The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Several Gallons of Corruption"

In my American Literature I course last week, we talked about the meaning of corruption in one of the texts we discussed--Puritan minister Cotton Mather's "Trial of Martha Carrier." The use of the word in that text was in its literal sense of pus breaking forth: "...he was taken with a swelling in his Foot, and then with a pain in his side, and exceedingly Tormented. It bred into a sore, which was Lanced by Doctor Prescot, and several Gallons of Corruption ran out of it."

That literal meaning is obsolete now, but I always think of it when I read of political scandals--such as that of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack (here) along with his recreation division, see here--it is quite a visceral image.

To ignore corruption in Plainfield city government and to have it fester and run, seemingly egged on by mediocrity and incompetence, is to abandon the people of this city. I will be following up on outstanding items for which we, as the governing body representing the people of Plainfield, deserve answers--here are just a couple:

1) As of this writing, many residents have asked me about the administration's investigation of the corruption scandal that has engulfed the Recreation Division, wherein a fraudulent application and illegal permit fees were being charged for vendor participation in the Independence Day events this year--the Recreation Division was handing out these fraudulent documents and telling vendors they had to pay excessive fees to be a part of the events. Click here and here for my previous blog posts on this particular scandal. A call to the Union County Prosecutor's Office and to the state is certainly in order if the city doesn't provide answers regarding this issue. Theft and corruption are prosecutable actions.

2) I have received several emails about the state of tax collection in Plainfield, in terms of its accountability and the basic competence of its administration. Tax bills were once again sent out late, and the excuses have been flying. In addition, several residents are still wondering about the outcome of the situation wherein thousands of dollars in cash went missing from the tax collector's office. Dan Williamson, former Corporation Counsel, never provided a comprehensive answer for this particular instance of corruption, but I know there are financial records and details of what initially happened, who was involved in the theft, and what was done (or is currently being done). A call to the Union County Prosecutor or to the state seems to be in order here as well. Again, theft and corruption are prosecutable actions.

It behooves the administration to ROOT OUT CORRUPTION wherever it exists--not to sweep it under the rug, not to ignore it in hopes that the people will forget, and not to minimize the fraudulent and criminal activities that occur in city government. I am deeply disappointed in the mayor's silence about her part, if any, in all this, but certainly not at all surprised--her obliviousness and incompetence have been well-noted by all for several years now. I will follow up as best I can.

All best,



  1. And those are only a few items that haunt this administration.

    What action can be taken to get answers? Asking for an accounting obviously does not work. Is the next step the county prosecutor, or the State AG? What information needs to be given to them for them to start action?

  2. Councilwomen Williams please don't leave out the IT company that was paid $250,000.00 or more as a consultant firm to get CITY HALL completely computer savvy and all they did was take their check and run. I am with you I think we need to have the PROSECUTOR OFFICE do a complete investigation on that issue also. There will be people walking out in handcuffs starting with the MAYOR of the CITY of PLAINFIELD. Trust and believe she will not go down by herself; there will be some other politicians in the city of Plainfield to go down with her.


  3. Rebecca you are the only one who have the guts to do this. Please don't STOP.

    I used to work for the CITY and I will tell you that this can of worms only opens from the inside.


  4. To anonymous at 9:59 am,

    The state AG and the Union County prosecutor's office work for YOU. Contact them and direct your concerns to them--get other residents to do so as well:


    To anonymous at 10:13 am,

    You are referring to the "QuadTech" deal--Dan Damon wrote about that back in 2007. According to the last blog post, this was referred to the UC prosecutor's office as well. Contact them to find out the status of this investigation. For those who do not know about this, here are the links to what was written back then:

    The pressure residents put on their elected officials and county and state investigators is often helpful in making sure that things done in the darkness are brought to light.

  5. Hi Rebecca,

    Thanks for not letting these egregious crimes go without resolution. This administration is corrupt and this mayor does not deserve another term, she might deserve a prison sentence.
    Only time will tell. Keep up the good work.

  6. Rebecca

    I have placed calls as I am tired with the corruption that plagues this city. Things will never improve unless we fight for it.

    Since the council is elected to represent the citizens of Plainfield I suggest the council write a formal letter to the UC Prosecutors office and the AG to look into this corruption. Any member of the council who will not support this is failing the citizens who elected them as their representative and they are part of the problem as well. Hopefully then residents will see and can vote them out next time for someone who wants to really make a change.

  7. Yes the "QUADTECH" deal. finally someone will lead the challenge. I am sorry but I personally do not have any faith in the UC PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE they are working with her. It's time to send letter's to TRENTON to the GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

  8. More people want to speak up in CITY hall but are afraid because the administration bulling tactics. I hope this is prosecuted to the highest level.

  9. I agree with Justin 12:43 comment, let's hold the council tothis task. Councilwomen Williams let's see how many Council member's will stand up for what's right. If they don't I will work hard to have them VOTED out.



  11. Someone just informed me to read your post today. Great Stuff

  12. More people in city hall should speak up! There are whistleblower laws in effect to protect them and they will be hailed as heroes for helping every resident of Plainfield. Corruption and bullying in city hall has gone on long enough, how much longer must we suffer????

  13. Rebecca... respectively... You aren't the one I believe to be the problem.