We interrupt your entertainment and local fun news to give you this update on the “War on Courruption” in Hoboken. This was released yesterday by the NJ Attorney General’s Office…..
Ex-Director of Hoboken Parking Utility Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for His Role in $600,000 Theft of Parking Meter Funds
The former director, John P. Corea, pleaded guilty to official misconduct
TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that John P. Corea, the former director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, was sentenced to state prison today for his role in the theft of $600,000 by a Toms River contractor whose company was hired by the City of Hoboken to collect coins from city parking meters. The contractor previously pleaded guilty.
Corea, 48, of Hoboken, was sentenced to seven years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson Jr. in Ocean County. He was ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to the City of Hoboken and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Corea pleaded guilty on Dec. 16, 2011 to a second-degree charge of official misconduct, which was contained in a 2009 state grand jury indictment. The indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police.
“Government officials have a duty to act with complete honesty, integrity and care in dealing with public funds, but Corea corruptly betrayed that duty and the public’s trust, permitting a crooked contractor to literally make off with bags of cash belonging to the City of Hoboken,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “This lengthy prison sentence reflects a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to public officials who abuse their positions and break the law in New Jersey.”
“This was a very costly breach of public trust,” said Stephen J. Taylor, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The Division of Criminal Justice will continue to work with the State Police and other agencies to expose and convict those who engage in official misconduct.”
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey J. Manis prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.
In pleading guilty, Corea admitted, among other things, that as director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, he steered three separate no-bid contracts to United Textile Fabricators to collect, count and manage the coins from the city’s parking meters. He admitted that he made false statements to the city council about the qualifications and experience of the company, which is a coin-operated arcade game manufacturer. He further admitted that he came to believe that United Textile and its owner, Brian A. Petaccio, 52, of Toms River, had stolen a substantial amount of the city’s parking revenues, but did not take any steps to stop the thefts or notify the city.
Petaccio pleaded guilty on Sept. 30, 2009 to an accusation charging him with second-degree theft by unlawful taking for stealing more than $1.1 million in coins from Hoboken’s parking meters between June 2005 and April 2008. He faces up to seven years in prison under his plea agreement and also must pay $300,000 in restitution to the City of Hoboken. After an audit in 2007 uncovered parking revenue shortfalls, Petaccio and his company returned approximately $575,000 to the city. However, Petaccio admitted, in pleading guilty, that he diverted an additional $600,000 that was not reported to the city. His sentencing is scheduled for April 20.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Sgt. Peter Layng of the State Police Official Corruption Bureau North Unit, Sgt. Lisa Shea of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, Deputy Attorney General Manis, Deputy Attorney General Perry Primavera and Administrative Analyst Kathleen Ratliff.
Attorney General Chiesa and Director Taylor noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free Corruption Tipline for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. Additionally, the public can log on to the Division website at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing. All information received through the tipline or webpage will remain confidential.
Link to Press Release: http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases12/pr20120402b.html
Editor’s Note: John Corea was the Hoboken Parking Director during a previous administration and not the current one. This case shows that corruption was a both a long standing and a very recent problem in Hoboken. One of the major drivers behind moving to muni meters (besides creating more parking spaces) was that it creates a better audit trail. Below is a joke worth repeating published previously on TheBoken.com….
Just for fun TheBoken.com did a little math to figure out how much weight and space $600,000 worth of quarters takes up.
Below is the breakdown of how large the booty listed in the settlement really is:
Question: How much does $600,000 in quarters weigh?
Answer: According to the US Mint that each quarter weighs 5.670g.
And 1 gram = 0.00220462262 pounds
So $600,000 means there are 2.4 million quarters in the take for this crime.
Now with some simple multiplication this yields:
2,400,000 X 5.670g = 13,608,000g or 13,608,000 * 0.00220462262 Pounds = 30,000.50461296 pounds or 15 tons of quarters!
Answer: 15 Tons of quarters!
Now, to some friends TheBoken.com had initially joked that that wouldn’t even fit in Sybill’s Cave but it turns out they likely can.
The diameter of a quarter is 24.26 mm or radius 12.13mm. And its thickness 1.75mm
Using the formula for area of a circle as A = πr2
We get an area of A = 462.224420411198 mm2
And with a thickness of 1.75mm yields a volume of 808.8927 mm3.
So now $600,000 in quarters takes up the following space:
808.8927 mm3 * 2,400,000 = 1,941,342,480 mm3 or cubic millimeters
1 cubic millimeter = 3.53146667 × 10-8 cubic feet.
Converted to feet we have 68.55786263 cubic feet of space taken up assuming the quarters would stack flush but they can’t. So, if you had a small den you could easily fit those quarters in since a typical small den goes 8ft by 11ft and has 9 foot ceilings or 792 cubic feet.
Practical Question: But would the average building be able to support that weight in one room? That’s 15 tons! His condo board would not have loved him had he hoarded his take in house. Maybe that is why John Corea sent the money all the way to Tom’s River as the press release stipulates. Just saying.