Vohden feeling the heat on solar investigation

Freeholder Richard Vohden loves to tell stories about his days in construction as a union operator.  If Vohden's colorful stories are to be believed, then he should know full well that law enforcement NEVER comments on active investigations.

At last evening's meeting of the Freeholder Board, Vohden suggested that the Freeholders hold off commissioning any independent county investigation into the Sussex solar scam that ripped-off county taxpayers for millions, until after the status of possible state and federal criminal investigations is determined.  That means holding off on a county investigation indefinitely.

Vohden is being dishonest and he knows it.  He told the Freeholder Board that he made a round of telephone calls to the state and federal law enforcement agencies and understands from those calls that some kind of action is underway.  What he is trying to prevent is an independent county investigation.

The reason Sussex County needs a county investigation is simple.  The solar scam cost $88 million.  Sussex taxpayers are on the hook for $24 million and they just borrowed another $7 million and the bill for that is coming due shortly.  It will likely cause a sharp increase in property taxes. 

It is not the job of these law enforcement agencies to protect the interests of Sussex County.  They could even cite Sussex County officials for malfeasance and who would pay for that? The federal authorities will try to claw back the federal money involved in the scam.  Who is looking out for Sussex County taxpayers? 

That's where an independent county investigation comes in.  It is a fact-finding mission to build a case to get some of those millions back through civil action. 

The FBI and State Attorney General's office are looking for criminal indictments.  That may punish those responsible, but it won't get our money back.  That is why the investment in an independent county investigation is money well spent.

Freeholder Vohden appears to be arguing that we simply accept the screwing, pay the money, don't ask questions, keep paying the money, and do nothing to get our money back.  That is a weak, panty-waist approach in our opinion. 

Freeholders Richard Vohden and Phil Crabb voted for the solar bail out with taxpayers' money with no intention of ever trying to find out if the Wall Street manipulators, lawyers, and consultants did something wrong.  No attempt to recover a dime of the millions wasted.  They are part of the mess and bear some responsibility for where we are today.  Freeholders George Graham, Jonathan Rose, and Carl Lazzaro opposed the bailout and campaigned with the PROMISE that there would be an independent county investigation.

Back before the June 2015 primary, even Vohden claimed to support an independent investigation because back then he was trying to deny the existence of state and federal criminal investigations.  Why the flip-flop Richie? 

It is important for the Freeholders who campaigned on the PROMISE of an independent county investigation to keep that PROMISE.  Voters are already skeptical of elected officials.  Don't give them a reason to believe the worst of politicians.