Tri-County Employee indicted

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?

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28 Responses to Tri-County Employee indicted

  1. Rev. Higgs Boson says:

    It’s a shame that these people at Tri County steal from the poor and truly needy. How many folks were turned down for heating assistance and spent the winter shivering in the cold, while these crooks helped themselves to the funds? Utterly disgraceful.

  2. Sheena Santiago says:

    The federal government, state, county and municipal should monitor non-profits that receive funds from them to make sure money is being used properly. A lot of the money that some non-profits receive is being used for administration purposes, high salaries, travel expenses such as fancy hotels and expensive meals. They turn seminars in to their family vacations. After the seminars a free vacation is all they have accomplished at the tax payers expense.

  3. JC says:

    Sheena is right. The same thing happens at authorities. But, everybody LOVES the candy man!

  4. Lobster Claws says:

    Sheena is right. And to think, I only had to read exactly what she wrote written by someone else on this very site weeks earlier. Someone who can’t think for themselves, yay!

  5. Salary Sam says:

    Unfortunately abuse of government programs is, and always has been, rampant. Controls and audits to prevent people from stealing wind up eating up a significant part of the allocated funds. It’s said that the Pentagon spends more on reporting and tracking reimbursement of expenses to its employees than the amount of the expenses. That’s all part of why the huge government programs being created at the drop of a hat are so risky. There just seems to be no end of people willing to steal from government (read that as taxpayers.) It’s also a reason to resist the consolidation of power that Albert Kelly seems to doing. He runs Tri-Coounty and wields considerable influence and power in that role. Yet he is now also a Freeholder and part of the process of allocating County Funds to engage in the same or similar conduct to that of Tri-County. Abstaining doesn’t solve the whole problem. Now we read that he is considering running for Mayor of Bridgeton. The County (and Bridgeton) can use all of the civic minded people available to help but when that results in a consolidation of power and influence in the hands of any one person or group, we all are exposed to abuse. I think we should all thank Mr. Kelly for his good works and service (to the extent his generous salary and benefits are not thanks enough) but ask him nicely to stay out of politics. Working as closely as he does with so many governmental bodies and programs it just muddies the water way too much if he is on both sides of the deals.

  6. tryagain says:

    ONCE AGAIN, misinformation and the attempts to discredit Magazzu and Co. FIRST. Al Kelley is not a Freeholder nor has he ever been one to my knowledge!!! And then for the idiocy of the Blind Woman, Magazzu is NOT responsible for the running of Tri County in ABSOLUTLY any capacity. What a pathetic and desperate move to try and blame him for the misconduct of an employee!! You should be asamed but then again you have no clue as to the meaning of the word!! Remember try church! Perhaps if you have every donated to the United Way or the Boy Scouts (which I doubt you have ever helped anyone BUT your selfish self), but if you did and then one of their employees stole money would that be your fault for “allowing this conduct to go unchecked”? Obviously the answer is a resounding NO!!! You have stretched to make Magazzu the Boogeyman for EVERYTHING wrong in the world including the weather! You are a PURE HATER!! By the way did you know Magazzu is to blame for the world economic conditions? Yes it’s true I read it on the Republican website or was it right here? After all you have already blamed him for bad weather along with the quite silly Republicans. Wonder if the GM closing had anything to do with Magazzu. perhaps the H1N1 virus is his fault also? You are idiotic and yet you think you are right! A very scary combination. Small wonder that geoturn and perhaps others have been afraid to post here anymore. You are kind of frightening in your thought process Blind One! Finally will you check with Greco regarding the possible chart fight between him and some of his good old Cape May “friends”? Grap your bags, it’s on!

  7. mango says:

    No, Kelly isn’t a Freeholder, but then again, he doesn’t have to be. He’s got Lou Magazzu, who funnels money to Tri-County at every opportunity. Consider the Juvenile Justice fund allocated at the end of 2008. The county’s planners put together a plan allocating this funding to a group of educational and recreational agencies in the county’s three cities. Magazzu overthrew it and gave the funding to Tri-County, which in turn gave it to the Jerimiah coalition. Now the question is, what services have been provided to the county for that money? Does anyone know the answer to that question? The last I heard, none of the money had been drawn down from the state. Maybe because the state has very rigid accountability requirements for this money?

