Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Whistleblower to Comedian in one Podcast

        I recently had the privilege of doing a podcast hosted by J D Lopez.  We spoke of my days as a whistle-blower in New Jersey state government and the past six years in Denver.

        Thank you for listening.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

To Lawyers Who Represent Crime Victims

                 Its been several years since my most recent blog entry.  There will be more in the weeks ahead.

                During the years 2002 through 2005 I spoke to groups of attorneys in New Jersey who represented victims of violent crime.   Attached is a transcript of the speech.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Smoking Gun

On May 19, 2008, I wrote a memorandum to Mr. David Ridolfino expressing my concerns about money being stolen from the VCCA. It appears as though Craig Difiore, James Casserly, and Ron Parke, abused their postions in the VCCA to steal money that was supposed to be used to help crime victims. Immediately below are copies of my memo and the response I received from Mr. Ridolfino.

Less than two months after submitting this memorandum I was fired. In the two years since was fired James Casserly and Craig Difiore are still employed at that agency (now the "VCCO")
and Ron Parke is retired and enjoying his pension and free health care for life. James Casserly is in charge of the VCCO's finances. All three are politically connected. James Casserly is a Jersey City Democrat (friend of Assemblyman Joe Cryan). Craig Difiore is a friend of former Senate President and Acting Govenor Donald Difrancesco. Ron Parke is a Union County Republican.

The VCCO is now part of the Department of Law and Public Safety. The corruption at the VCCO has been covered up - and continues to be covered up - by New Jersey State law enforcement, i.e. the Office of the Attorney General.

The public deserves to know what has been going on here. The Office of the Attorney General cannot invesigate itself. It is time for an audit by an independent accounting firm and for a special prosecutor be appointed to determine if charges need to be brought. Setting up the internal computer system to "fail to capture" information on catastrophic injury cases is an obvious attempt to hide something. This one act alone represents the potential to embezzle millions of dollars over ten years.

It is time for the Christie administration to put up or shut up on corruption. If they continue to cover up this scandel they will be sending a clear message to all state goverment employees: Be like David Ridolfino and keep your head low, eyes downcast, and cover your ears to corruption and you can keep your cushy job with its great pension and benefits. On the other hand, if you blow the whistle on corruption the Office of the Attorney General will use the tools of law enforcement to punish you.

There is no place like the Soprano State (except maybe the old Soviet Union).

Copyright 2010 Edward Werner all rights resrved

Friday, January 8, 2010

Show Me The Money !

On December 22, 2009, the attached Complaint and Brief (Superior Court of New Jersey Mercer County Court of Equity L-23-10) were filed in Mercer County Superior Court. The State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety has diverted approximately FIVE AND ONE HALF MILLION DOLLARS ($5,500,000) that may only be spent to compensate crime victims through the Victims of Crime Compensation Office.

The Crime Victims Compensation Office is a text book example of good intentions abused by government corruption. The agency is supposed to compensate innocent victims of violent crime for the resultant costs. Unfortunately, the VCCO has been corrupt for many years. In 2005, my predecessor was asked to resign because he was caught using state government employees for his private entity; one in-house lawyer -the sister-in-law of Senator Robert Singer (R) Ocean, Burlington, and Monmouth - had to be fired for falsifying time sheets; the other in-house lawyer was fired for running a house closing business out of the VCCO office; since 2000 the agency had a no-bid construction contract scheme for which their internal computer system has no records; and there were three politically appointed Board Members who received six figure salaries for doing very little work. The agency has been in existence since 1978 and it has never been audited to determine where they are spending the money.

Now it appears the Department of Law and Public Safety has diverted $5,500,000 while making up excuses to deny victims. Diverting that money is more cold hearted than many of the crimes from which the victims originally suffered because they are now being revictimized by law enforcement !

Some say, the government will always find a way to take the money, so why fight it? Why rock the boat? This corruption must be fought .

First and foremost, it must be fought because innocent victims of rapes, muggings, shootings, and murders are suffering without anywhere else to turn;

It must be fought because the government has no right to pilfer funds from crime victims;

It must be fought becuase law enforcement can never be permitted to do the dirty work for political hacks - when the police break the law there is no law;

It must be fought because crime victims - like many other people dependant on government assistance - need and deserve this help, but they do not have the finances to make campaign contributions or hire lobbyists in the halls of power to influence politicians;

It must be fought to challenge to public officials who see public funds as a source of cash for themselves;

It must be fought because this sort of corruption allows others to ridicule New Jersey as "The Soprano State";

It must be fought as an example to the many State Government employees who would come forward to report corruption if they thought it would do any good; and

It must be fought because it is wrong.

If you believe the government should be held accountable then please do something to help. Please contact public officials and tell them the government must account for these funds. The new administartion seems to be sincerely concerned with changing the way things are done in Trenton.

Their response to this lawsuit will provide them with an excellent opportunity to prove it.

Copyright Edward G. Werner, 2010, all rights reserved

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Jersey State Ethics Commission - the Ultimate Hypocrisy

On June 21, 2009 I sent a correspondence to the New Jersey State Ethics Commission. (Please see my earlier blog entry). Attached is a copy of their response.


In New Jersey, we expect state government bureaucrats to cover their asses at the expense of the public, but the State Ethics Commission should have some shame.

