Cops stole from Jersey City Housing Authority while workers were laid off, says former employee
After watching the NBC 4 NY I-Team investigation into JCPD off-duty corruption, Bianca Domio, a former Jersey City Housing Authority employee, expressed her disappointment to Real Jersey City regarding layoffs that occurred back in 2011 while cops were being paid for no-show, off-duty security jobs.
It’s been said the cost of corruption is often absorbed by taxpayers. However, in the case of Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) officers being paid for off-duty security jobs in the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) they never performed, corruption might have cost the jobs of workers actually serving the residents of various housing authority sites.
“In 2011, I was laid off due to budget cuts,” Bianca Domio, a former JCHA employee, told Real Jersey City. “Along with, you know, maybe about twenty other people.”
“It was common knowledge,” Domio said regarding JCPD officers not working off-duty security jobs. She added it was typical that “some police officers would bring in timesheets for other police officers,” yet residents would often complain about a lack of police presence in many of the JCHA sites.
“Working in some of the [JCHA] offices, the residents coming in to complain about drug activity, or activity that happened on the site, and there were no police officers available to come to their aid,” Domio told Real Jersey City.
Ex-JCPD Chief Philip Zacche has been convicted of one count of embezzling, stealing, obtaining by fraud, misapplying, and without authority knowingly converting money belonging to the JCHA, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Other JCPD officers are expected to be charged by federal authorities for their roles in the JCHA off-duty scheme, according to multiple sources.
Zacche’s no-show job in the Marion Gardens Housing Complex was first exposed in a Real Jersey City investigation on April 11, 2016. As reported then, the off-duty JCHA jobs were mostly filled with members of the narcotics/street crimes unit and designed to fight crime in public housing – especially narcotics activity.
Of note, Zacche was originally exonerated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office before he was eventually convicted by federal authorities.
Domio expressed her frustration with the JCHA management handling of the police off-duty program, suggesting that “if they weren’t paying for police officers, you know, I may still have a job, other people may still have a jobs.” She added that “it was poor management of the capital funding.”
According to information obtained via an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, the JCHA utilized its Capital Funds Grant Program to pay for off-duty officers from January 2009 to June 2013. From July 2013 through December 2017 the JCHA utilized its Operating Funds Grant Program.
As reported by NBC 4 NY, prompted by federal investigations into JCPD off-duty corruption, the Fulop Administration ended the off-duty housing authority program months ago and the overall off-duty program will be eliminated by the end of the year.
For Domio, born and raised in Jersey City, corrective action regarding the off-duty fraud involving JCHA funds was too little, too late. After losing her job in the housing authority, Domio moved out of New Jersey in search of a better economic opportunity.