Camden Parking Authority Probed

By KIM MAIALETTI
Courier-Post Staff
CAMDEN

The city’s Parking Authority received a subpoena from the state Division of Criminal Justice Wednesday, less than a week after two agency employees filed a civil lawsuit that alleged financial mismanagement and bid rigging.

A division spokeswoman refused to comment on the nature of the subpoena, saying only that the authority is being investigated.

The authority’s executive director, Anthony Scarduzio, said he had heard about the subpoena from his receptionist, but had not seen it.

Scarduzio is off from work this week because his niece and his great-nephew died in an arson fire in Gloucester Township Sunday.

“We’ll give them whatever they want,” Scarduzio said in a phone interview Wednesday. “We’re anxious to cooperate.”

Carmen Otero, chairwoman of the Parking Authority Commission, said she was unaware a subpoena had been issued.

The authority’s lawyer, Carlos Morcate, did not return phone messages.

The Parking Authority is an independent city agency that oversees and operates two garages, 10 lots and 800 meters.

The five-member commission is appointed by the mayor and city council.

On Friday, authority employees Thomas Del Rosario and Joseph Bowen filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Camden claiming they suffered retaliation for blowing the whistle on what they say is illegal activity within the agency.

Bowen, a property manager, was fired in August. Del Rosario, a systems specialist, was suspended without pay pending a hearing.

The far-reaching lawsuit includes accusations that Scarduzio tipped off a favored vendor about another vendor’ s low bid in exchange for box seats to sporting events.

It also alleges Scarduzio looked the other way when Bowen complained about another employee skimming money off parking meter collections.

Scarduzio has described the suit as insider bickering and said Bowen is in fact the one who tried to steer business to his personal associates.

The Parking Authority had seemed to be back on track after spending years under the state’s watch because of corruption and mismanagement.

In 1993, it went $1 million into debt, which forced the state to take it over in September 1994. The state handed over control to the city in 1997.

 

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