Federal Highway Administrator in New Jersey division arrested on fraud charges

Federal Highway Administrator in New Jersey division arrested on fraud charges

The feds this morning arrested the Assistant Division Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), New Jersey Division, for allegedly using a straw company to get FHWA grant funds he also oversaw as a public official, and for falsifying related federal disclosure documents, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. 

Special agents from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Inspector General (OIG), and criminal investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey took into custody Lawrence F. Cullari Jr., 42, of Tinton Falls, at his FHWA office in West Trenton.

They charged Cullari in a criminal complaint with five counts of making false statements and one count of wire fraud.

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Sources: Holley has edge in potential bid to succeed Cryan in LD 20 Assembly slot

Sources: Holley has edge in potential bid to succeed Cryan in LD 20 Assembly slot

ELIZABETH - Union County Democratic politics is poised for a shift following the death of Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich on Sunday. Following the passing of Froehlich, who had served as sheriff since 1977 and was a respected long-time law enforcement fixture in Union, state Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-20), who long fulfilled the role of a Union County undersheriff, became the acting sheriff. 

Now poised to succeed Froehlich, Cryan is poised to appear on the November ballot to run to fill the remainder of the late sheriff's term, which expires in 2016. This move by Cryan, a former state Democratic Party Chairman and a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, would obligate him to give up his 20th Legislative District Assembly seat in the event that he wins in November, setting up an internal party contest to succeed Cryan in the Legislature.

While several names have emerged as contenders for the seat, including Union County Freeholder Mohamed S. Jalloh of Union, Hillside Mayor Angela Garretson and Elizabeth Councilwoman Patricia Perkins-Auguste, sources told PolitickerNJ.com on Wednesday that one name is emerging as a potential champion in a fight to replace Cryan: Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley. 

Several Union County Democratic sources maintain that the Union County Democratic Party committee members from Elizabeth, Roselle and Hillside are now behind Holley if he wants the Assembly seat. Sources also indicated that state Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22), who also serves as the Union County Democratic chairman, also backs Holley.

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Attorney fires off election year letter to Caride to consider bill of impeachment against Donovan

Attorney fires off election year letter to Caride to consider bill of impeachment against Donovan

As this election season intensifies in bellwether Bergen County, an attorney representing a canned Bergen County employee wants a Democratic legislator to draft a bill of impeachment against County Executive Kathe Donovan. 

Robert A. Tandy of Woodcliff Lake represents plaintiff Jane Linter, whom Donovan dismissed as the director of human services, and whom the freeholder board later voted to re-instate.

According to Tandy’s letter, which he sent to Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-36) on July 21st, “In or around December 2013, Ms. Linter complained directly to Freeholder Maura DeNicola about what Plaintiff reasonably believed to be violations of the law.

“Ms. Linter advised Freeholder DeNicola that she believed the County Executive was unlawfully abusing her power and falsely charging Rudy Pastercyzk with criminal activity in an effort to remove him from his position and replace him with the Chief of Staff, Jeanne Baratta’s, life-long friend.”

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Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind Fulop and help build the Hudson County mayor. 

These two men have a history, which didn’t begin well – and they have divergent styles, one characterized by a reliance on old school loyalty and punishing attention to detail, the other transactional - which may or may not lead them to a sustained statewide partnership in the name of their home county if Fulop runs for governor.

“As the trend of urbanization continues, our economic prosperity will come to depend even more heavily on our ability to move large numbers of people in and out of urban centers quickly,” Fulop told the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, chaired by Menendez. “This means direct federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and empowering the local communities to make those investments.”

Menendez listened dutifully, approvingly from his throne of federal power.

A lot of back brawling on the streets of Jersey City led up to that blandly governmental presentation by the D.C. touring mayor.

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Colorado Dems roll out welcome mat for Christie with Bridgegate bashing Youtube ad

Colorado Dems roll out welcome mat for Christie with Bridgegate bashing Youtube ad

The Colorado Democratic Party kicked muddy snow on Gov. Chris Christie's appearance in the Rocky Mountain State today, criticizing Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez for welcoming Christie.

"Go to Colordao and see if you want to live there," Christie said on a radio show to a question about legalized marijuana. "To me it's just not the quality of life we want to have here in the State of New Jersey."

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Lesniak on support for Chivukula's potential BPU post: "I haven't decided yet"

Lesniak on support for Chivukula's potential BPU post: "I haven't decided yet"

ELIZABETH - Sources have told PolitickerNJ.com that veteran state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17) is in line for an appointment to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU). But according to Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20), three words to the wise might apply to Chivukula - not so fast.

"I haven't decided yet," said Lesniak in a Tuesday night conversation with PolitickerNJ.com. 

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FDU Poll: 55% don't know if they approve of new curriculum standards

FDU Poll: 55% don't know if they approve of new curriculum standards

While it’s been a hot issue in many states and among some segments of voters, people in New Jersey haven’t heard much about the Common Core standards for education. But, according to the most recent statewide survey of Garden State residents from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, people who have heard more about the new curriculum standards are much more likely to have misconceptions about them.

Forty-four percent of New Jersey residents say they have heard nothing at all about the Common Core, and only about one-third (32 percent) say they’ve heard “some” or “a lot” about it. Parents are more likely to have heard about them, with 20 percent of people with kids under 18 saying they’ve heard a lot about the standards, compared with just 12 percent with adult children or no kids at all.

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Morning Digest: July 23rd

Morning Digest: July 23rd

The Back Room

Christie defends himself in NH

Zapped by the DNC on his way into New Hampshire this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie defended his economic record while wooing NH voters for the second time in little more than a month, according to the Associated Press.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... Read More >

Contributors

(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

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