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Stafford and Barnegat Served Subpoenas In Connection with Birdsall Business

Seaside Heights, Lacey, Brick and Ocean County were also served subpoenas

Officials with both Stafford and Barnegat have confirmed recieving subpoenas connected with their business with Birdsall Services Group, the Monmouth County-based engineering firm that has been under investigation by the state.

The subpoena was issued by the State Grand Jury sitting in Trenton and was served on multiple municipalities that transact business with Birdsall Engineering. 

Barnegat Mayor Al Cirulli told a Patch reporter today that he has the utmost confidence in Township Engineer John Hess, and the staff at the Barnegat office. Birdsall Engineering has been the Barnegat Township Engineer, along with the municipal water and sewer engineer, for a number of years. 

"I would trust John Hess with my life," Cirulli said, referring to one of Birdsall's engineers who does work with the Township. Township Administrator David Breeden echoed those sentiments in an email to the Patch, noting: "Mr. Hess and his local professional staff have always conducted themselves in a business-like manner and have done an outstanding job in representing the interest of the Township."

According to both Cirulli and Stafford Mayor John Spodofora, the subpoena is for documents and records pertaining to work Birdsall Engineering performed for the towns from 2008 to present day.

Both mayors noted that they will comply with the subpoenas issued by the state.

All municipalities were given two weeks to accumulate and submit the documentation.

Lacey Township received the subpoena during the afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The subpoena asks for any and all records relating to Birdsall Engineering, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.

On Wednesday, May 3, state investigators executed a search warrant at the offices of Birdsall Services Group. The exact reason for the investigation is currently unknown.

According to an NJ.com story, Birdsall did more than $28 million in business with towns, counties, the state and other public agencies throughout New Jersey in 2011. The company also donated $129,700 to dozens of Democrats and Republicans last year.

The subpoena orders the requested documents for a state grand jury in Trenton at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Other municipalities served subpoenas for their work with Birdsall include Seaside Heights and Brick. The Ocean County government also received the same order.

