Hamilton (Mercer) Republicans Willfully Blind When It Comes to Corruption

Recently Republican Councilman David Kenny of hamilton had a letter to the editor published in the Times of Trenton touting the supposed honesty of the process for professional services contracts in the township.

Here’s the link to cut and paste:


What follows is the response I wrote that has been acepted for publication.  It’s merely a tip of the vast iceberg of corruption that floats just under the surface in the township that brought you convicted felon Mayor John Benvivengo:

The willful blindness to corruption around him shown by Councilman David Kenny in his recent letter to the editor (of the Times of Trenton) is probably as bad for Hamilton taxpayers as the corruption itself.  

Despite Mr. Kenny’s puffery, the Hamilton process for issuing non-competitively bid contracts is rife with abuse and higher costs for the taxpayer. One example illustrates just how bad the situation can get.

Under Mr. Kenny’s watch on Council between 2008 and 2011, Birdsall Engineering was granted $276,235 for 8 professional services contracts.  If there were “Savings” in the firm’s initial proposal, they vanished when Council later granted massive upward change orders totaling $71,266.  All of these change orders were passed as part of consent agendas with no discussion or challenge recorded in the Council minutes.

During that same time frame, the Birdsall Group participated in fundraising ad books that generated thousands of dollars for the Hamilton Republican Party, yet no reporting of contributions from Birdsall or any of its identified principals has been made that would account for the company’s ads.  We have since learned that Phil Anagrone Jr at the Birdsall firm admitted engaging in a widespread practice of employing straw donors to get around pay-to-play laws, and since Mr. Angarone was a key fundraiser for the Hamilton Republicans from 2008 to 2012, it is fair to assume that his perfidy did not halt at Hamilton’s borders.

We may never know the true extent of the quid-pro-quo between illegal donations to the Republican Party from professional service contractors and literally millions of dollars in contracts they received, but what we do know is that Mr. Kenny, our current Mayor and the rest of council turned a blind eye to the corruption all around them and Hamilton taxpayers have suffered as a result.  Mr. Kenny ought to be ashamed to claim otherwise.

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