While the state continues to close the vice around embattled engineering firm Birdsall Services group and its current and former executives, one question is making the whisper rounds: Where did the hundreds of thousands of campaign contributions the firm is alleged to have sent to state politicians go?
According to an email obtained by PolitickerNJ, the firm was co-host of a fundraiser for Gov. Chris Christie during Christie's 2009 run for office. The firm co-hosted the fundraiser for the then gubernatorial candidate on Sept. 22, 2009 and partnered with lawfirm Giordano, Halleran and Ciesla, according to the email from former executive Phil Angarone, who pleaded guilty in November to tampering with public records.
A spokesman for Giordano Halleran confirmed via email that the two firms acted as co-hosts, however a spokesman for Christie said the campaign has no record that Birdsall was a part of the event.
"The campaign has no record that Birdsall had anything to do with the fundraiser," said campaign spokesman Mike DuHaime. "We don't have a record of any donations from anyone working at Birdsall. I could send an email saying I won the Stanley Cup, that doesn't make it true."
But the email from Angarone to 33 firm executives makes clear that all recipients are expected to do their part.
"BSG is pleased to announce our participation in a Chris Christie for Governor fundraiser," The email from Angarone read. "BSG is co-sponsoring the fundraiser with the law firm of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. An invitation is attached. Please note the time has changed from what was originally scheduled. It is now 6:00pm. This is a very important event for the firm so we are hoping that everyone will be able to attend."
The fundraiser took place at Bamm Hollow Country Club in Lincroft and according to the invitation, the cost was $300 per head.
ELEC records show about $80,000 in donations received on Sept. 22, 2009, including several $300 checks from Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C., and other checks for as little as $50, but nothing from anyone listed as working for Birdsall.
The $300 cost of the fundraiser is below the threshold for reporting the name of a donor, but DuHaime said Christie reported every donation in 2009 whether it broke the $300 threshold or not, so if ELEC doesn't show it, the donation was not received, he said.
At least one employee of the firm claims to have attended the event and brought several of Birdsall's vendors with him.
According to the indictments of Angarone and other corporate executives including former President Howard Birdsall, the firm for years was engaged in a practice of having employees donate to specific candidates and then reimbursing them in the form of a bonus. According to prosecutors the intent was to circumvent pay to play laws.
According to records filed with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, Birdsall has reaped more than $86 million in revenue on public contracts since 2008. The firm has dozens of contracts with local county and state agencies and is among the largest public works contractors in the state.
With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why?Read More >
Guv prospects Fulop and Sweeney add voices to Silva, Stack and striking 1199 SEIU workers UNION CITY – They tried out their blue collar tough guy tonsils today in front of a purple-shirted crowd of striking healthcare workers – two of three as-yet-undeclared Democratic candidates for governor: Jersey City...
By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor. Not only is there no current legal... Read More >
“We’re going to hold the line until hell freezes over, and when hell freezes over, we’re going to hold the line on ice skates." - Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-31), at yesterday's SEIU 1199 rally.- PolitickerNJ
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.