What could possibly happen when these two are combined?
In February 2011, Birdsall Services Group performed survey work for Cadwalader Park for $3,520, according to documents obtained by The Trentonian in an open records request.
The year prior to the work, Mack received three secret donations from Sea Girt-based Birdsall totaling $5,300, according to a database made public by the Star Ledger.
Trenton Deputy Clerk Cordelia Staton said Friday no request for proposal (RFP) or formal bidding was required because the cost of the project was less than the bid threshold of $17,500.
But the records request from The Trentonian asked for a purchase order of the work performed.
“I asked about a voucher and a (Purchase Order) and finance didn’t have either,” Staton said. “All they could show me was a check.”
A purchase order is required before the city cuts any check.
After hearing of the purchase Friday, Councilwoman Phyllis Holly-Ward said even though a bid isn’t required for work under $17,500, officials are still supposed to get three quotes for professional services.
“I could strongly suggest that there have been many instances where they’ve selected the person they wanted to,” Holly-Ward said of the Mack administration awarding jobs without quotes. “I don’t even know if they even cared about rules and regulations. They just came in with the mind set they could do whatever they want to do with this money.”
A federal grand jury in December returned an eight-count indictment charging Mack, his brother, Ralphiel Mack, and Mayor Mack’s close associate, Joseph A. “JoJo” Giorgianni, with extortion, bribery, and mail and wire fraud.
Mack and his co-defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from an alleged scheme to accept $119,000 in bribes in exchange for using the mayor’s influence over the development of a parking garage on city-owned land.
Birdsall hasn’t fared any better.
More than half a dozen of its former employees and top executives have been indicted on charges that they tried to circumvent the state’s election reporting standards by compensating employees for political donations.
The indictments, from March, said the company’s executives allegedly hid more than $686,000 in political contributions by having employees make donations under the $300 reporting threshold then paid them back for that amount
According to a database, employees of the company, Birdsall Services Group, were reimbursed for donations allegedly made to several Mercer County politicians, including Mack, County Executive Brian Hughes, former Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo and other politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The first executive to plead guilty, Phil Angarone Jr., admitted to funneling campaign contributions through the firm’s employees in November. In addition, he plead guilty to falsely reporting that the company had complied with the state’s pay-to-play law in annual disclosure forms required of companies that receive more than $50,000 in public contracts.
Holly-Ward said the Birdsall work performed in Trenton is another red flag against the Mack administration.
“At this point, everything they do sends up a red flag for me,” she said. “I trust nothing they do.”
The Mack administration did not respond for comment.