Friday, September 23, 2011

WBLS Investigation to Continue

Another special meeting will be called to continue the investigation into how $20,000 in city funds came to be paid to WBLS for an Aug. 1, 2010 Town Meeting, City Council President Annie McWilliams said.

As readers know, Wednesday's investigatory meeting included public testimony by former City Administrator Bibi Taylor on circumstances leading up to a check being produced on the Friday before the Sunday event. Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson spoke in closed session. The council is still waiting to hear from Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, former acting Chief Finance Officer Sandra Cummings and Purchasing Agent David Spaulding.

Although the biggest celebrity connected with the event was The Rev. Al Sharpton, he appeared only briefly, making a five-minute speech during the three-hour meeting. Click to see the Al Sharpton video.

Coverage by the Courier News so far has included an online preview on Wednesday, a story online Thursday that was modified later in the day and today's onlne story online with combined stories in print under an A-1 headline. All contain some of the same elements and interestingly online comments from readers are the same throughout.

The array points up the current tension between news delivered electronically and by traditional ink-on-paper means. Actually, bloggers including myself had a bit of an edge getting out news of what happened at the Wednesday meeting, including Taylor's recounting of the mayor's profanity as she allegedly pressed staff to come up with a check.

The point of the investigation is not so much the small amount of the transaction as how it was handled. Public money has a lot of strings attached to it and the state expects municipalities to obey its fiscal rules. Expect a lot more facts and analysis on the circumstances surrounding the Town Meeting. Sharpton's speech was basically about owning up to responsibility and so is this investigation.



  1. But it's not public money...It's Sharon's money! She is owed so much more from us. She does us the honor simply by accepting the paycheck of being lucky we are. We should stop this witch could she be bad, Jerry supports her!

  2. I really sympathize with the city workers who are not on Sharon's favorite list. Since most of the workers have self esteem, I suspect most of them are not, and are working with heads downs. For those who have no self esteem and hide behind her, I feel for them. They will be going down in flames with her. Too bad.

  3. Sharon has been brow-beating Plainfield City employees for years. She is a lousy boss and basically a bad person. If you kiss her butt and do the illegal things she wants, Sharon will be nice to you. This is not the first time checks were used for the wrong purpose and I don't know why the City Council hasn't requested a state forensic audit for the past two or three years. I think it's about time.

  4. I sincerely hope that some good comes of all this, and that means that the mayor & company will be held accountable for their actions if they, in fact, misappropriated funds and/or did something else illegal.

    I hope that residents who are currently furious by the mayor's actions are as outraged when they get to the voting booth in November and decide to pull a lever for someone other than Jerry Green. This is the time to end Green's puppet show.

    Plainfield has suffered for way too long and has declined further under the leadership of Jerry Green and Robinson-Briggs.


  5. The mayor believes she is above the law. Her claim that this is political is smoke and mirrors. The fact of the matter is had she answered the questions the council has a right to ask way back when the money showed up as a red flag, maybe it wouldn't have gotten this far. That's of course if she was on the up and up. But because she couldn't come up with an answer that would have satisfied the questions, she ducked and avoided and had her henchmen insinuate there was a perfectly logical and legitimate answer but she wanted to embarrass the council for pushing this. In the quiet of her mind she knows she messed up and all because she couldn't answer to another strong intelligent woman (Annie)
    Instead of working together and making Plainfield a showcase to be proud of run by women, the mayor has allowed our town to be trashed on television (CNN), radio (WBLS), newspapers and bloggers.
    What a shame and missed opportunity for her to leave a proud legacy. Now all she will be is a joke.

  6. All of our elected officials claim it's political when they are clearly doing something illegal. The PMUA pulls the same antics. I only hope that someone will dig deeper and make some arrests. Shady Sharon has got to go.