Heated Senate Hearing on Halfway Houses Starts at 2:00 PM

The long-awaited Halfway House drama starts at about 2:00 PM with a hearing of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. There were many warnings of problems culminating in the N Y Times series Unlocked. Now the investigation begins.  

Key scheduled witnesses will include:

  • Comptroller Matthew Boxer whose June 2011 audit revealed serious problems and provided 26 recommendations for changes. A key question is what changes have been made?

  • John Clancy, CEO of Community Education Centers, whose firm received last year $71 million of the $105 million our government spent on such facilities.  His operation came under withering criticism in the NY Times articles and is now believed to be in financial distress.

  • Gary Lanigan, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, who since 2010 was reponsible for monitoring CEC and other halfway houses.

    Members of the Senate committee are: Robert Gordon – Chair, Barbara Buono – Vice-Chair, Thomas Kean, Joseph Kyrillos, Teresa Ruiz, and Paul Sarlo. In firstamend07’s diary, he asks whether the event will be “fight or fluff.” The Democrats have lots of ammunition, but some of the witnesses will be wily and obfuscate, while Republicans will try their best to protect their governor who has praised and enabled CEC.

    For more information see CEC Investigation: Our Leaders Take Action – Part VII.  

    The debate will become heated so make some popcorn and listen to both sides on the legislative website.

    Deciminyan will be live Tweeting up a storm @bluejersey.

    This is open thread…

  • Comments (7)

    1. firstamend07

      Chairman Gordon asked Clancy to keep his opening statement short.

      HE SAID NO!  He proceeded to read his whole statement.

      Gordon did or said nothing.


    2. Bill Orr (Post author)

      from Deciminyan  

    3. firstamend07

      If Hearings are meant to be just that ” hearing or listening” to testimony by different people then todays hearing served a purpose.

      If a Legislative Hearing is meant to be a forum for informed questioning then today’s hearing was a waste of time.

      The participating State Senators did little or no ” homework” to be able to ask probing questions. Testimony was offered ,for the most part ,without any informed questioning occuring.

      Clancy spoke as if the average citizen should be taking vacations at his Halfway Houses! What great places they are!  The State Senators seemed to be scared to question him.

      The NJDOC Commissioner simply said that his Department has sufficient resources to monitor Halfway House contracts and that this is now occuring, and all took him at his word and asked for no evidence that oversight was actualy occuring.

      It was clear that this group of State Senators had  little more than a passing interest in this issue.

      Fluff or fight? Fluff wins hands down.


    4. firstamend07

      As the Halfway House story has unfolded the Newark Star Ledger has been absent from any reporting of the issue.

      It was revealed yesterday that Clancy bought a full page add in that paper promoting Halfway Houses.

      Has the Newark Star Ledger been compromised?

      Why has this major New Jersey paper ignored the Halfway House story.

      Why have NO reporters been assigned to this story?  


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