God Bless America August 28, 2012 at 07:30 PM
"I would trust John Hess with my life," Cirulli said... I would not! I also would not trust Cirulli with my tax dollars.
Mike Howard August 28, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I hope Mr. Cirulli is more correct when he says he would trust John Hess with his life, then when he yelled out at a Township meeting that no taxpayer money was used to build the Lower Shore ball fields. Weeks later Mr. Breeden stated, taxpayer money was used to build these fields.
Plunket of Barnegat August 29, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I'm not sure how Mr. Cirulli says that and sleeps at night. Most of the taxpayer funded open space fund was wasted on that moldy disaster of a field.
NightShadows August 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM
A little light gets shed on why Barnegat decided against Birdsall and the electric aggregation.
Phil Checchia August 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM
While the AG's is investigating Birdsall I would think that the town would hire an interim firm with no political ties to any Ocean County or township politicos.i believe a conflict is possible with the continuance of Birdsall's service. This is a state grand jury and not the State cCommission of Investigaton who have no leagl authority to prosecute. It has to more serious than it looks and for the good of the town make the change. john hess is an upstanding person and no doubt he is not a probelm .it's the comapny in general.
Sal Sorce August 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM
The tentacles are far reaching; Does anyone recall the 2010-05 Barnegat Ordinance where Jerri Dasti, Eqr. provided legal advice on rezoning of 135 lots of Ocean Acres Conservation Zone to RH Development reflected in the above. A remarkable coincidence? Mr. Dasti's role and long-time Chairperson of the Ocean County Republican Finance Committee had received at least $133,200 between 2003 - 2009 in political contributions from entities controlled by the Walters Group and it's principal entities ? The rezoning and an enormous financial benefit to this developer who virtually has owned Barnegat and neighboring Stafford?
Sal Sorce August 29, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Grand Jury is often a political smoke screen, surely Christie can see to it that there will be no findings of improprieties ... can we seriously trust a state and or county officials? think about it? Can anyone recall the Schoor DePalma debacle and how easy their top official got off? CMX and Brirdsall have been connected since the Schoor DePalma changed it's name. Coming just around election time ... interesting many had wondered when things would begin in these towns??? Residents best start attending your Planning and Zoning Board meetings ... you will learn of the many many things impacting YOUR towns ... a major source of information and who gets the waivers and easements that no normal citizen will ever see in their lifetime?
Ray August 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I wouldn't trust any politician or those who do business with them and donate toward their election with my life. They all plead innocent but in the end they make a deal for a lighter sentence. Birdsall made over 500K from barnegat. It would be better to hire a town engineer with experience.
Sal Sorce August 29, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Christie while I had from the beginning felt he would make a difference ... that ended when G. Gilmore bragged about providing the necessary 27,000 plus votes from Ocean County, ultimately "putting him over the top" CC appointed GG as a transition cabinet position $$$$ Does anyone really feel CC? Will ever represent the true citizen in our county ??? New Jersey "THE SOPRANO STATE" great book and expose' on politics ... read it !!! PAC Political Action Committee is PAY TO PLAY ...
Ray August 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Phil, if I were the Mayor, I would offer the Town Engineer's job to John Hess and cut Birdsall out. Offer him a salary with benefits commesurate with his experience. This would save the town money and they would get an experienced person.
Mac August 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Sal, when you are right, you are right. And this post of yours is right on the mark. There was a time I believed that Chris Christie was going to write his own chapter in 'Profiles in Courage,' but when he came to Ocean County to beat the bushes, he stumbled upon the Holy Grail, and the chump change he was receiving for his public service quickly became a thing of the past as he accepted a shortcut to more power and wealth. Too bad for us perhaps but business as usual in NJ. After all, if it's not broken, why fix it?
Sal Sorce August 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM
A few years ago when Carl Block and literally his team were beat (except for John Spodofora), I being well informed with environmental issues in northern New Jersey, spoke with an official at Scarinci-Hollenbeck ... a huge law firm located in Wall Street West complex where I had some business. They sent me a dozen packets covering their large team of environmental expert attorneys ... of course who did John Mc Menamin choose? A local from the County who actually does not have direct "environmental" experience ... go to www.scarincihollenbeck.com This firm is comprised of 43- attorneys ... but most important "Environmental and Land Use Law, Public Law, and many more are their experience not some tiny firm that has pulled the strings in our townships? Give Donald Scarinci a managing partner a call today and ask them to provide a bid on your next township legal services?
Eric Thomas August 29, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The grand jury-authorized investigation does not seem centered upon Mr. Hess. This entire affair is a vivid illustration of why term limits need to be the law of the land in NJ. We need a turnover so new blood that does not owe any allegiances to any club, group or campaign contributor can govern. Mr. Cirulli's emotional comments concerning Mr. Hess are a personal statement that is totally irrelevant to the investigation. Public officials would best serve their constituents by remaining silent until the investigation is completed and the results are made public.
Eric Thomas August 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
The statement that Mr. Howard cites was an absolute lie. Public funds were used.
Sal Sorce August 30, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I learned quickly from my Private Sector business, it's all about PERFORMANCE ... only then can anyone or a township understand if they are receiving what they are invoiced for? Anyone ever file an OPRA request on the complete line-item invoicing from your engineering, and law firm business? I would include the several possible indirect billing that comes under other titles ... spell it all out ... they have to comply ... It's a solid way to gain the power of information ... not that our officials would be mislead us? Don't you just love the brief text in all our Ordinances, Amendments and other agendas ... brief with very few critical details ... who made up that template? The township legal services?
Capt Jacobsen Mey September 13, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Maybe the scrutiny will determine if the bid process was rigged, which kept away other potential Contractors from doing legit business with these towns that might be bedding w/ so called "contributors".....

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