Bilik spokesman at the center of solar scandal
For anyone who has been following the Sussex solar scandal, today's story in the New Jersey Herald is a must read. Here are some of the highlights:
The Sussex County freeholder board was told by its top professionals last September about possible collusion, criminal activity and the fraudulent use of money from the county's $28 million solar initiative to pay for lawyers, debt service and other expenses unrelated to the actual project costs.
However, rather than bring the evidence to the attention of law enforcement, county officials — under then-Freeholder Director Richard Vohden — proceeded toward a settlement with a “hold harmless” provision that exempted the architects of the deal from having to make restitution for damages or misspent funds.
Under the provision, the county would have no means of seeking redress or recovering further damages even if laws were broken. While the controversy over the settlement's “hold harmless” clause is not new, the revelation that county officials considered that federal and state laws may have been violated is.
Richard Vohden has appeared in commercials and campaign literature for Marie Bilik. He is also a frequent Bilik spokesman.
However, the concerns about misuse of funds were enough that Freeholders George Graham and Gail Phoebus inquired during the September closed session as to whether the diversion could be considered criminal in nature.
... Acknowledging the concerns about criminal activity raised by Graham and Phoebus, County Counsel Dennis McConnell responded that “it (Sussex County) is aware of the potential and that complicates everything.”
Vohden called the criminal investigation into the wrongdoing "political theater."
You can read the entire article here: