By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net
Small cities may disappear under the radar of Federal investigations as in New Jersey where places like Newark provide plenty to do for the FBI. But in Orange, NJ, a small (2 1/2 square mile) Essex County city with a population of 30,000, locals have been concerned about financial irregularities for some time.
In 2007, the mayor of that city went to jail. Until recently, the current mayor of Orange thought everything was just fine, but after a quiet 3 month Federal evaluation and then a raid by the Feds on January 11, the situation has exploded:
Quote from NJ News out of Montclair State University: “An investigation by NJ Advance Media has found that, for at least five years, a small group of political operators “has left behind a trail of financial problems in Orange, a city of about 30,000 where playing fast and loose with taxpayer funds appears to be the norm.”
Quote from NJ.com: “The three-month review – including hundreds of pages of city and court records, as well as interviews with current and former city officials – found nearly every city department has been cited since 2011 for violating some of the most basic spending rules.”
We received word about this situation a few days ago from Blogfinger Citizen Reporter Tom C. who sent us the link from NJ.com. (below)
Tom said that he was forwarding the article because:
“This is of interest to BF for 2 reasons related to ongoing concerns about Neptune Township and OG…
“1) Grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence – sometimes its worse.
“2) If it ever gets really bad in our small city, it’s good to know the FBI is ready to charge in and punish the guilty.
Blogfinger has been reporting on irregularities in how the Neptune Township government functions, especially in the areas of land use management and adherence to the NJ Land Use Laws. We have found reasons to be concerned.
Tom is correct that “it’s good to know” that Federal law enforcement sometimes takes a close look at how local governments do their jobs.