    As to where Tri-County’s money goes, here is the reported compensation of top employees:
    Al Kelly, President $165,782 plus $3,315 other compensation
    Ed Bethea, VP $128,061 plus $2,561 other compensation
    Susan James, VP $101,789
    Electra Moses, VP $84,952 plus $1,699 other
    Ronald Johnson – $90,079 plus $1,802 other
    Mike Cudemo — $76,822 plus $1,406 other
    Bonnie Eggenburg — $74,855 plus $1,406 other

  8. mango says:

    The above numbers were 2007 compensation.

  9. Sheena Santiago says:

    Lobster Claws,
    Have patience my dear time will prove that I am not only the writer but also the researcher. I am the original multitasker.

  10. Lobster – Sheena is correct. She has provided quite a bit of research on the political contributions for us. She initially asked that we not reveal her role, and we agreed. It appears she is now ready to take the credit she deserves for the legwork.

  11. Tryagain – to get back to the TOPIC – we see you quickly tried to change the subject – what do you think about Tri-County employees stealing money that is slated for the less fortunate? Since you changed the subject we have to assume that you have no qualms.

    Lou is more than happy to dump tons of money into this organization, and just as quick to neglect proper fiscal oversight of same.

  12. Rev. Higgs Boson says:

    Al Kelly isn’t a freeholder, but I do believe he is a Bridgeton City Council Member. And doesn’t he serve as President of the Improvement Authority? Does the Improvement Authority give Bridgeton money through the EZ Program? Money Bridgeton gives Tri County for various projects? Just asking questions for my own edification.

  13. tryagain says:

    Just corrcting ANOTHER of your stupid mistakes. Seems it’s OK you make them as long as it embarasses Magazzu or Kelly or any other person who ACTUALLY does something positive! You on the other Blid Woman are a first clas blow hard who hasn’t EVER contributed ANYTHING positive to our county! AGAIN since you are obviously so dense Magazzu has NO direct oversight of Tri County!! Anything thatsuits your purpose! Is the charity fight between Greco and his former Cape May “friends” a possibility? Are you going to be his manager?

  14. fortunecookie says:

    Tryagain

    PLEASE TRY AGAIN – Lou Positive???? Now there is a conflict of terms if ever I heard one. Lou is the most NEGATIVE person in the county. He has personally destroyed anything and everything positive about the area.

    Wake up and smell the stinks he has caused.

  15. tryagain says:

    Just a bunch of HATERS living on this CRAP site!! Jealous that Magazzu gets things done. Maybe he doesn’t have the finesse of some but he gets RESULTS!! Christy, Forbes, Lookabaugh, and Peterson just want to maintain the status quo which we ALL know is uacceptable. The Blind Woman has cotributed absolutely notinging to the County except to constantly complain and she is too afraid of Magazzu to even give her name!! Why doesn’t she grow a set and put her name on the ballot rather than hide behind this anonymous site. This site belongs where anonymous letters are filed, in the trash!!

  16. fortunecookie says:

    Just a bunch of HATEFUL CRAP FROM Lou. Jealous that Magazzu gets NOTHING done that doesn’t produce more and more control over everyone and everything. He doesn’t have ANY finesse or decorum but he gets to harass and intimidate. Christy, Forbes, Lookabaugh, and Peterson want to re-establish respect and dignity which we ALL know have been trashed by King Maggot. Lou has cotributed absolutely nothing to the County except a new office for himself and hide behind the few fools who think he will use his influence with George Norcross and other such villains who circumvent the intent of ethics laws to buy Magazzu off!! Why doesn’t he grow a set and try to get and KEEP a job? Magazzu belongs where anonymous letters are filed, in the trash!!

  17. tryagain says:

    Can’t you EVER have an original thought Fortune Crumble? Guess not, but what else would one expect from the followers of The Supreme Leader aka Blind Woman aka The Republican Mouthpiece!! Tell your Granny to stay inside today because it’s going to be HOT. There goes that BoogeyMan Magazzu again messing with the weather.

  18. fortunecookie says:

    tryagain, you sound like the spoiled brat that you are. name calling babbling bulls**t. you are wrong on virtually all of your comments. wrong wrong wrong – you and your kind will soon be looking for a real job. Hey – you only have 74 more days until you are OUT OUT OUT. And then the people of Cumberland County will celebrate the ouster of Lou and his big ego and mouth. Not sure which is bigger but it matters not.

  19. tryagain says:

    Soon your fortune cookie will crumble! Still waiting for word on the possible charity bout between the Republican County Chair Greco and a masked man from Cape May? Any word yet on if it’s on?

