Paybacks are great

Have you ever had an “Aha” moment? I was going over the minutes of the January 27, 2010 freeholder meeting, and stumbled upon these gems. it seems that if you are a lawyer Lou will toss a lot of publicly funded work your way.

4. Resolution 2010-102
Resolution Awarding Professional Services Contracts for Providing Professional
Litigation Counsel Services for the County of Cumberland (Lipman, Antonelli,
Batt, Gilson, Malestein, Rothman & Capasso; Robinson & Andujar, LLC;
Kavanagh, Kavanagh & DiLazzero) and Authorizing Reissuance of the Request for
Proposal to Include Providing Professional Litigation Services for the Board of
Agriculture and the Services of a Public Advocate for Civil Commitment Hearings;
RFP 09-46

Wait, wasn’t Brendan appointed as County Council? And now he can double dip and also charge for other legal council besides? Hey, I guess this helps him recoup the money he lost by being denied the taxpayer funded state pension. Perhaps he can make the $80,000 a year part-time job pay over $200,000 a year? That seems to be the pattern.

7. Resolution 2010-104
Resolution Awarding Professional Services Contract for Providing Special
Counsel Services for Collection Matters for Cumberland County (Phillip
VanEmbden, Esq.); RFP 09-48

I guess that certain people get a special dispensation. This brings a lot of conversations into focus, and I see who bought who.

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23 Responses to Paybacks are great

  1. Calhoun says:

    Let’s not forgot the onslaught of motions passed at the 28 December 2009 meeting (the last meeting before re-organization). Of special note is Resolution 706, which would have allowed incoming counsel Kavanagh to be placed in the pension system. The freeholders passed this resolution unanimously, with Whelan introducing it. The DJ picked up on this story and the freeholders quickly backpedaled on the idea of larding this part-time 68K (not 80K Wuli, don’t you remember Brendan’s letter to the DJ? Hey did he ever get that apology he demanded?) plum with a pension plum (plum, plum, plum, It’s a plum!). Whelan — who introduced the resolution that would have given counsel pension benefits — led the backpedaling (funny how politicians act differently when a flashlight is being shone in their faces)! However, keep in mind that unless the freeholders have rescinded this resolution, through the passage of another one, Kavanagh would still be eligible for the pension, and there should be follow up to make sure he is not enrolled at some later date when everyone has forgotten about the issue. While we are on matters of things being forgotten, what’s going on with Lou’s and the other freeholders’ giving up their health benefits. This is another case where I worry that people will forget and nothing will be done.

  2. Jerry says:

    Wait, wasn’t Brendan appointed as County Council? And now he can double dip and also charge for other legal council besides?

    It’s sort of like when you sell a painting and then you sell a book and then you publish a newspaper. Artists make art where ever they find it, lawyers do lawyer stuff where ever they find it.

  3. WuLi says:

    Jerry, the difference is, I sell a book to people that are willing to pay for it, Magazzu sells Brendan’s services to taxpayers that have no choice to say no.

    You don’t like my newspaper, don’t read it. you don’t like my book, don’t buy it. You have a choice. The taxpayers don’t.

  4. Jerry says:

    The problem with this post is that it is devoid of content. Lots of smoke and mirrors but no substance. Does RFP mean something sinister or is it Request For Proposal. Did you or your friends apply for any of the service contracts or are you mis-informed again? There is no pleasing some people.

  5. Lobster Claws says:

    I guess the problem is that Carl wasn’t notified personally that the county was requesting RFPs. A guy without a job should be notified of everything that’s happening, even the stuff he didn’t catch that was made public before he found it!

  6. WuLi says:

    RFP is Request for Proposal – and Lou Magazzu and his peons have stated in the past that no contracts are awarded without an RFP – which is patently false. Case in point was $225,000 contract to Tri-County in 2008 for after school projects for children – with absolutely no accountability, and to this date a year later – absolutely no follow-up.

    The only smoke and mirrors are coming from Lou’s band of Freeholders.

  7. WuLi says:

    Lobster – the difference between you and I is that I am man enough to post under my real name, even though retribution from Lou Magazzu is persistent.

    You, a Lou Lackey – have no reason to hide behind a fake name, no fear of political retribution from entrenched powers, but are so cowardly that you refuse to come clean.

  8. Calhoun says:

    My problem with what Carl has exposed here is how our local attorneys are draining the government of financial resources in a time when money is oh so scarce. Does the County really need all this counsel — above and beyond the counsel it gets from its official counsellor, Mr. Kavanagh?! I think not, and if it does, then it needs to hire a full time counsellor, as suggested by the Independents during the last campaign. It’s disappointing that Freeholder Sheppard didn’t speak up when all this largesse was being doled out.

