Maybe BCDO headquaters can put up a motivational poster to encourage Joe Ferriero to be less corrupt.
City officials gave permission to Hackensack University Medical Center to build a new cancer center. In return, the medical center agreed to handle the city’s daytime emergency ambulance calls.
Seems OK, right?
Well, consider this: A key player in this deal is Joe Ferriero, chief of Bergen’s Democratic Party and dispenser of patronage.
Ferriero, acting as a private attorney, represented the medical center in negotiations with Hackensack officials. But he insists he felt no conflict of interest. He says he was just another ordinary lawyer, not a powerful political wizard.
“If you want to criticize the deal, fine,” he told me. “But don’t say I have a conflict of interest.”
Well, consider this: Two members of the supposedly non-partisan Hackensack City Council who were supposedly objective when they had the chance to assess Ferriero’s hospital deal are also members of the Ferriero-controlled Bergen Democratic committee. Another had been a member of the committee until this year. And yet another has a job, courtesy of the Democratic-controlled county government.
And one more thing: A political action committee run by the medical center donated $10,000 in campaign funds to this supposedly non-partisan political team that took over the council in 2005.
Yep, this is one big conflict. Think of this as just a bunch of buddies, doing a deal.
But that’s not the end of it.
Keep reading for the rest.