Although a Hudson County Superior Court judge was already scheduled to sentence two former North Bergen Department of Public Works supervisors convicted of official misconduct, the court matter has been pushed to the middle of next month, a source said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
As Hudson County View first reported, Francis Longo and Troy Bunero were found guilty on a multitude of charges in June, which included working political campaigns and performing personal chores while on township time.
While the sentencing was initially scheduled for last Friday, September 18, the matter was postponed until October 19, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
The trial came nearly three years after the pair were indicted by the state Attorney General’s Office, with defense attorneys Brian Neary and Paul Faugno arguing that their clients had no choice but to follow the orders of their boss: then-Superintendent James Wiley.
Wiley is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit official misconduct in 2012.
The defense team, at times, also tried to convince the jury that the North Bergen DPW did the bidding of Commissioner Frank Gargiulo and Mayor Nick Sacco, although neither official was ever charged – or even questioned – in relation to the case.
However, during his closing remarks, New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Victor Salgado said that following orders is never an excuse to break the law – a sentiment the jury seemed to agree with.
The state AG’s probe into North Bergen continues, as the agency raided the Township’s Parks and Recreation Department back on March 9.
In August, Walter Somick and Abraham Garcia were indicted for allegedly falsifying timesheets to get paid for jobs they weren’t actually working – instead performing personal chores while on the clock.
Shortly after the verdict, a township spokesman said “the DPW has been completely overhauled,” also stressing that a new management team is in place.
Neary and Faugno did not return calls seeking comment.