Brick Seeks Changes After Being Overcharged [AUDIO]
NEW JERSEY 101.5
Brick Township is looking into the overcharging of legal fees by one of its attorneys, which cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Newly-elected Brick Mayor John Ducey says alternate Township Attorney Bianca Sangiovanni, daughter of Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni, billed the township per client instead of per session.
As a result, Ducey says she was charging the township $250 for each defendant rather than $250 for each daily session. That move cost the Brick roughly over $20,000, according to figures from the Asbury Park Press.
“A worst case example, there was one date in September 2011 which she saw, so she billed the town $2,500 instead of $250,” Ducey said.
The mayor-elect says legal, as well as all other contracts, will be inspected even more thoroughly, since in previous years expenses were green-lighted with little oversight.
“Prior to 2012 when I took office in council, the entire council and mayor were all the same political party, and everything was being rubber stamped and approved seven-zero, seven-zero, seven-zero,” Ducey explained.
While Ducey notes Sangiovanni told him that other municipalities charged in a similar fashion, the new mayor disagrees.
“I’ve been a municipal prosecutor in a number of towns over the year, and everything is always per session,” he said.
Ducey added if not per session, fees can be paid in a yearly sum.
“I’ve never heard it done per client because it would just be outrageous the amount of money being paid.”