The Jersey City NAACP and the Police Officers Benevolent Association teamed up at City Hall this afternoon to go after the Mayor Steven Fulop administration for “a lack of transparency.”
JCPOBA President Carmine Disbrow explained why the two groups came together in protest of the leadership of the current administration.
“What brings us together with the NAACP? This organizations effort here locally, in Jersey City, has been focused on increasing opportunities for minority-owned businesses, who also serve the city they call home,” began Disbrow.
“Unfortunately for what Rev. Keaton and I discussed at length, you effort have been rebuffed and ignored. There’s an obvious pattern here at City Hall.”
Disbrow then began to tear into the mayor over an alleged “bid rigging” tape that surfaced earlier this week: a 13-minute conversation from 2014 where then-Chief of Staff Muhammed Akil and former local Democratic party chair Shawn “Sully” Thomas Sullivan discussed circumventing a public bidding process.
“They may be garbled and muffled, but one thing is sure: Mayor Fulop’s appointees were not talking about creating opportunities to enrich lives of the residents they were supposed to serve,” he said.
“The conversation, where the chief of staff acknowledged in very colorful language, that what they were doing was probably illegal, was not about reaching a fair contract with the Jersey City Police Department. It wasn’t about supporting minority-owned businesses, it wasn’t about making our parks better, it wasn’t about making our streets safer.”
The JCPOBA have been feuding with Fulop for weeks, beginning when they protested a re-election fundraiser in late September.
Rev. Willie Keaton, Jr., the chairman of the Jersey City NAACP labor and Industry Committee, stated no one expects a perfect government, but a transparent one isn’t much to ask.
“We are not here expecting a perfect government, but we are here expecting a transparent government – knowing that when there is no transparency, the marginalized are the first group to suffer,” Keaton said.
“So we have to do better: for the sake of our children, we have to do better. How important is transparency? Transparency slows down gentrification.”
The Jersey City NAACP have recently went head-to-head with Fulop by asking him to released the tape between Akil and Sullivan before it was leaked and also speaking out against the new project labor agreement before the council approved it in August.
A city spokeswoman did not return an email seeking comment.