Former North Bergen Department of Public Works Deputy Director Timothy Grossi was indicted 40 months ago, but his trial was postponed yet again at a Bergen County Superior Court hearing yesterday.
“The court asked counsel to come in today because of Mr. [Jeffrey] Jarrigan’s March 31, 2016 letter directed to the court, talking to the [New Jersey] Attorney General’s Office. Counsel, do you wish to be heard on the letter?” asked Bergen County Superior Court Judge Margaret Foti.
While Garrigan did not state it outright inside the court room, his aforementioned letter questions if Grossi, who has previously had his case delayed due to physical health issues, if his client is mentally competent enough to stand trial.
“Just briefly judge: the letter basically outlines my dealings with Mr. Grossi over the last six to nine months, as well as attached numerous medical reports with regards to a condition that has developed over the last … I would say three to six months that he’s being treated for by a neurologist,” he told the court.
“There’s some additional testing that needs to take place, but the bottom line is there’s an issue, I believe, that needs to be raised in regards to my client’s competency to proceed.
Julia Zukina, a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General who was key in getting the convictions of ex-North Bergen DPW Supervisors Francis Longo and Troy Bunero for performing personal chores and working political campaigns while on township time, is also working the Grossi case.
“Your honor, in light of the representations by defense counsel, we would like some time to organize and reach out to the experts so we can go ahead and see what the scheduling will be like, so we can proceed and schedule a possible examination for Mr. Grossi,” she said.
Grossi, who was supposed to go to trial on April 19th, will now have another hearing on April 18th at 1:30 p.m. to determine what the next steps will be in the longstanding case.
As it stands today, Grossi is the last major player still awaiting a resolution to his indictment in late 2012.
The cases of Bunero and Longo, which also featured testimony from ex-North Bergen DPW Superintendent James Wiley – who is cooperating with the government after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct – were widely viewed as precursor to what to expect in Grossi’s trial.
Additionally, Hudson County View first reported, Joe Lorenzo, the brother-in-law of North Bergen DPW Commissioner Frank Gargiulo, pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking last month after being indicted in October for having DPW workers perform construction at his business.
Furthermore, the State AG’s Office is also currently investigating the North Bergen Parks and Recreation Department, which was raided just over a year ago and led to two employees being indicted in August for allegedly falsifying timesheets.