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North Bergen DPW did illegal work in Paramus, West New York, employees say

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Witnesses have seen North Bergen DPW employees working on the Paramus home of Czar Wiley — a township grammar school vice-principal and son of former DPW Director James Wiley — as well as in Wiley’s son’s office in West New York and at a West New York municipal garage, a township activist group announced this morning.

Two Parks Department supervisors signed affidavits saying they found DPW and Parks Department workers painting Count Wiley’s West New York office last fall, as well as doing work at the West New York DPW lot several weeks later.

Count Wiley is a  member of the West New York Board of Commissioners who is running for mayor of North Bergen’s bordering Hudson County town on an anti-corruption platform.

The announcement by the North Bergen Concerned Citizens Group comes amid a widening state probe into corruption at the township DPW that has picked up steam in recent weeks.

It expands accusations of work done by township workers on the taxpayers’ dime beyond North Bergen’s borders.

Activist group calls for resignations

Mario Blanch, an attorney representing the group, called on Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Frank Gargiulo, the township DPW commissioner, to resign as a result of the growing scandal.

An angry Paul Swibinski, spokesman for the township, said that Blanch “should resign from the practice of law, because even the most incompetent attorney would know better than to engage in political grandstanding that could very well compromise the integrity of an ongoing state investigation.

“We demand that [he] turn over any information he has to the attorney general and stop interfering with the investigation.”

As CLIFFVIEW PILOT reported, more than two dozen subpoenas were dropped on the agency last Tuesday, days after two department supervisors were indicted for assigning municipal employees to work on election campaigns and personal chores that included projects for Wiley.

That comes atop 65 other subpoenas served earlier.

Sources have told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that state authorities are investigating Gargiulo and Timothy Grossi, his deputy commissioner, both of whom have been subpoenaed.

James Wiley pleaded guilty in federal court Sept. 11 to conspiracy to commit official misconduct, admitting that he directed municipal employees to do hundreds of hours of work at his home, including housecleaning, yard work and special projects, all while being paid by the township.

He also admitted assigning township employees to work on election campaigns.

Today’s accusations boost the number of sites.

Lewis Cannao and John Pinto said they were moving furniture acquired from the Port Authority into Town Hall “after hours” when they heard a noise from upstairs.

There, they said, they found several people painting Wiley’s office.

“When we asked them who they were and what company they worked for they said that they worked for the North Bergen Parks Department and the North Bergen Department of Works,” both men wrote in the affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“They made a joke that we couldn’t handle it so they had to come in to get the job done,” they added.

“They told us they would be getting the office ready for a carpeting company to come and put carpet it, which eventually happened,” the affidavit says. “We don’t know any of them by name but we do recognize them by face.”

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