    Besides draining cash from the budget that could go to something worthwhile (oh I don’t know, like feeding and clothing the poor, caring for the sick), the lawyers are also doing a good job of manipulating the system so it favors them. Laws by and large are often written by lawyers, so I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. However, why should the county counsel position be exempt from the state’s Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP), and, thus, presumably eligible for the cushier Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)? The laws governing this (see Fact Sheet 80 from the NJ Division of Pension and Benefits) state that local appointees are to be placed in DCRP, with “local appointee” being defined as “any individual appointed by the Governor, including those requiring the advice and consent of the Senate; or an individual appointed in a substantially similar manner by the governing body of a local public entity (county, municipality, school board, etc.).” Based on my read, the county counsel position would seem to nicely fit that defintion and thus place it in DCRP, but I guess if Lou and the rest of the freeholders say it doesn’t, I guess it doesn’t.

    However, let’s go back to Ordinance 311 passed in 2008 that identified those county positions that were to be placed in DCRP. Besides county counsel, here are the positions cited in Ordinance 311: County Adminstrator; Dept./Division Heads; County Engineer; members of the CCIA, CCUA, Board of Elections, and Board of Taxation. What is it about the county counsel that distinguishes it from these other appointed positions that would lead Magazzu and Co. to remove it from DCRP?

    The answer appears to be nothing, except maybe the incoming counsel wanted it that way. Why should the County Engineer (or any of the other postions cited) be required to be in DCRP but not the County Counsel? I understand other counties do this, but that doesn’t make it right, and it shows how attorneys and their politically connected friends grease the system for their own benefit. I thought we had local bar associations to keep things on the up and up but I guess I am wrong, when I see this sort of garbage going on, not to mention judgeships going to those who are also politically connected and big time donors to the local party organizations.

    It is worth keeping in mind that DCRP carries with it a good deal of benefits, including life insurance and disability. And I question why super part-time employees, such as members of boards like CCUA, CCIA, etc. should even be able to be enrolled in DCRP.

    I have respect for Magazzu as a politician in that he is careful not to do too much for his supporters that could erode his own support. However, spreading all this wealth around to the different politically connected law firms during these terribly difficult times is a mistake that will come back to bite him (same goes for the pension issue with the county counsel position). I also hope some Republicans remind Mr. Sheppard that he is not there to vote “aye” everytime (save for one “nay” in which even Dunkins joined him in voting “nay”). The attorney contracts were a perfect time for the R to draw a disitnction between himself and the D Freeholders. Things aren’t all “copacetic” as Mr. Sheppard recently reported to the media.

    And to the people facing layoffs and/or furloughs there is no money for you but there is apparently plenty for outside attorneys.

  9. whatup says:

    Such a brave man you are!

  10. WuLi says:

    A lot more brave than you, that is fer sure… I am living proof that Lou Magazzu will use all of his political resources to attack people and their families for merely disagreeing with him.

    Magazzu has not one redeeming quality – unless you are a lackey that is benefiting at the public trough due to his largess.

  11. whatup says:

    Yeah whatever you say Braveheart. See you in church today.

  12. snow man says:

    Let’s say I’m a Lou lackey. How does that make what you write correct or even rational? Calhoun has a lot to say. Maybe it is because Calhoun has failed to get appointed to one or more of those plumb jobs. Maybe it is because Calhouns friends didn’t get what they truly believe they deserve. Lots of questions here, not many answers. Oh, by the way, “Lou’s the devil” is not a real answer to any question.

  13. WuLi says:

    Snowman – a lot of what I write is opinion – and that is quite apparent to most readers. Take your time perusing this site and you will find many facts, backed up by documentation.

    For instance, Lou as Chair of the CCDO wrote himself a check for $10,000 for personal use (NACo is not covered under allowable “campaigns” under ELEC regulations) and then he and Brendan Kavanaugh lied about the timetable – and this is all public info – in no way can it be construed as personal opinion.

    Now my opinion, as is that of many inside D’s, is that the $10k loan to himself was improper. Unethical. Probably Illegal – hopefully the last question will be answered some day… I have lawyers that say (friends of Lou) “there was nothing illegal” and (staunch “R’s”) it was definitely illegal. I have read the statutes – they are posted on this site in the applicable posts – and despite my lack of a legal degree I believe I am adept at the English language, and according to my own interpretation it appears that a criminal act occurred.

    Opinions are like @$$holes, everyone has one, some of us are one. Hopefully our readers are intelligent enough to determine for themselves the difference between opinions and facts backed by evidence. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  14. Calhoun says:

    Snow man? Snow job is more like it. Look, this is a political website. All political writing is by nature a mixture of fact and opinion. It couldn’t be anything else. The ordinances I cite regarding county appointed positions and their eligibility for the different pension programs are facts. My comments on what I think of those ordinances, especially the efforts to get county counsel treated differently are my opinions. As Carl has already inferred, any jackass should be able to discern fact from opinion.

    Some more facts. I have zero interest in any political appointment, nor do I know of any friends who have an interest. Your accusation is nothing more than an attempt to avoid addressing many of the facts I raised in my earlier post. Furthermore, I am not active in local politics at all. I have never even met Carl.

