2016 Budget (2) Authority Shenanigans

The Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) and the Union County Utilities Authority (UCUA) operate independently of Union County (in theory) primarily to allow donors to county political campaigns to be repaid through contracts with those Authorities.  DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP (DeCotiis) has gotten over $12 million in fees from the UCIA since 2004 and about half of the $2.8 million in total legal fees from the UCUA since 2007*.

To get that money, individual lawyers from DeCotiis have made campaign donations totaling $186,000 since 2009 that went either directly or through intermediaries to freeholder campaigns. Over that time money has been going in and out of the county budget to and from those Authorities for the primary purpose of enriching those lawyers and other ‘professionals’ who have been serving themselves much more than county taxpayers.

This spreadsheet of items from county budgets going back to 2011 shows ‘Aid’ to the UCIA totaling $2,660,245.  Considering the overhead involved in getting a project done through the UCIA, only the county and controlled municipalities (once Linden and now Roselle) do projects through the UCIA so this ‘aid’ is necessary to pay the bills.  Plus there is that bond default from the solar panel fiasco that DeCotiis lawyers pushed and will be costing county taxpayers millions of dollars over the next few years..

The $2 million that the UCUA has been shifting to the county is part of a 2011 debt refinancing deal that Covanta snookered the UCUA into and which blew up this year leaving the UCUA scrambling for cash.  Their latest gambit, passed this month, is a Cooperative Pricing Agreement with the county which will wind up operating as a subsidy to the UCUA  without having to put an ‘Aid to UCUA’ line item in the budget.  Don’t be surprised if the first thing the county and the UCUA cooperate on is paying legal fees.

.

.

.

* UCUA legal fees were taken from available Approved Bills listings downloaded from the UCUA website and there were several months either missing or with a bad pdf so the totals are understated.  For those who may be interested, these bills included the legal fees for the Sullivan Stipend Scandal which came to $120,380.49.

Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brian P Keane on April 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    You forgotten about the Ex County Managers privatization of Printing Facility Royal Printing in Hudson Cty West New York NJ along with the Linda Stenders husbands so called SVO printing located on a one room office Rt 47 Rockaway NJ
    Total cost to the UC Taxpayers since 2002

    Five Million Dollars per year since 2008

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: