Camden is ”..the laughingstock of urban America” Judge Joel Pisano
Camden is a nightmare. As I gather material for the “most dangerous cities” pages I come across some pretty nasty places and some pretty nasty scum bag politicians. I have to tell you that I haven’t found anything, in America, to match Camden. Sunk deep in many decades of liberal democrat politics this relatively small city has probably more corruption per capita than any other in the nation.
|Camden Violent Crime Rate per Capita:|
|Murder||Forcible Rape||Robbery||Aggravated Assault||All Violent Crime|
|Is 6.69 times the National Average||Is 1.92 times the National Average||Is 4.88 times the National Average||Is 3.35 times the National Average||Is 4.02 times the National
The reason that, unlike our other Dangerous City Posts , the mayor is not headlining the Camden page, is because she is actually second in command in the city of Camden. The defacto leader of Camden is a so called Chief Operating Officer, appointed by NJ Governor John Corzine not elected by the people of Camden.
“The chief operating officer position was created in the Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act of 2002, which gave the state control over Camden in exchange for $175 million in redevelopment funds. Under the law, the COO is charged with managing city government and services. The position carries basically the same duties as the mayor, including hiring, firing, budgeting and proposing legislation. The COO also can veto decisions by City Council and other municipal boards.” Source
Judge Theodore Z Davis ( D) Appointed Chief Operating Officer, Camden NJ
The Current Chief Operating Officer is Judge Theodore X Davis. Judge Davis, a Democrat, wields more power in Camden than an any mayor ever did. Well maybe
I should probably exclude former mayor Milton Milan whose ties with the mob and other criminal organizations probably gave him more power than Judge Davis. N
o matter the city is now run by an appointed individual who does not answer to the people of the city. Oddly enough, Davis was once appointed to the Election La
w Enforcement Commission in June, 2004 and reappointed in 2005. The irony is lost on no one.
In 1986 The Honorable Theodore Z. Davis was named chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court Task Force on Minority Concerns, the first task force of its kind in the United States. Under Judge Davis’ leadership, the task force completed an examination of racial and ethnic biases in the New Jersey Judiciary over a six-year period. The final report of the task force was published in 1992.
Judge Davis was appointed a Superior Court judge in 1981 and named presiding judge of the Chancery Division-General Equity in 1991. He retired from the bench in 2003.
Judge Theodore Z. Davis is a current member of the law firm of Cozen O’Connor.
In January of 2007 Theodore Z. Davis was appointed interim Chief Operating Officer of the City of Camden by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. He replaced former Camden Mayor Melvin “Randy” Primas, who resigned. (Note, prior to his resignation the Mayor held the COO position not that of Mayor)
Melvin “Randy” Primas ,( D) , Former Appointed Chief Operating Officer, Camden NJ
“It turns out Camden got a $1 million unexplained extra appropriation with Sen. Wayne Bryant ( see bellow) casting the deciding vote. Part of the extra money went to Bryant’s law firm as legal fees according to Alan Guenther, investigative reporter for the Courier-Post. Camden has spent about $300,000 on legal fees paid to four law firms, including Bryant’s. Randy Primas, former Camden mayor and associate of Bryant, was named Camden’s chief operating officer. He says the money is being used as a reserve. “By anybody’s definition, this is a slush fund,” says Assemblyman Kevin O’Toole. Gov. Corzine’s office says there will be an investigation. Let me save them the effort: If Camden needs an overseer, and it does, make it someone without connections to the county Democratic machine. ” Source
“The exact scope of a wide-ranging state probe of public universities remains murky, but it has opened a window into the connections between politics and state institutions of higher education.And that connection is particularly evident with the universities’ all-powerful boards of trustees, which approve borrowing, negotiate contracts, award promotions, set tuition rates, and even pick a school’s president… One former trustee whose business intersected with board action was Melvin R. “Randy” Primas Jr., an ex-mayor of Camden appointed to the Rowan board in 1993 by former Gov. Jim Florio, a Democrat… In 2001, Commerce Capital was part of a three-member team led by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter that was collectively paid $407,862 to underwrite $70 million in bonds for Rowan, records supplied by the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority (EFA) show.
Commerce Capital also was paid $114,287 in 2002 on a no-bid basis to underwrite about $15 million in additional bonds for various capital projects.The board approved the financing in April 2002 with Primas present, according to board meeting minutes. The underwriting contracts, however, were arranged separately by the EFA and awarded later. Primas stepped down from his job with Commerce Capital Markets in September 2002 when he was named chief operating officer for Camden but said at the time that he was retaining stock in the company.In all, Commerce Capital Markets has been paid at least $792,938 between 2001 and present for various bond work for Rowan through the EFA, state records show.Primas said he had no knowledge that his own company would be chosen for the bond work. He said other managers handled the university business. “I don’t particularly see a conflict,” Primas said, given that the EFA picked Commerce for the work.Between 1998 and 2002, at a time when he served on the board, Primas also was a managing director at Commerce Capital Markets Inc.“ Source
Its amusing in a cynical ironic sort of way to see what the NJ Boys and Girls Club still says about Randy Primas
State Senator Wayne Bryant Democrat Camden
For the more than 20 years as a New Jersey legislator, state Sen. Wayne Bryant was credited with steering millions of dollars to South Jersey, reinvigorating the City of Camden. On March 29, Bryant, the former chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, was indicted on 13 corruption-related counts. He has pleaded not guilty.
Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. On or about September 25, 2006, defendant BRYANT resigned from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, but maintained his position as a State Senator and continued to hold positions on other committees.
3. As a State Senator, defendant WAYNE R. BRYANT’s official duties included, but were not limited to, (a) proposing, drafting and voting on legislation, including budget appropriations and other initiatives related to state spending;
Camden Ordered To Surrender Bryant Records
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS News) ― State investigators reportedly want to review city records of a $1.2 billion Camden redevelopment plan and special aid given the city as part of an investigation into the work of a state senator recently slammed in a federal report that said he had a no-show job. The subpoena asks the documents be delivered to a state grand jury in Trenton on Oct. 11.
It follows a Courier-Post report on Saturday that said Bryant, as chairman of a joint legislative budget committee, cast the deciding vote in 2005 to send an extra, unexplained $1 million in special aid to Camden. The newspaper reported that some of that money was later used at the redevelopment agency’s request to pay several law firms, including Bryant’s, for work related to a redevelopment plan.
Wayne Bryant found guilty of bribery
TRENTON – Former State Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, once one of the most powerful politicians in New Jersey, was convicted yesterday on 12 counts of selling his influence for personal gain…
Following the verdict, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie called Bryant’s conduct “the most reprehensible” and “disgusting” he had seen. “Wayne Bryant is a disgrace, and [he] is now a federal felon headed for prison, which is where he belongs,” he said. “It is an absolute abomination that Wayne Bryant ever held a position of authority and prominence.” Bryant’s conviction also could resonate loudly in the halls of power. His lawyers argued that not only were his actions legal, but they were common – the way politics gets done in New Jersey. Source
Bryant’s sentencing on bribery, pension fraud charges delayed
The sentencing for former state Sen. Wayne Bryant has been postponed indefinitely, officials said.
Bryant, who was convicted on 12 counts of bribery and pension fraud on Nov. 18, was to be sentenced in federal court Friday. But the sentencing was put off March 9 pending post-trial motions, according to court records. It is up to U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to set a new date, said U.S. Attorney spokesman Gregory Reinert.
Bryant’s attorney, Carl D. Poplar, filed a motion seeking acquittal or a new trial on Dec. 31, according to court papers. Poplar, who argued in his motion that the evidence against Bryant was “insufficient to sustain a conviction,” could not be reached Monday. The sentencing for former state Sen. Wayne Bryant has been postponed indefinitely, officials said. Source
Gwendolyn A. Faison, (D) Mayor Camden NJ
Gwendolyn A. Faison, a native of Clinton, North Carolina and has been a resident of the City of Camden for over 50 years. She is a graduate of Sampson High School and has studied at Shaw, Temple, and Rutgers Universities. She was first elected to Camden City Council in the early 1980’s and retired in 1995 after serving 12 years. Mrs. Faison was re-elected to Camden City Council in 1997 and served as Council President until she was appointed Mayor in December, 2000. She was elected Mayor of the City of Camden on May 8, 2001 and re-elected as Mayor for another four (4) year term in 2005.
In her vision of rebirth for the City of Camden, Mrs. Faison, an active member of the Economic Development Board, and her focus is on healthcare, housing, public safety and economic development as priorities in her governmental stewardship.
