Toms River Administrator Discusses Birdsall Subpoena
Dozens of towns through out New Jersey are preparing to fork over information to the State Grand Jury in Trenton about their dealings with a prominent Monmouth-based engineering and consulting firm.
Toms River Administrator Paul Shives says they received a subpoena on Wednesday the 22nd about Birdsall Services Group and he said he met with his staff about it the next day. Shives says presently, they have an on-going contract for a number of projects with Birdsall that was awarded in 2010. "For the design and inspection of the improvements to the parking garage including the solar energy project and replacement of the heating, ventilation and the air-conditioning systems in the building.
Shives says "the only other project we could find that the township had, was a minor study that was done. It was an air quality study analysis that was done at the Winding River Ice Rink." He describes the township's business dealings with Birdsall as limited but positive. He says "quite frankly the work has been good. They've done a good job at least on the two projects that we've had."
Shives says the Township has its own Municipal Engineer but for special projects he describes a system where engineering firms are selected annually. He says "we have a pool of engineers, probably seven or eight firms and the capital work of the township is awarded based on the firms expertise and knowledge and we have several engineering firms that work for the township."
There's word that Barnegat, Brick, Lacey, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Stafford, Toms River and other municipalities that employed the firm have been served with subpoenas. Shives' guess is that the State is trying to gather as much information as possible.
Birdsall was the subject of a search warrant in May.