Saturday, September 20, 2014

COUNTY EXECUTIVE RACE: OPRA Lawsuit Reveals Donovan Hides Documents, Lies to Public, and Doles Out Patronage Contracts

A recently released document obtained by the Bergen County Democratic Committee, along with previously released documents, shows that statements made by County Executive Kathleen Donovan following the hiring by Bergen Community College of her campaign manager were not true.

Public Relations consultant Alan Marcus, who had also served as an adviser to Donovan, was retained by Bergen Community College in April of 2013, despite being the highest of three bids.  At the time, Donovan released multiple statements denying any knowledge and questioning the hire.  Marcus and the college's legal counsel, John Schepesi, both refuted Donovan's statements, both stating they spoke with the County Executive.

In response to an Open Public Records Act lawsuit, the previously secret email shows that 10 days prior to the contract being awarded to Marcus, he emailed County Administrator Ed Trawinski saying, "As you are probably aware, I am working with BCC..."

On April 8, 2013,  County Administrator Ed Trawinski read a statement from Donovan in which she asked for an explanation of why college officials needed a public relations consultant at all.

The Record reported on April 9th that "Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan asked Bergen Community College officials Monday for a detailed explanation as to why they tried to hire a firm headed by her former campaign manager to serve as a $7,500-a-month public relations consultant."

"Once again Kathe Donovan and her administration have been caught in a lie.  Over the last 4 years we have bore witness to the county executive's willingness to say anything, regardless of facts.  This is yet another attempted cover up within the Donovan administration, which has led to 4 separate investigations involving those closest to her," said Freeholder Steve Tanelli.

“What’s troubling is back in June I called for an investigation into the shadow government between Donovan and Marcus and my request was ignored and covered up. This shows there was good reason for a serious investigation. Who is really running Bergen County, Donovan or her political hacks?” continued Tanelli.

"It remains our position that Kathe Donovan's administration has and continues to hide documents that show a pattern of ethical misconduct by the County Executive and the people closest to her.  The County Executive's efforts to try and keep documents from being seen by the public and her willingness to blatantly lie to the public is troubling," said Derek Sands, a Democratic Party Spokesperson.


  1. I am a lifelong Democrat, but voted for and will continue to vote for Donovan to keep the executive out of the hands of our really corrupt county and local party.