We are shocked and dismayed to learn that there was a lack of transparency in the distribution of State legislature–issued grants across New Jersey.
Seriously, the Burlington County Times reports that about 128 million bucks was stuffed into various wallets during the period of 2004, when McGreevey started the program, and 2006, when Corzine stopped it. This article highlights grants to the Lenape Regional High School District, which received two grants totaling $850,000.
Happens all the time. According to the Burlington paper, the grant to the Lenape High School failed to list which lawmaker asked for the grant, which is standard procedure. The only name listed is “Fiordoliso,” the surname of the then-deputy chief of staff for Dick Codey.
In fact, the Democrats were concerned enough about unequal distribution of funds that they tried to cover by throwing a few crumbs the way of the Republican districts:
“We had cover on the last few lists because we have had Republican projects — I have none on the next list,” Rousseau wrote in an e-mail to Codey. “You might want to consider something for (Republican lawmakers) like either Lance, Martin, Ciesla, Blee, maybe even Alex DeCroce.”
And it gets bigger:
Additional revelations emerged this month during the federal corruption trial of former state Sen. Wayne Bryant of Camden County. During the trial, a former Democratic aide and the current state Treasurer, David Rousseau, testified under oath that the grant program was largely controlled by Bryant, Senate President Richard Codey and then-Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny.
Think there’s some inequity in the way we fund our schools in New Jersey?