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Federal probe targeting Bergen Democratic chairman

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

Federal probe targeting Bergen Democratic chairman
Posted by jappezza May 28, 2008 18:41PM
Joseph Ferriero, one of the state’s top Democratic power brokers, has become the focus of a new federal criminal investigation in connection with consulting contracts that were awarded by a number of municipalities to a company he controlled.

An attorney for the Bergen County Democratic chairman confirmed the probe late today, after subpoenas were sent to at least eight towns and a county agency. The subpoenas seek information about payments to a politically connected lawyer with ties to Ferriero.

In a statement, Ferriero’s attorney, Joseph Hayden, said: “A document subpoena has been served on Joseph Ferriero for records pertaining to a company in which he has financial interest, specifically, Government Grants Consulting LLC. He has promptly provided all records requested in this matter.

“He is confident that this inquiry will demonstrate no wrongdoing on behalf of the company. Further, this company has only provided services for one or two of the nine governmental entities reportedly subpoenaed by the government,” the statement said.

The subpoenas issued last week by the U.S. Attorney’s office did not mention Ferriero. Instead, they sought information about payments to Dennis J. Oury, an attorney with close ties to Ferriero who does legal work with government agencies throughout Bergen County.

But while the initial round of subpoenas made it seem as though Oury was the focus, two people familiar with the investigation said it was really centered on Ferriero. Oury and Ferriero are partners, along with Leonard Kaiser, executive director of the Bergen County Utilities Authority, in the consulting company.

It is not clear exactly what federal prosecutors are looking into, but Ferriero holds the reins of a political machine able to raise huge sums of money, and long considered an arena for “pay-to-play,” the practice in which companies seeking public work donate to the political officials who could have a hand in awarding contracts.

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  1. I’ll comment on this as soon as I find my 11 foot pole.

  2. Oury’s going to fold. Joe can’t get him out of this one. Bye, Bye Joe.

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