Misappropriation of Public
Funds, Atlantic County
In December 1971, the Commission reported the details behind the
diversion of over $130,000 in public funds by the assistant county
purchasing agent between 1958 and 1970, as well as the cover-up of the
affair before and after his suicide. The County implemented several
Commission recommendations to insure greater financial accountability.
After an October 1971 public hearing (reported in the Commissionís 1971
Annual Report), two bills implementing SCI recommendations were enacted
into law. One improved the urban renewal process and the other tightened
statutory provisions to prevent a purchaser of publicly owned lands from
receiving any part of the brokerage fee on such a purchase.
In addition, the Commission referred records to prosecutorial
authorities. A Hudson County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging
a former Jersey City building inspector with extorting $1,200 from an
official of the Port Jersey Corp. and obtaining money under false
pretenses. The inspector was convicted of obtaining money under false
pretenses, fined $200 and given a six-month suspended sentence.