Former Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission officials found guilty

A former administrator and a former shop foreman at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission were convicted at trial today of charges that they directed subordinate employees to complete repairs or improvements at private homes while on-duty for the PVSC, according to Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

Anthony Ardis, 59, of Paterson, and Paul Bazela, 47, of Northvale, were found guilty today by a Passaic County jury following a two-week trial.

Ardis is a former PVSC Commissioner who later was employed as Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, Director of Management Services and Chief Ethics Liaison Officer for the PVSC.  Bazela is the former foreman of the PVSC carpenter’s shop.

Both men were found guilty of third-degree charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct, and a fourth-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking or disposition.  Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Because Ardis and Bazela were convicted of conduct that occurred after April 14, 2007, when enhanced penalties for official misconduct took effect, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in state prison without possibility of parole.  The judge will enter orders requiring both men to forfeit their pensions and be permanently barred from public employment or office in New Jersey.

Former Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission officials found guilty