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UMDNJ: At UMDNJ, an attempt to cover up $36M fraud. Monitor: No-show jobs for MDs led to referrals

The state's medical university took in $36 million in illegal Medicare and Medicaid payments as part of a kickback scheme designed to bolster its troubled cardiac surgery program, and top school officials conspired to cover it all up, according to the school's federal monitor.

The scheme involved 18 cardiologists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who were given essentially no-show teaching jobs at salaries of $150,000 or more. In return, they were expected to refer patients to the cardiac surgery program, the monitor alleges in a report sent to the U.S. Attorney and expected to be released tomorrow. The doctors were paid almost $6 million over four years.

"Bloods" brawl on Washington Street 21-year-old man stabbed outside own b-day party at Elks Club

Hoboken hoodlums thought to be members of the notorious "Bloods" gang attacked and repeatedly slashed several youths who were leaving a birthday party Saturday night at Hoboken's Elks Lodge, police said.

According to a statement given to police by the victims, one of whom was a 21-year-old from Union City who received multiple lacerations to his face and behind his ear, the aggressors were Latino males from Hoboken's housing projects who may be "Bloods" gang members. The assailants were not guests at the party and could not be specifically identified by the victims, according to Sgt. Michael Costello.

One adult witness at the scene described the assailants as black males wearing red baseball-style caps with black and red striped sweaters, according to the police report.

What's in a name? Rutgers and Felician College to partner with 'Hoboken University' hospital

A LOT ON THEIR PLATE – The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority met Wednesday to discuss how to return the money losing hospital to solvency. See sidebar.  
The rebranding of St. Mary Hospital has begun.

When the city officially acquires the 136-year-old medical facility, it will be renamed the Hoboken University Medical Center.

Hospital CEO Harvey Holzberg announced Wednesday night at a meeting of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority that several new academic affiliations will come along with the name change.

Menendez: More subpoenas in Menendez probe. Feds seek documents on rental, but senator's office denies contact

Federal investigators have resumed their inquiry into a rental deal between U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and a nonprofit agency, issuing new subpoenas in the days after he was elected to a full six-year term, according to a government source.

The subpoenas sought documents related to the more than $300,000 in rent Menendez collected from the North Hudson Community Action Corp. between 1994 and 2003, the source said. It was unclear what records were sought or who was subpoenaed.

"More are coming," said the source, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

MHA: St. Mary Hosp's budget: $130M

The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority has voted a $130 million budget for St. Mary Hospital's first year under its new city ownership.

The city plans to take over operations from the current owners, Bon Secours Health Systems, in a bid to rescue the ailing hospital, which projects a cash loss of $18 million by the end of the year.

The city, which wants to take over operations at the hospital by the new year, hopes it can turn around the hospital's future by increasing revenue and cutting management costs and pension costs.

MHA: Council still wary of voting $52M bond deal

A rift over how to best secure the future of St. Mary Hospital showed little sign of closing at Wednesday's Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority meeting.

The disagreement flared the previous week after City Council members refused to introduce a $52 million bond to guarantee a loan for improvements to the hospital.

Mayor David Roberts said the deal is the best hope for maintaining a hospital in Hoboken. Under the proposal, Bon Secours Health System would transfer to the city, at no cost, the debt-free hospital and its land, worth $45 million, plus $13 million in cash for operations.

Hoboken has questions on hospital bonding. Council nixes vote until it can hear experts' answers

The City Council has balked at introducing an ordinance that would put Hoboken taxpayers on the hook for $52 million if St. Mary Hospital can't pay its bills once it is transferred to the city.

Council members apparently were miffed that they saw the undocumented proposal for the first time just before the start of Wednesday's council meeting.

Council members have scheduled meetings this week to quiz the bond counsel and financial officers, and the ordinance may go back for a vote at the next council meeting, officials said.

Hoboken Hospital Authority: Probe's focus is payroll staff

The state attorney general is involved in an investigation of whether staff in St. Mary Hospital's payroll department were involved in stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars over an unspecified time period, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Events started as an internal investigation by the owner, Bon Secours Health System Inc., who then notified law enforcement officials of their concerns, sources told this newspaper.

Early unconfirmed reports said that the misappropriated money could total between $200,000 and $1.25 million.

Menendez handily defeats Kean

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Union City native who rose to national prominence in the Democratic Party, today beat back an unexpectedly fierce challenge to retain his Senate seat and become the first Hispanic elected to statewide office.

Menendez, appointed to the office last year, led his Republican rival, state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., by 10 points, 54 percent to 44 percent, with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting.

"Tonight, the people of New Jersey embraced a new direction for our nation and rejected the politics of personal destruction," Menendez, flanked by his son and daughter, told a cheering crowd at the East Brunswick Hilton. "Thank you, New Jersey."

Menendez hires top lawyer in rent case Spokesman still says senator 'is not under investigation'

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D- N.J.) has repeatedly denied he is being investigated by federal prosecutors, but yesterday his campaign staff confirmed that a prominent criminal defense lawyer is representing him in an inquiry into a rental property he once owned.

Marc Elias is a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in criminal defense and election law and has been representing Menen dez's campaign in recent years. After federal investigators subpoeaned records in September re garding a rental deal Menendez had with a nonprofit agency he helped get federal funds, Elias noti fied the U.S. Attorney's Office he was representing the senator in the matter.