    Many of us who post on this website have significantly different political views. I am a liberal. Carl is more conservative (at least on some things and at least as artists go). We should argue more than we do. We don’t because our political system here is badly broken. Rather than Carl and I debating liberal and conservative approaches to some of the challenges facing society, we find ourselves united in speaking out against local cronyism and corruption. Sadly, until this cancer is removed from the political system, philosophical debates take a backseat to speaking out against the favoritism that is poisoning (and bankrupting) our system.

    I speak out against this even though I am a Democrat in a Democratically-controlled county because I see the damage it is doing. I have read enough of Carl’s posts to believe that he too speaks out against this for the same reasons and not partisan gain (but any R logically stands to gain partisanly from the demise of the Ds). Were the same happening under an R adminstration I suspect (hope) Carl would still be complaining. He has in the past complained about the plum (it’s plum not plumb) position given to Asselta (an R) at the BPU.

    I look forward to the day that Carl and I can fill a website debating liberal and conservative opinions because it will mean that the cronyism and favoritism cancers have been cured (or at least contained). Until then, we find ourselves agreeing more often than we would like.

    (Hell, I even find myself respecting Carl’s contributions enough that I sent over a bottle of Black Bush last year. If I had known Carl liked single malts, I would have sent a bottle over of that. However, I only do Irish ones so the choices are limited; right now to Knappogue Castle and Bushmills 16 Year Old. Pick your poison Carl and I’ll make arrangements with a courier.)

    Snow man, hard as it may be for you to understand, some people get upset for reasons other than selfish ones (like not getting appointed). We’re upset because we love this county that we call home and we don’t like what the bastards are doing to it.

  15. Lobster Claws says:

    Nice to see you blocking comments now. How very…typical.

  16. Jerry says:

    Maggazzu Watch = Millville First

    Sad how it morphed into what it was designed not to be.

  17. Calhoun says:

    Yeah, that Millville First is just chock full of disappointed liberal Democrats. True enough Porreca was indeed a Democrat once upon a time. However, I think that was way back in the 1960s when Charlie Thomas was still a freeholder on the old board that had twenty plus members! Whenever someone cannot win an argument they often resort to questioning the others’ motives (“They’re complaining because they did not get appointed!”) or branding them as something they’re not (“They’ve become Millville First”).

    The facts (facts not opinions) remain that Lou (based on public information) and other freeholders have not given up their health insurance and have awarded contracts to numerous politically connected allies, while at the same time laying the groundwork to lay off numerous union employees.

  18. Jerry says:

    It just seems like the intolerance of MW is akin to the intolerance of MF. There is no middle ground with either. Either you are my friend or you are my enemy.

  19. Guess-Who says:

    Garry oops that’s Jerry:
    Why do u think this way.

    Don’t Compare MW Participants/Members to the Mf’ers as there is really No Comparison.

    Is this just part of a Mis-Guided effort to Dis-Credit the Information that Flows Freely here on Magazzuwatch.com?

    Amongst a Vast Variety of Individuals that bring Plenty of Objective input from all sorts of Information.

    Debating issues could lead to constructive Dialog that would Work to the Benefit of All of the 156,000+ Residents in Cumberland County,NJ.

    Stereo-Typing MW members could Surprise a Few that are in Dis-Belief of the FACTS & FIGURES!

    —————————————
    Checks and Balance make the REPUBLIC Strong

  20. Calhoun says:

    Jerry, I don’t view Magazzu as my enemy. However, he is someone who has kept his county health insurance and given contracts to his political allies (even going so far as trying to sweeten Kavanagh’s plum by passing an ordinance), at the same time he has developed a plan to layoff county workers. These are the facts, and as John Adams once said, “facts are stubborn things.” Indeed they are more stubborn and more persistent than Magazzu and eventually they will win out.

  21. Oinkforfreedom says:

    I agree that linking MW with the Millville First is a bogus argument. I have seen the MF in action at the City Commission meetings. They generally do not offer constructive solutions for Millville. Magazzu Watch has offered solutions but since we are on the political outs, the solutions will not be abided.

  22. Lobster Claws says:

    Oink, that’s because the participants of MW, aside from Carl, don’t have the stones to step forward. They let Carl take the heat because he has nothing to lose, and no, that’s not a compliment.

    At least Paul, as hypocritical as he is, doesn’t hide his motives behind screen names. And before you cry about me doing the same, don’t. It’s a false argument. I’m not posturing as a renegade “journalist” by posting blog entries that are entirely opinion-based and most often the product of reports from “anonymous” sources.

    It would be one thing if MW was transparent, but it’s just as secretive as its contributors claim the county government is. Of course, you have the right to hide, but don’t just expect anyone to take you seriously.

  23. WuLi says:

    “At least Paul, as hypocritical as he is, doesn’t hide his motives behind screen names. ”

    Apparently you never read the daily Journal forums…

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