Two North Bergen Department of Parks and Recreation employees have been indicted for getting paid for no-show jobs – allegedly falsifying time sheets in the matter – the state Attorney General’s Office said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Abraham Garcia, 56, of North Bergen, and Walter Somick, 46, of Wayne, were both indicted by a state grand jury on Friday on charges of second-degree official misconduct, third-degree theft by deception, third-degree tampering with public records and fourth-degree falsifying records.
State Attorney General’s Office spokesman Peter Aseltine gave Hudson County View an update on the situation this afternoon.
Garcia and Somick were charged with allegedly falsifying timesheets on April 28, with the AG’s Office stating that investigators accounted for over 130 hours where Garcia signed timesheets for work – but was not actually working.
On the other hand, state investigators alleged that Somick was caught getting paid for over 110 hours when he was not actually working at his township job. Both employees are part-time recreational aides for the township.
The charges came about seven weeks after the state Attorney General’s office raided the North Bergen Department of Parks and Recreation.
The indictments marks the latest chapter of the AG’s ongoing investigation into the township of North Bergen, with two Department of Public Works supervisors getting convicted of official misconduct, among a multitude of other charges, in Hudson County Superior Court on June 30.
If convicted, Garcia and Somick could face five to 10 years in state prison, with a five-year mandatory minimum term of parole ineligibility on the official misconduct charges, as well as a sentence of three to five years in prison on the third-degree charges.
Furthermore, a two-year minimum term of parole ineligibility comes with the tampering with public records charges.
Township spokesman Phil Swibinski said that Garcia and Somick were suspended without pay back when they were charged, declining to comment further.
“Mr. Somick and Mr. Garcia were both suspended without pay when this matter was first brought to the township’s attention and will continue to be until the legal process is concluded.”