Sources confirm that the state Attorney General’s Office this week dropped subpoenas on the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission – targeting several commission employees.
Observers could see the build up.
Newly sworn into office, Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year called out the authority’s then-director, Bryan Christiansen, as a living example of government waste. Embarrassed with an annual salary of $313,000, Christiansen subsequently resigned.
Signaling the start of tougher scrutiny, Christie brought in Wayne Forrest, a former Somerset County prosecutor, to serve as executive director of the mammoth commission with over 600 employees, which serves municipalities in Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties.
“It’s nothing sexy,” one source said in reference to this week’s subpoenas, but at least two others said the lower level targets could spark the beginning of a bigger, more explosive probe of the operation.
Looking close range at past practices once he started his new job earlier this summer, Forrest started asking questions.
His concerns included at least one politically connected employee going from an $80,000 to $180,000 salary in five years, and personal use of sewerage authority supply equipment, sources said.