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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 11, 2013 –
Union City Concerned Citizens Group, Inc. (“UCCCG”)
Contact Eric Dixon 917-696-2442
UNION CITY MAYOR BRIAN STACK RUNS FROM REPORTERS WHEN CAUGHT LYING
ABOUT NON-EXISTENT $2,875,000 GRANT FUELING UNION CITY BUDGET FRAUD;
UNION CITY CONCERNED CITIZENS GROUP REPEATS DEMAND FOR FEDERAL INVESTIGATION
UNION CITY, NJ – After embarassing public revelations and press coverage of a nonexistent $2,875,000 grant from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to financially troubled Union City, the administrations of both Union City and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have been caught lying to the news media about this budget fraud.
LIE #1. On Thursday, February 7th, Union City Chief Financial Officer David Cahill was quoted in The Jersey Journal saying the Port Authority grant “has no effect on the overall budget.” (Article available online at http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2013/....) Nonsense! This is an unrestricted grant that shows up in general revenue. If it doesn’t exist, then Union City will overspend by $2,875,000. (See Sheets 9.1 and 24b of Union City’s State Fiscal Year 2013 budget.)
LIE #2. The same day, Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack declared to the news media that the “grant is anticipated” and that the grant appears only in Union City’s “introduced budget.” (NJTV report with video available online at http://www.njtvonline.org/njtoday/video/christi...) Nonsense! The Union City budget was approved three months ago on Friday, November 9, 2012. The news media reported this as well; see the Hudson Reporter’s coverage, available online at http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_stories_hom....
Union City’s Mayor Stack and even the Governor and state agencies know they are wrong and they are hiding something. The proof?
First, “The governor wasn’t talking today” (see the NJTV report). This in itself is news! Governor Christie is a man who never met a camera he didn’t love, going back to his days as New Jersey’s United States Attorney.
Second, Stack “tried to avoid talking about [the grant] with his special guest nearby.” News media video caught Stack running away from questions! NJTV reported that “NJ Today cameras had to chase Sen. Stack down the block to get him to answer questions on the Port Authority grant.”
This fraud was perpetrated by State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and rubber stamped by the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services. The State approved Union City’s budget -- and the Port Authority grant -- even though there is no evidence that the grant ever existed. The purpose of the fraud was to cover up Mayor Stack’s reckless spending by patching a huge hole in the municipal budget.
Despite this ongoing coverup, these facts remain the same: Records obtained from Union City, the Port Authority, the Governor’s Office and other state agencies show that there is no grant application, no approval letter, no record of any correspondence between the Port Authority and Union City and no documentation of any kind that would support the existence of this phantom $2,875,000 grant. Union City’s current municipal budget is fraudulent and is short $2,875,000.
Furthermore, as we stated in our initial press release, despite being provided with this information, the State Comptroller refused to investigate the matter in November 2012. After our press release and production of documentary evidence showing the grant doesn’t exist, Governor Christie even went out of his way to praise the State Comptroller at a late Friday afternoon press conference.
UCCCG renews its call for the U.S. Attorney to step in and review this matter impartially.
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Eric Dixon 917-696-2442
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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