BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. — A Bergen County Superior Court judge suspended a three-year prison sentence for a former North Bergen DPW director, NJ Attorney General Chistopher S. Porrino announced.
Timothy Grossi, 77 of Jersey City, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti for ordering subordinate employees to run political errands while they were on duty and being paid by the township, Porrino said.
Foti suspended the sentence because of the condition of Grossi’s health, according to the attorney general, who did not release the specifics of Grossi's condition.
Grossi pleaded guilty on Oct. 20 to a charge of third-degree misapplication of entrusted property and property of government, Porrino said.
Grossi is permanently barred from public office and employment in New Jersey as a result of the guilty plea, in which he admitted that he directed on-duty DPW workers using township vehicles to go to the county clerk’s office to perform errands related to his personal political activity in the township – and unrelated to township business – including picking up and dropping off challenger badges, the attorney general said.
Deputy Attorneys General Cynthia Vazquez and Charles Wright prosecuted Grossi and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice.
Grossi was the fourth supervisor from the North Bergen DPW to plead guilty or be found guilty at trial in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau into abuses involving DPW employees being paid by North Bergen Township for work unrelated to DPW functions, according to Porrino.
"Grossi was one of the top officials in the North Bergen Department of Public Works, but now he is a convicted felon, just like the three supervisors under him who previously pled guilty or were convicted at trial," Porrino said.
"By arrogantly abusing the power entrusted to him and exploiting public workers for political purposes, Grossi promoted a culture of corruption within his department, a culture we exposed through our investigation."
On Sept. 11, 2012, former DPW Superintendent James Wiley -- who is awaiting sentencing -- pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct, admitting he directed DPW employees to perform hundreds of hours of chores at his home and to work on campaigns while being paid by the township, the attorney general said.
In 2015, former DPW supervisors Troy Bunero and Francis Longo were convicted at trial of second-degree charges of conspiracy and official misconduct for assigning municipal employees to work on election campaigns and complete personal chores or projects for them or their boss, Wiley, Porrino said. Bunero and Longo were each sentenced to five years in state prison, according to the attorney general.
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