We all know how Tri-County is one of Lou’s favorite organizations. Lou has never shied away from tossing hundereds of thousands of dollars the way of Al Kelly. Is is any surprise that this organization lacks the internal oversight necessary to properly account for public funds?
A manager for a state-run energy assistance program for Salem, Gloucester and Cumberland counties was indicted Monday, along with her sisters from Paulsboro and Penns Grove, on charges they stole more than $24,000 from the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
Chester, Pa., resident Constance Campbell, HEAP administrator for Tri-County Community Action, was indicted on charges she used her position to process false applications for herself and her five family members, the state Attorney General’s Office said. The Tri-County group is a non-profit contracted by the state to administer the energy program in Salem, Gloucester and Cumberland counties.
The family members, including sisters Denise Campbell, 35, of Penns Grove and Priscilla Campbell, 21, of Paulsboro, allegedly received $24,086 in benefits for which they weren’t eligible, including $15,012 in checks intended for heating oil purchases. Also indicted were Campbell’s other sister, Patsy Campbell, of Chester, Pa., brother Dennis Campbell, and his wife Hollyann Allen, both 37 of Philadelphia.
They allegedly traded the checks for cash from fuel supplier Thomas J. Harrison, of Harrison Fuel Oil in Paulsboro, who pleaded guilty last week to charges of money laundering and misapplication of entrusted property. Authorities said Harris, 66, of Woolwich Township, offered low-income people cash for their checks instead of fuel to heat their homes.
“This supplier’s conduct was outrageous,” said First Assistant Attorney General Ricardo Solano. “He tempted low-income residents with instant cash, exploiting their financial condition as well as the government program set up to help them heat their homes.”
Solano added that Constance Campbell “abused her position of trust so she and her family could illegally profit.”
Why did it take the state attorney general to uncover this corruption and abuse of power? Why did Al Kelly and Louis Magazzu allow this sort of conduct to go unchecked? Are there ANY checks and balances for the programs that Tri-County administers? Is this just the tip of the iceberg?