Tag Archive: David Goodell

No Remorse: A dangerous convict in a halfway house escapes and commits murder

David Goodell in jail bragged that he would kill his girlfriend while he was already planning his escape. After being transferred to a Community Education Centers (CEC) halfway house in Newark Goodell feigned illness, was taken to a hospital and broke loose. Within hours he murdered Viviana Tulli. After being apprehended a Lieutenant Corrections Officer says Goodell was potentially one of the most dangerous guys he has had in his jail.

You can see and hear Goodell in the Bergen County Jail on a new MSNBC episode of LOCKUP: New Jersey – No Remorse premiering Saturday at 10:00pm. You can catch a preview here, or watch the video here after the show has aired. LOCKUP has been running other New Jersey jail episodes which you can view here.

During Saturday’s episode there is an interview with Viviana’s sister Stella Tulli-Makowski who talks about the loss to her family. Stella has said “David Goodell, in my opinion, has now become the poster boy for someone who should have never set foot in a halfway house, let alone paroled early.”

At a Bergen Record editorial board meeting in June 2012, Governor Christie was asked if he would consider reaching out to the family of Viviana Tulli. Christie called the question unfair. He said the incident happened when Democrat Jon Corzine was governor. “So to ask me that question presupposes that I have responsibility for something … that didn’t happen on my watch,” he stressed. That claim was false. The incident occurred in August 2010, eight months after Christie took office.

Who knows? Maybe Christie is a fan of Lockup and will see the show. Will he feel any remorse? Will he call Stella? Will he bring reform to halfway houses – a problem he prefers to minimize and ignore? (His campaign has received CEC donations and his political confidante Bill Palatucci used to work for CEC.) Will the Legislature which held hearings on the matter finally take action? You can read the excellent NY Times exposé of  NJ halfway houses UNLOCKED here.

Stella in July 2013 out of frustration wrote a diary for Blue Jersey, One year later AFTER Assembly hearing for Halfway House reform. She continues her crusade. She says what happened to her sister and her family could happen to anyone.  

Records Show Top Chris Christie Advisor Lobbied To Bring More Inmates To Troubled Halfway Houses

Promoted by Rosi. Originally posted on Firedoglake.

Viviana Tulli was murdered by an escaped halfway house inmate



One of the most confusing aspects of the halfway house scandal – where numerous inmates escaped  halfway houses and committed horrendous crimes – is why such violent individuals would ever be released to such a low security facility in the first place. Based on records obtained by Firedoglake under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA) we may be closer to an answer.

Bill Palatucci, a major fundraiser and former business partner of Governor Chris Christie, has spent copious amounts of time lobbying New Jersey officials to bolster the halfway house system for his longtime client and subsequent employer Community Education Centers (CEC) that has financially benefited from increased use of the halfway house system. Records show Palatucci was CEC’s registered lobbyist while also becoming a vice president for business development.

Lobbying For CEC

In his role as a lobbyist for CEC, for which he was generally paid $45,000 a year, Palatucci approached officials in both the New Jersey State Legislature, State Agencies, and the Governor’s office to promote CEC’s interests:

* In 2007 Palatucci lobbied then Governor Jon Corzine as well as the New Jersey Department of Corrections for a public contract for CEC in relation to a recent court ruling that found that local ordinances prohibiting the treatment sex offenders in various communities were “arbitrary and capricious.” Presumably Palatucci lobbied to help expand the use of halfway houses and other CEC services now that a court had struck down laws that prevented sex offenders from being housed within certain limits of children.

* In 2008 Palatucci lobbied the new State Parole Board chair and staff with a “discussion of services.” He also lobbied Assemblyman Louis Greenwald regarding Assembly Bill 2800 which increased funding for halfway houses. Additionally, Palatucci paid a visit to New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to “advocate review” of halfway housing licensing laws on behalf of CEC.

* In 2009 Palatucci lobbied again for halfway house licensing from Department of Community Affairs as well as for favorably amending a contract between CEC and Department of Corrections. Palatucci also disclosed that he was promoting a bill to expand halfway houses in the state of New Jersey.

After Chris Christie became governor in 2010, with considerable help from Palatucci, CEC began using other lobbyists. Palatucci had already gone beyond lobbying with CEC becoming senior vice president and general counsel for public affairs, he would ultimately resign from those positions in the wake of the halfway house scandal in 2012.

More after the jump