NBHA Chair Lashes Out, Claiming News Editor is Under Investigation _ New Brunswick Today how can i apply for housing benefit

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—chairing an off-the-rails public meeting on november 15, the leader of the new brunswick housing authority (NBHA) lashed out and accused this reporter of both spreading lies and being under investigation.

The statement came at a time when the NBHA itself is under investigation by the new brunswick police department (NBPD), in a bizarre case that originated with a complaint this reporter made to many individuals, including county prosecutor andrew carey.

Carey’s office referred the case to the NBPD, and the way they have handled it has fueled concerns about the department’s commitment to fighting local corruption, and whether or not they are out to get this reporter.

As we reported, the NBHA was deemed troubled by the US department of housing and urban development (HUD), sparking their office of inspector general to conduct the audit that shined a light on the widespread procurement violations.How can i apply for housing benefit

The police matter, however, only deals with an often-violated provision of the state’s authorities law, which requires agencies like the NBHA to maintain a website and post certain public documents to it.

Presently, the NBHA’s website illegally lacks a copy of their current fiscal year budget, meetings minutes from its operations committee, and the docket of resolutions adopted at the november 15 meeting.

Caldwell also leads the city’s elected board of education and the educational services commission of NJ (ESC-NJ), a co-op that does business with both the NBHA and the city’s public school system, raising concerns about the potential for conflict of interest.

At the public meeting, once caldwell opened the floor to the public, a slew of residents and their advocatess loudly voiced pent-up frustrations over the NBHA’s decline to the five members of the board who showed up.How can i apply for housing benefit

Among the allegations were that the agency overcharges tenants and has fallen behind on maintenance. NBHA executive director john clarke had soon admitted that the authority’s phone system had crashed.

Caldwell pointed to the flyer’s claims that the agency had scored a 41 out of 100 in HUD’s public housing assessment system, a score that was third-worst in the nation when it was published in early 2016.

Caldwell and NBHA attorney joseph manfredi also bullied this reporter during the public comment portion of the meeting, forcefully requesting a donation to the agency’s food pantry and prematurely shutting down the meeting.

Manfredi represents eight other new jersey housing authorities, including one in franklin township that operates under an interlocal agreement with NBHA, again raising concerns over conflicts of interest.How can i apply for housing benefit

The meeting is over and unless these people here consent, new jersey’s a one-party state so they can’t, unless they give you their consent manfredi said, butchering the state’s wiretapping law, which actually only prohibits recordings where none of the involved parties in a conversation are aware and consenting.

Though caldwell has backed off the claim that our recording was against the law, he later argued that it amounted to a breach of trust in a november 22 email: if one person trusts another person they would assume that the other person would never record another person without getting their permission. Obviously my trust was misplaced and you were given the benefit of the doubt.

The NBHA board declined to make their own video or audio recordings of the meetings when asked to in 2015, so new brunswick today has stepped in to fill the void, recording and sharing complete videos of their last sixteen board meetings on youtube and the newbrunswicktoday.Com website.How can i apply for housing benefit

As we reported and recorded in february 2016, caldwell stated, we should have just as much right to your recording as you have, during another attempt to bully this reporter after we began to raise concerns about the son of the NBHA’s property manager illegally living in the schwartz homes.

In his role as board of education president, caldwell leads a board that explicitly voted against video-recording and televising their public meetings in october 2013, eschewing a practice that has become increasingly common in many new jersey communities.

Even though caldwell told us not to, we kept recording the aftermath of the NBHA meeting on that fateful night, and just a couple minutes later, one of his colleagues threatened this reporter with physical violence.

Since october 30, the NBPD has been trying to persuade this reporter to give a formal taped statement ostensibly to assist their own ongoing investigation into the NBHA’s failure to post certain public documents on their website, as required by the authorities law.How can i apply for housing benefit

A political donor to seven-term mayor james cahill, lemmerling has been involved in several other city government corruption cases, including those targeting the new brunswick fire department and the new brunswick parking authority.

Not only has lemmerling twice arrested this reporter in the past eight years, he’s also the same officer who secured a search warrant for our newspaper’s office last december, violating a federal law meant to protect news organizations and their sources.

The december 20, 2016 warrant he obtained allowed lemmerling and his partner to seize a water meter from new brunswick today’s former headquarters during an investigation into the city’s scandal-plagued water utility.

In the more recent case against the NBHA, lemmerling misled this reporter about the right to have counsel present during the taped statement he was requesting, saying that witnesses are not entitled to have an attorney with them in the interview room at NBPD headquarters.How can i apply for housing benefit

Typically witnesses do not request to have an attorney present when speaking with the police, however if you would feel more comfortable having your attorney with you when speaking with sgt. Lemmerling that will not be a problem, miller wrote on november 15.

I will speak with sgt. Lemmerling and advise him to contact you, and set a time and date that you and your attorney can speak with him and provide any pertinent details of the investigation at hand, wrote miller, the department’s longtime public information officer.

When this reporter asked to have another investigator assigned to the case because lemmerling had been deceptive, miller declined to oblige without disputing the claim that the sgt. Had misled this reporter.

As the fallout from the explosive meeting continued, caldwell eventually issued a partial apology to this reporter one week later, but he appeared to stand by the claim that this reporter is currently under an ongoing police investigation.How can i apply for housing benefit

Typically, police investigate people when they violate the law, caldwell concluded. Please think about the ways in which you have violated the law and you can determine if you have been, are currently or will be investigated by the police.