Ex-West New York plumbing insp. forthcoming in midst of independent investigation

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After Hudson County View exclusively reported on a potential low show job in the West New York Building Department earlier this month, we have now learned that an employee of that same department has resigned, stating he is pursuing a better job opportunity.

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Frank Recanati, 50, was on the front cover of The Jersey Journal in July 2012, where I revealed that he was routinely calling in sick at one job and going to work at another on the same day.

At the time, he said back issues and kidney stones would lead him to call out of West New York after he had worked in Bergen County municipality in the morning, declining to elaborate further.

Back then, Recanati had seven jobs in six North Jersey municipalities, but received benefits in West New York – where he earned about $43,000 a year, working 21 or so hours a week.

Based on public records, Recanati has five jobs: in Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Wallington, Guttenberg and West New York.

Upon further investigation, he earns $25,000 a year as the construction official in East Rutherford, $11,540.12 as the plumbing inspector in Guttenberg, works 15 hours a week in Carlstadt – where he serves as both the construction official and plumbing inspector – receives a $12,379 a year salary as the plumbing inspector for Hasbrouck Heights, and is also the plumbing inspector in both Teterboro and Wallington.

That comes to a total of seven part-time jobs for an annual salary of over $150,000.

East Coast Private Investigations’ Joe Blaettler exclusively told Hudson County View earlier this month that his company had been hired to investigate multiple employees of North Hudson building departments, including West New York.

He alleged that Manny Fernandez, a West New York building inspector with four other jobs, was routinely slacking off while on the clock, in one instance performing two inspections in a just six minutes.

While performing surveillance on Recanati, he relayed similar observations to Hudson County View.

“I observed him doing very few inspections, he spent more time hanging around outside the building and eating breakfast. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, for some reason he drove around in the same car as Manny [Fernandez] and never appeared to do any inspections,” Blaettler said via email.

He could not appear on camera this time since he is in Alabama.

Surveillance photos and footage show Recanati sitting outside town hall with Fernandez on multiple days, as well as one instance with them eating breakfast together at a restaurant while on the clock.

Recanati, who submitted his resignation letter in West New York on August 26 – effective September 9 – seemed open to any and all questions regarding the ECPI investigation during a phone interview with Hudson County View.

“I don’t know how he can determine whether I’m doing work in the office, when I am actually doing work in the office,” he said.

“My hours have always had me starting at 7:30 [a.m.] and have been signed off by my supervisor, the inspectors always come in earlier to do plan review.” He added that on average, each inspector typically performs anywhere from two to nine inspections a day – a variable that is beyond their control.

When asked if he felt there was an issue with getting breakfast while on the clock, he responded: “There’s nothing that says we can’t get breakfast, that doesn’t preclude us from doing our job properly.”

Finally, Recanati said his departure from West New York, as well as Guttenberg, has nothing to do with any investigation or turmoil in the West New York Building Department.

Instead, he says he has been planning to focus on Bergen Count for quite some time in pursuit of another job opportunity.

“My reasoning for leaving was well-documented before any of this came out. I left for an upgraded position, where I’d serve as the full-time Construction Official for Rutherford, East Rutherford and Carlstadt. This has been in the works for a year, possibly a year-and-a-half.”

He clarified that the new job title, which hasn’t been finalized, would be one job that was created specifically to encompass the three Bergen County municipalities.

He also stated that he would decide whether or not to leave his positions in Teterboro and Hasbrouck Heights after the responsibilities of the new position are clearly established.

Recanati, who said he was hired in West New York in 1995, reflected that he has fond memories of working for the town. “I had a great reputation in the town and was very comfortable being there, I enjoyed my time there.”

Town officials did not respond to an inquiries seeking comment on Wednesday.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Who’s watching the store , all the thieves are stealing our tax dollars . Where are the controls ? where’s the management ? Where’s the incitements ?

  2. This guy seems pretty cocky for someone who is a repeat offender. Thank god he’s gone. I remember that original story. Did he even get in trouble for it or was he given a pat on the back cuz he’s just like his friend Silvio…… A thieving ba$tard?

  3. This guy has always pushed the envelope and has been a slacker. I’m not surprised he steals time and doesn’t do inspections when he’s supposed to. What surprises me is that our mayor protected and praised him in the previous reports of theft of services, thereby encouraging it to continue. He should have been fired in 2012 when he did this the first time. Makes one wonder, how much did his theft of services actually cost the taxpayers since 1995. I guess this explains his quick and quiet exit from WNY. We should be thankful, he’s someone else’s problem now.

    • Why should it surprise you that the mayor protected and praised him? The mayor is the biggest lowlife of all. It’s because of him and his corrupt ways that all this scum get away with stealing from the town and its taxpayers. He does not know how to lead and has no sense of right and wrong. He’s garbage and we need to get rid of him.
      No decent leader would tolerate all the fraud that goes on in this town. It’s disgusting.