Mayor under the gun for bodyguard’s salary
In a city marred by political scandal and poverty, Mayor Gwendolyn Faison
has upset some officials by authorizing nearly $27,000 in overtime pay over ten months to
the police detective who serves as her bodyguard. Source
Previous Mayor and former Community Organizer, Democrat, Milton Milan
A federal judge today sentenced former Mayor Milton Milan to seven years and three months in federal prison for bribery, racketeering and money laundering while in office, saying that Mr. Milan had made his troubled city a laughingstock.
Mr. Milan, who has been in prison since his conviction in December, apologized in court to the citizens of Camden ”for using very poor judgment.”… on grounds that Mr. Milan’s corruption was extensive and had undermined faith in government — elements that the sentencing rules say may weigh against a convict at sentencing….
”The citizens of this city have their problems, but they did not deserve to be made the laughingstock of urban America,” Judge Pisano said as he prepared to pass sentence. ”You made them that, and you helped make it so they will have their government taken away from them.”
Mr. Milan, 38, was convicted on 14 corruption charges, including accepting bribes from organized crime figures, money laundering and insurance fraud. He persuaded city contractors to install air-conditioning and new windows at his home in exchange for a promise to speed up city payments to them… he staged a break-in at his own construction business, stole a computer, reported the loss to his insurers and then sold the machine, which was broken by then, to a young City Hall intern, a college student, for far more than it was worth.
For the more than 20 years as a New Jersey legislator, state Sen. Wayne Bryant was credited with steering millions of dollars to South Jersey, reinvigorating the City of Camden. On March 29, Bryant, the former chairman of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, was indicted on 13 corruption-related counts. He has pleaded not guilty. The Inquirer takes a look at the controversy and allegations surrounding Bryant in this special topic
Former mayor Errichetti
Camden Chief of Police
July 20, 2008
The city of Camden police chief has resigned after less than seven months on the job, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, leaving control of the department an open question as police grapple with the sixth leadership change in as many years.
Chief Edward Hargis, 44, who was given credit for stabilizing a department with low morale and a complicated bureaucratic structure, told officials he was retiring to pursue a job in the private sector.
Portsmouth Names Edward G. Hargis as Police Chief January 5, 2009
City Manager Kenneth Chandler appointed Edward G. Hargis, 45, of Camden, NJ as the new Police Chief in Portsmouth.
Chief Hargis is an 18 year veteran of the Camden, NJ Police Department with 22 years total as a police officer.
Chief Hargis was also on the “short list” for the Port St Lucie Police Department in Florida.
Camden City Councilman Ali Sloan El
Former Camden City Councilman Ali Sloan El said yesterday that he took a $10,000 cash bribe from a minority contractor during an FBI sting in Atlantic City in 2003.
“I’m guilty,” Sloan El said in an interview at the Elgin Diner, where he agreed to answer questions raised by reporters from The Inquirer and the Courier-Post. “I’m not going to waste the government’s money with a trial. I want to move on.”
He said he is prepared to be charged, although his attorney said Sloan El “is not in imminent danger of being indicted.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation. The FBI did not return a phone call for comment.
Sloan El quit City Council last month, saying he had married and moved from his district. Yesterday, he said he … Source
Corrupt Camden Pol Sloan El has a plan to head the Democratic Party
Sloan El, who is barred from elected office, says he hopes to head Camden’s Democratic Party within three years.
And you know what? I bet he actually does. And noone will think that anything is wrong with that. Source
Camden County Jailer Indicted
Timothy Naylor, 28, who is currently suspended without pay from his job as a Camden County corrections officer, is the other man indicted.The district attorney’s office also sought a sexual assault charge against Naylor after a 19-year-old woman at the party claimed she was raped at the party. The grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict him on any sex charge. Naylor has worked at the Camden County jail since May 2005.The alcohol charge carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison. Maldonado could receive up to five years in prison for violating his oath. Source
Camden County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, elected at-large for staggered three-year terms by the residents of the county. As of 2008[update], Camden County’s Freeholders are Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. (Collingswood, term ends December 31, 2008), Freeholder Deputy Director Edward McDonnell (Pennsauken Township, 2010), Riletta L. Cream (Camden, 2008), Rodney A. Greco (Gloucester Township, 2009), Jeffrey L. Nash (Cherry Hill Township, 2009), Joseph Ripa (Voorhees Township, 2009) and Carmen Rodriguez (Merchantville, 2010).
U.S. Examines Housing Funds In Camden 1989
Federal investigators are examining whether government officials in Camden County, N.J., skimmed Federal housing money and used it for personal and political expenditures