  20. Lou – why do you CONTINUE changing the topic and posting off-topic? Cape may has NOTHING to do with this article.

    This article has nothing to do with Greco. Stay on topic, you myopic dunce! This is a final warning.

    Why are you so afraid of anyone talking about Tri-County employees stealing from the people they are supposed to be helping? Is it because you know that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there will be more damning evidence of wrongdoing permeating the entire organization?

  21. AMUSED says:

    Tryagain, you’re truly pitiful. I’m beginning to feel sorry for you. You’re not man enough to get in the ring for the sake of the kids but all too willing to volunteer someone else. You’re childish shenanigans is exactly why you need TO GO! Please for the sake of your family…grow up!

  22. Salary Sam says:

    Posted on the Tri County Employye Compensation Thread but relevant here too.

    Calm down guys. Here’s something you won’t hear a politician say. Sorry. I was wrong. Give me a break though, I have a life and don’t do politics full time. Mr. Kelly is appaently only head of Tri County, Bridgeton City Council President, Chairman of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority and a member of the Cumberland Empowerment Zone. Hes i not a Freeholder. He still is ddeply involved on the government side of issues where he is on the other side as a provider of services.

    That all being said, Knot Head and Amused are right. Mr. Kelly is not a Freeholder.

  23. Salary Sam says:

    Tri County is part of the business of poverty that thrives in Cumberland County. It has adhered itself to the endless government programs and takes a slice of every dollar it handles. It seems to me that if the county itself were more organized it could administer a lot of the programs that Tri County does. Tri County is a middle man standing between the poor and needy and money that the government is trying to spend for their benefit. The problem is that the federal and state government taxes everyone they can. They pull lthe money out of the locals and into their own coffers. That takes employees and procedures and offices and auditors and enforcement and collection — all COSTS. Then when what’s left of the money arrives, they decide how much to send back to the locals and under what conditions. Again, that decision making process itself involves employees, offices, auditors —- more costs. Then the money has to be allocated out by locals requesting it usually in the way of grants. More costs to evaluate grant proposals. More employees. When the federal or state government finally decides to give us some of what’s left of our money back it’s usually at a press conference where elected representatives can take credit. Finally, when the money arrives, it usually doesn’t go to people but either to a group like Tri County that administers the program FOR A FEE — or to the County who then usually hires a group like Tri County to administer the program for a fee. All along the costs deplete the funds available to actually create the desired benefit. The endless layers of government bureaucracy create a power base (and voter base) for silly little power hungry politicians like Lord Lou. What a system. Now, on top of that, we find that Tri County’s employees were STEALING THE MONEY OUT OF THE POCKETS OF THE POOR. Shame.

  24. tryagain says:

    No excuse for the stealing and hope those guilty will be prosecuted to the max. Fact is though this can happen to any organization large or small when people you trust do bad things. Look at the Millville Yacht Club, the Boy Scouts, Firehalls, United Way, large corporations, all at one time or another have had dishinest people steal. This is not the fault of Mr. Kelley and CERTAINLY NOT the fault of Magazzu. That type of thinking is idiotic and just ridiculous!!! Tri County runs a number of outstanding programs and does great work for the community. You all should be asamed for disparaging Tri County and making the ridiculous reach that it’s Kelley and Magazzu’s fault. If there is a problem at your precious CCIA, who’s fault would it be, Wmybs or Magazzu? Wymbs runs the day to day operation.

  25. tryagain says:

    Just another example of this site blaming Magazzu for every evil in the world including bad weather!! You really need to get a grip Blind Woman!

  26. tryagain says:

    Is the proposed fight on or not between Greco and the Cape May mystery person or persons?

  27. vinelandvisitor says:

    i hear perry barse and steve sweeney want to go a few rounds with magazzu

  28. SalarySam says:

    I don’t think anyone is blaming Lord Lou for the problem at Tri-County. What it points out is the inherent problems with concentration of power and influence.

    While I don’t know about the problems with United Way, the others you mention are small, almost Mom & Pop kind of organizations where everyone just trusts “Joe” and Joe steals the money. Tri-County is administering millions of dollars of federal and state and county grant money and is expected to have financial controls and other systems in place. That’s why they get paid. While Lord Lou is not responsible, certainly Mr. Kelly, drawing in excess of $165,000 per year salary is responsible – NOT criminally – but within the context of the organization he is ultimately responsible. The buck stops at him. It happened on his watch with people he hired and supervised.

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