What about the rest of them?
As a member of the Board of Trustees of Sussex County Community College (SCCC), former Sussex County Freeholder Glen Vetrano was required by law (N.J.S. 40A:9-22.1 et seq. the Local Government Ethics Law) to file an annual personal Financial Disclosure Statement with the State of New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services. Among other things, Vetrano was required to list his sources of income. The reason for this is simple: Once listed any obvious conflicts of interest would become apparent to members of the public and the media.
The idea is that if you list that you take money from a certain vendor and then use your official position to do something like voting to approve a contract for that vendor, the conflict of interest would be transparent and you would immediately get called out on it. But that is not how it worked in the case of Glen Vetrano.
On May 27, 2014, Vetrano filed his Financial Disclosure Statement and swore it was true:
I hereby certify that this Financial Disclosure Statement contains no willful misstatement of fact or omission of material fact and, constitutes a full disclosure with respect to all matters required by N.J.S.A.40A:9-22.1 et seq., to the best of my knowledge. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements made by me are willfully false, I am subject to fines and possible disciplinary action.
Date: 05/27/2014 Name: Glen J. Vetrano
I further certify that I intend my electronic signature on this statement to be the legally binding equivalent of my traditional handwritten signature.
Vetrano reported no income on his Financial Disclosure Statement:
Section II. Financial Information
Provide the following information for yourself and members of your immediate family for the prior calendar year. If none, please indicate NONE in the space provided.
A. List the name and address of each source of income, earned and unearned, which you received in excess of $2,000. If a publicly traded security is the source of income, the security need not be reported unless you or a member of your immediate family has an interest in the business organization.
Name Address Self/Spouse Dependent Name
Vetrano later admitted that this was false and that he received monthly payments from an engineering firm that did business with the Sussex County Community College. Vetrano also failed to report the income from his $107,715 annual state pension.
Vetrano admitted to receiving money from one engineering firm after becoming caught up in a contract scandal that so far has caused two SCCC trustees to resign, Vetrano being one of them. But sources throughout Sussex County have confirmed that the engineering firm cited in the SCCC scandal is only one of the businesses represented by Glen Vetrano. Has anyone at Sussex County Community College looked into potential conflicts involving the others?
Because Vetrano reported nothing on his Financial Disclosure Statement, we have no way of knowing whether he did accept money (as he later admitted he did with at least one vendor) or did not accept money from other businesses with whom he had relationships.
The Sussex County Community College administration and trustees should ensure that former SCCC trustee Glen Vetrano correct his Financial Disclosure filed (improperly) on their behalf as a Member of the SCCC Board of Trustees and that the corrected filing include all sources of income from every business with whom he had a relationship.