Senator Rice Requests Continued Thorough And Complete Investigation Of City Of Newark’s Finances, Hiring Practices And Professional Contracts

Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee Chair, Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, speaks at a meeting of his committee.

TRENTON – Senator Ronald L. Rice today announced that he has submitted a letter to Governor Christie, on behalf of constituents in the City of Newark, requesting a continued thorough and complete investigation of the City of Newark’s administration and the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Newark office, in order to root out waste and corruption which drives up the State budget and costs tax dollars.

“This is not a new request; in fact, this has been an on-going concern of mine and others. This process began in 2008, when I sent a letter to former Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph V. Doria, asking for a team of auditors to be sent to Newark and remain there until the issues raised during an initial audit of Newark’s finances, hiring practices and awarding of professional contracts are fully addressed,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “It is imperative that an audit of this nature continues to ensure that waste and corruption in Newark City government are rooted out, and that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and responsibly.”

Senator Rice’s letter went on to note that he felt that the Corzine administration intentionally failed to aggressively pursue and coordinate investigations and audits requested on behalf of taxpayers and workers.

“Governor, relationships of impropriety in Newark and Essex County governments have not changed since you left the United States Attorney’s Office. The reality is that State and federal taxpayers’ dollars are still being wasted and channeled to political friends at the expense of workers and honest business entities,” wrote Senator Rice. “The recent indictment of Newark Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin is an example of the type of waste and abuse that would be ended by a thorough, continued audit of the city’s hiring practices, finances, and contracts.”

“If we are going to reduce the state deficit, we need to be serious about cleaning up wrong-doing and conflicts in local and county governments. I look forward to working with you and your administration in this endeavor,” wrote Senator Rice.

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