Bergen County Republican Freeholders John Mitchell, John Felice and Maura DeNicola want Bergen County government to review any current contracts that may be in force with companies owned or operated by Alan Marcus, as well as for a prohibition on any future contracts with the same, according to a release issued by the BCRO.
“We were shocked by the information brought to light by the Bergen Record regarding Mr. Marcus’ recent actions and want to ensure that such accusations can never be brought up again,” said Felice. “That’s why we are calling for our Democratic colleagues to join us in calling for this review and future prohibition.”
The Bergen Record reported last week that Marcus has “drawn the scrutiny of federal prosecutors” regarding an aborted contract with the Bergen Community College and is also a key figure in a controversy over the changing of a County insurance vendor.
“The people of Bergen County need to know their government works for them, not insiders,” said Mitchell. “The first step in making sure that happens is to address any current contracts that may be in force and prohibit future contracts from being entered into.”
BCRO leadership, including BCRO Chairman Bob Yudin has warred from the start with Marcus, long a confidant of Bergen County Executive Kathe Donovan, also a Republican.
The rift has produced often agonizing consequences for Republicans in the state’s biggest county.
The Republican Freeholders’ platform this year includes a committment to review any current contracts with Marcus or Marcus-owned firms to ensure they were awarded through an open process and investigate the County’s abilities to void them, as well as prohibit future contracts from being entered into with Marcus or his companies.
“We, as a group, stood up for the people of Bergen County in helping to end the Marcus-Bergen Community College contract when that issue arose because we know good government is non-partisan and it is free from insider deals and political influence,” stated DeNicola. “We are committed to delivering good government and hope that our colleagues on the Board of Freeholders will join in our effort.”
Democrats have been calling for an investigation into Marcus’s contracts for at least a month.
In June, Bergen County Freeholder Steve Tanelli said the county should conduct an “impartial investigation” into publicist Alan Marcus’ influence over county government over the past three years of the Donovan Administration.
Tanelli‘s call comes a day after the Bergen Record reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had subpoenaed Bergen Community College seeking records related to an aborted attempt in early April by the college board of trustees to hire an outside public relations consultant.