After looking into the quasi-governmental county financing arm, the Bergen County Improvement Authority, retired Judge James Murphy found “no evidence of any favoritism, improvidence, extravagance partiality or corruption” in regards to contracts for Overpeck Park. The landfill-turned-open space was a brilliant idea-turned-moneypit.
The cost overruns with one contractor increased the amount of the contract from $4.59 million to $23.78 million.
“It is what we expected it to be, which is a whitewash,” Bergen County Republican Organization spokesman Thom Ammirato said. “They spent four months and thousands of dollars to tell us what we already knew.”
No one in the county government – namely County Executive Dennis McNerney – asked about overrun costs, Ammirato said, at least from what the report states.
“How do you conduct an investigation on this project and not have any elected official comment in your report?” he asked. “It’s the invisible hand behind the project.”
Ammirato had one more question for McNerney: “How can you hire someone to investigate an agency you control?”