New Jersey Globe

Groups Seek Resignations At EDA

New Jersey Globe — April 9, 2019

By NJ Globe Staff

A group of nearly sixty grassroots, community, labor and environmental organizations are calling for the resignation of all eight members of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority board of directors following a State Comptroller audit that found deficiencies in oversight and controls.

A former vice president for Jackson Hewitt on Thursday told the New Jersey Tax Incentive Task Force the company lied on an application for tax incentives provided through the Economic Development Authority's Grow NJ program.

"The EDA has failed to protect taxpayers from corruption and fraud, and the buck stops with the board," said Rob Duffey, interim director of New Jersey Working Families. "Board members should resign immediately so that the EDA can begin to rebuild its credibility and regain the public trust."

Saily Avelenda, the executive director of NJ 11th for Change, said that the board "has failed to perform its most basic duties."

"We cannot continue to allow the EDA to jeopardize New Jersey's financial future so they can reward a few, politically connected entities. Therefore, we are asking that the entire Board step down. New Jersey deserves better."

The associate director of New Jersey Citizen Action, Dena Mottola Jaborska, said that the "board members let New Jersey taxpayers down by rubber-stamping overly generous subsidies to corporations, allowing fraudulent applications to obtain tax breaks, and ignoring rules and regulations that should have safeguarded our state's revenue sources."

"Under their watch, New Jersey's business tax subsidy program has become a national embarrassment, said Mottola Jaborska. "The EDA board members should resign without delay, and make space on the Board for those who would work diligently to safeguard any taxpayer's investment in a New Jersey corporation."

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