North Plainfield’s attorney’s law firm was mentioned in a recent article about an audit conducted on the municipality of Atlantic City. According to the article that appeared in the pressofAtlanticCity.com earlier in the year, Eric Bernstein’s law firm was contracted to assist with a backlog of 2008 foreclosures. The firm was contracted for $125,000 but the audit claimed that the law firm performed no foreclosures during the contract period. Instead the services of the firm were redirected to the Mayor’s office. The article did not mention what other services the firm provided or any change to the original contract. It was also noted that the law firm employed Phil George, who was the personal attorney to then Atlantic City Mayor Scott Evans. It should be noted that the article was primarly about the mismanagement by Atlantic City elected officials and doesn’t provide evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of the contracted law firm.
Here’s the full article:
The result of the audit revealed a host of mismanagement on behalf of the Atlantic City municipality. It serves as an example of the need to hold municipalities accountable for hard earned tax dollars.
At a recent borough council meeting, North Plainfield’s auditor Robert Morrison and NP financial manager Paul DeBlasio reported on North Plainfield’s financial health. While the future of state aide may cause ongoing budget challenges for the borough, the pair indicated North Plainfield is in a better position than some other municipalities of common demographics. That being said, Mr. Morrison has been auditing North Plainfield’s finances for some time. Should the municipality consider a second opinion, to insure Mr. Morrison’s diagnosis and prognosis for the borough is correct? Could the reason North Plainfield ‘is better off’ be due more to the fact that our taxes are higher than most other municipalities of similar demographics? It would have been helpful to have a summary of Mr. Morrison’s analysis distributed to the public at the time of the presentation to the council. I know the detailed audit is available by written request to the borough clerk, but a summary report would be a great help in moving towards more transparency. It would even be a great service if the audit was made available online to the interested public.