing the tape now.

“The question before the Council is: Will you introduce or support a resolution introduced by another Councilperson, seeking the release of the tape?”

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