NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey town official has come clean about using city employees as personal servants and wasting thousands in taxpayer dollars.
Workers apparently did everything from painting and yard work to household chores.
How owns the nicest house on Heindel Avenue in North Bergen, and you helped pay for it.
Former Public Works Superintendent James Wiley admitted he used employees on his home to build an addition, install a hot tub, and put in new pavement while having the town picked up the tab.
Taxpayers said they are disgusted.
“You have so many people working hard, paying taxes and here you have one person sticking their hands in the cookie jar,” North Bergen resident Richard Curz told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan on Tuesday.
“It’s very upsetting ’cause we all work and pay very high taxes,” Jessica Mendez added.
But wait, there’s more.
The New Jersey attorney general said Wiley had workers do housecleaning, window-washing, rake leaves, shovel snow, even put up the Christmas decorations.
On Saturdays, he paid them time and a half.
When CBS 2 visited, DPW workers did not want to talk about their ex-boss. Wiley also pleaded guilty to having employees work on a political campaign.
Mario Blanch, of North Bergen Concerned Citizens, claimed the campaign work included dirty tricks. His group even shot video they said shows DPW workers swiping political leaflets from homes.
“This has been going on for years,” Blanch said.
At Wiley’s home, someone who lives there told CBS 2 to get lost.
Wiley claims he was ordered to do the political work.
In a statement the township said it is “Very angry that taxpayer money could have been misspent for personal gain or political reasons…”
In his plea agreement, Wiley could face up to 10 years when sentenced and must pay restitution for the money spent on the house. The attorney general said there could be other arrests.
Wiley is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 26.
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