Cover-Up: Princeton Packet Refuses To Publish Letter On Commerce Bank Fees.
Edward J. McManimon III’s letter (The Packet, Oct. 14) suggests why Princeton taxes are so high: Mayor Marchand pays lawyers like Mr. McManimon through sweetheart no-bid contracts, while these same lawyers refuse to disclose the most elementary information owed taxpayers.
Mr. McManimon is stonewalling by refusing to release the amounts paid to Commerce Bank by Princeton taxpayers, as demanded in my October 7 letter. The taxpayers are entitled to this information, down to the penny, for every single transaction done by Commerce in Princeton Township and Borough, including the lavish counsel fees earned by Mr. McManimon.
In my letter, I revealed that Princeton Township did over $20 million in deals with the tarnished Commerce Bank between 1997 and 2002, yet Mr. McManimon refuses to release the amounts paid Commerce for those transactions.
Even worse, Mr. McManimon disingenuously reports only the partial fees taxpayers paid for one Commerce Bank transaction (out of several). He intentionally omits the amount paid to bond counsel (McManimon) or the “spread” which is where bankers make most of their money.
Mr. McManimon admits that Commerce does no-bid bond work for Princeton Township.
Mr. McManimon never denies that two of Commerce’s top executives were sentenced to jail only weeks ago for bribing government officials to obtain lucrative government business.
Mr. McManimon never denies that George Norcross -- the man the press calls “The Boss” of South Jersey and a Commerce board member -- was caught on tape threatening the Mayor of Palmyra, New Jersey. (A matter currently under investigation by the United States Attorney’s office.)
If you want to learn why your taxes are so high and New Jersey government is so corrupt, read Clint Riley’s series on Commerce Bank in the Bergen Record. Simply Google the following search: “Clint Riley Banking On Your Money”. Click on the first search result and read in devastating detail how Commerce Bank has systematically over-charged municipalities and taxpayers throughout the state by engaging in corrupt no-bid transactions. (Clint Riley, incidentally, is one of the best investigative reporters in the nation and won the prestigious Loeb journalism award for this series.)
When you are done reading this series, read the articles and the transcripts of George Norcross’ attempts to bribe the Mayor of Palmyra. (See: http://courierpostonline.com/specialreports/jca/.) The thuggish behavior by a Democratic Party Boss and Commerce Bank executive is so shocking that much of the language cannot be printed in a family newspaper like The Packet.
Here is my civics challenge to every Princeton citizen: if, after taking twenty minutes to read the above-mentioned documents, you do not believe Princeton should immediately cease business with Commerce Bank, I will send you a free copy of my book on corruption in New Jersey politics: “Shakedown: The Fleecing of the Garden State.” Just contact our web blog devoted to ending corruption in New Jersey: www.newjerseyuntouchables.blogspot.com.
Rather than terminating business with a tarnished institution, Mr. McManimon and Mayor Marchand continue to deny Princeton taxpayers their right to know.