State probe of official in Hoboken

State probe of official in Hoboken

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 Jersey Journal

Hoboken's chief construction officer is under investigation by the state Department of Community Affairs for alleged ethics violations, according to several sources.

Investigators from the DCA visited Alfred Arezzo's city office roughly two weeks ago to pick a number of documents, the sources said. The DCA confirmed there is an ongoing investigation, but refused to provide details. The state's uniformed construction code gives the DCA jurisdiction over the state's construction offices, but it does not conduct criminal investigations.

The sources also said the state agency is looking into Arezzo's real estate portfolio in the city and his job as a construction official.

Arezzo did not return phone calls for comment, but a city official said Arezzo uses outside inspectors for homes he has a stake in and discloses his interest to the city.

Former Business Administrator George Crimmins confirmed yesterday that he filed an ethics complaint against Arezzo with the DCA in October, but he refused to provide details of the allegations.

Crimmins and Arezzo reportedly had a falling out after the city shut down construction of a controversial parking garage at Stevens Institute of Technology, where Crimmins continues to work as a consultant.

The parking garage is still not operating, nor is it fully constructed.

Mayor David Roberts and city spokesman Bill Campbell said they were aware of the investigation but would not comment.

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