  4. You are right. We should be the most surprised that the sitting commissioner of that department lets this happen. I guess when prieto tells you to protect fernandez, slimeball, repeater offenders and serial time stealers like Frank, get away with it too. SMH. Absolutely disgusting.

  5. How disgraceful was this reporting. Can you make it anymore obvious you have it out for Mr. Recanati. Why did you choose Mr. Recanati in 2012 & 2015 to run a story on. Considering he resigned you still chose to try and smear him. Does Mr. Recanati or the other gentlemen you ran a story on have a boss ? If so how come you’re not running a story on Mr. O`malley because I’m sure he’s gone out to eat on taxpayers time. Why don’t you pay you’re investigator to follow him and I’m sure he has town’s he’s on the payroll. The way you picked out these 2 gentleman to run a story on and TRY to smear there reputations. If the average person didn’t know any better it almost feels like you ran this story for a friend. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you were buddy buddy with Mr. Omalley himself. Can you let the reader’s know are you friends with Mr. Omalley.

    • Well first of all, the notion that the reporting here is “disgraceful” is ridiculous. Me and Mr. Recanati had an extended conversation where he dismissed all the allegations being made against him. No “smear” type of story gets two sides. Secondly, I was never an editor or publisher at The Jersey Journal, so that means people in the news industry for 20, 30 years thought it was a good story back then – good enough for the front cover actually. Next, I didn’t hire Joe Blaetter/ECPI, believe me when I tell you I couldn’t afford his rates. Furthermore, while this story is open to interpretation, 9/10 people agree that the Fernandez situation is at least a little funny/suspicious. Also bear in mind that this is only the beginning, other employees throughout North Hudson have been followed and will be profiled. Finally, Mr. O’Malley has one other job and we are acquainted and cordial. We don’t talk or see each other very often though.

      • “…other employees throughout North Hudson have been followed and will be profiled…”

        yeah, and nothing will come of that either !

  6. “Cynthia”:

    Your first mistake was referring to the two time stealer as a gentlemen. They are far from it. Secondly, a review of this footage clearly shows frank in at least five different shirts. So he was caught at least five times. Imagine that, he was followed for AT LEAST least five days and that’s just in wny…. It must be nice to only have to work 21 hours per week, then slice off an additional five hours per week so you can go out to eat. Apparently you must be friends with him because anyone with any work ethic, sense of integrity or shred of honesty would be offended by his and the other guy’s bad behavior, but not YOU. Because you’re probably just like him.

    Theft of services; Conduct Unbecoming a Public Employee and License Revocation doesn’t become any less of an option just because he resigned. For you, or anyone else to think otherwise demonstrates just how low the bar has been set in WNY.

  7. as JH said, Mr. O’Malley has one other job — which makes for 2 FULL TIME jobs…

    so is it from WNY or Pal. Pk. that Tom is guilty of those same allegations Michael ?

  8. These abuses should really be reported to the state Attorney General. The people who allow these illegalities to go on should also be reported.

    The only way this will stop is when law enforcement steps in and these criminals and crooks pay for their crimes.

    Maybe the new HC prosecutor will be interested. People who have first hand knowledge of these abuses need to step in and do something. Do it anonymously, if necessary.

    • the AG’s office has never bothered with Hudson County, they only want the easy cases !

      as for the HC prosecutor, are you kidding ?

      that office is in Sacco’s back pocket.

  9. Tupa thinks he has the info. So he will probably be the one to report it….. As soon as he is done with all of his other towns.

  10. When is John Heinis going to report on Capt. Tom Torrmmey? This guy has been abusing the system for 35 years! He is a full time captain at the fire department and works in several other towns including WNY as an inspector. He is Tom O’malley’s sidekick and office snitch. There aren’t enough hours in the week for this guy to justify his time.

    • Interesting that you chose to ask that question and deflect, yet again.

      Stick with this story because as JH said, there’s more to come.

      Also given the fact that you seem to know who the snitch is, my guess is you have been snitched on.

      Tick tock. Tick tock

  11. Frank is a professional thief,at one time I rented a store in East Rutherford. Frank came into my store to buy an item. He asked me for a discount and I told him no. Since he was the building inspector he told me he won’t issue me a certificate of occupancy. Every time he came for inspection it was a disaster. I was forced to close the store. Frank is a professional thief and has been screwing taxpayers for years. I can be reached at 973 489 1019 for more information.

  12. Frank a corrupt Building inspector who knew how to work the system and get away with it. I hope other towns wake up and legally have Frank pay back the taxpayer money Frank was not entitled to

  13. Once a snake always a snake. You’re somebody else’s problem now. How long before one of your no-show inspections come back to bite you in your a$$! I’m a patient person especially since I know it’s inevitable.

Comments are closed.