The New Jersey State Ethics Commission is the most vivid example of hypocrisy yet. Even the name is misleading. The attached letter purports to be on behalf of the Ethics Commission, but that is not so. The Ethics Commission is nine individuals who only hear news from one source; Kathleen C. Wiechnik, Esq. Ms. Weichnik is the Executive Director of the agency. She does not actually serve on the Commission. She is in charge of the office and she prepares the agenda for the Ethics Commission’s bimonthly meetings. In short, Ms. Wiechnik decides what information is presented to the Ethics Commission.

In my June 21, 2009 letter, I described what by any reasonable standard is an abuse of office by Mr. Jeffrey Stooleman. Mr. Stooleman – you can’t make this up – is in charge of Compliance at the Ethics Commission. His abuses are explained in the June 21, 2009 blog entry, but to summarize, he had an agenda to concoct an excuse to fire me. The Ethics Commission forced my predecessor, Richard Pompelio, out of his job, and they were now trying to do the same thing to me. Stooleman tried as hard as he could to come up with some violation, no matter how trivial, and over and over again he found I was honest and ethical.

But he had to keep trying. Mr. Stooleman is the longtime friend of Mr. Jacob Toporek, who is very well connected politically. Mr. Toporek filed many complaints against me and not one led to any finding of unethical conduct. In Mr. Stooleman, Toporek had the perfect foil. There is no tactic too cheap for Mr. Stooleman. He stooped to using a forged letter to try to soolicit a complaint against me. He received regular reports from a henchman within the agency. He questioned over thirty people for over three years. He even subpoenaed my computer hard drive. What did he find? He found I ran the agency effectively with no ethical lapses. This represents an abuse of authority not just because Mr. Stooleman used his office for political assassination, but because resources that could have been used to investigate true ethics violations were wasted. New Jersey is the laughing stock of the nation because of our corrupt government, and the Ethics Commission Compliance Director wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, to investigate me for three years. According to Ms. Wiechnik, this is “established practice and sound investigative procedure”.

The State Ethics Commission is charged with “enforcing the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law”. That makes it the perfect tool for political assassination. A political hack, like Mr. Stoolemen, investigates someone until he finds some technicality to use against him. Stooleman is free to harass anyone he wants because his boss will not permit allegations of his wrongdoing to be presented to the Ethics Commission.

Ironically, Ms. Wiechnik does not seem to notice the obvious conflict of interest she had. She decided whether to present this issue to the Ethics Commission. Clearly she has an interest in her own decision because she would risk an unfavorable reflection on herself if Mr. Stooleman’s abuses were investigated by a legitimate authority. If Ms. Wiechnik wanted to legitimately withhold this issue from the Ethics Commission, the ethical thing to do would have been to refer that decision to an independent entity such as an administrative law judge. Of course, the right thing to do would have been to disclose Mr. Stooleman’s conduct to the Ethics Commission and let them investigate it.

Ms. Wiechnik ridiculed my request for an accounting. She writes, “You have indicated the Commission owes you an accounting of the resources utilized in connection with its investigation. I am unaware of any statutory or regulatory authority for your request.” Ms. Wiechnik needed to look no further than the State Ethics Commission’s website. Had she checked she would would have found under the “Procedures” section it states: “The Commission has the power to undertake investigations and hold hearings regarding alleged violations of the Conflicts Law. The Commission also issues advisory opinions concerning whether a given set of facts and circumstances would in the Commission's opinion constitute possible violations of the Conflicts Law or any code, rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.”

If we were to take Ms. Wiechnik’s letter seriously, we would wonder how she could possibly be unaware her agency has the authority to determine if Mr. Stooleman wasted three years’ time and untold amounts of money to conduct a sham investigation and whether the facts of this case represent a conflict of interest. Of course, Ms. Wiechnik is not to be taken seriously. She is content to take paychecks in return for covering up corruption.

In the end, this is just one more sad example of how far corruption has gone in this state government, and one more sad example of why it will continue for a long time to come.

Copyright 2009, Edward G. Werner, all rights reserved

Monday, September 7, 2009

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

September 25, 2009 is National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

This year, please take a few minutes to consider the cost each of us pays every day for our society's collective failure to address violence and what we can do to stop it.

Forty-one years ago, Senator Robert F. Kennedy addressed the nation on the Mindless Menace of Violence.

Robert F. Kennedy speech ~ Mindless Menace of V...

These words, especially prescient immediately following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are as true and important today as they were on April 5, 1968. That is both a testament to the intelligence, compassion, and eloquence of Senator Kennedy, and a sad commentary on our society. Let this year's Day of Remembrance be both a solemn time for reflection and an inspiring time for action.

Please take the time on September 25th for a moment of silence to remember those who have fallen and then consider doing something affirmative to stop the violence. No means is too small to contribute to this great end. It may be something as simple e-mailing your representatives asking what they are doing to stop the violence; calling someone you know who has lost a loved one, just to let them know the one they lost is not forgotten; or contacting groups that are combating violence in society and volunteering to help in the effort.

When we make time to remember our loved ones and take the initiative to make lasting changes in their memories, they will know it. Each of them will look down upon us with joy, and their presence here on earth will never perish.

Edward G. Werner

Copyright 2009, all rights reserved