NORTH BERGEN – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced Tuesday afternoon that the superintendent of public works for North Bergen Township pleaded guilty earlier Tuesday to routinely using municipal employees for household chores and personal projects at his home while they were on the clock being paid by the municipality. He frequently directed the employees to work at his home on Saturdays, when they received time-and-a-half overtime pay for their hours, and the tasks ranged from cleaning his house and swimming pool to helping build an addition, according to a release.
The superintendent, James Wiley, 67, of North Bergen, also admitted that on three occasions, he had groups of public works employees assigned to perform work for a political campaign while on duty or while being paid overtime by the township, and signed and submitted fraudulent paperwork that indicated they were doing legitimate work for the Department of Public Works.
Wiley pleaded guilty to an accusation charging him with second-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct before Superior Court Judge Joseph V. Isabella in Hudson County. The plea agreement calls for Wiley to be sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison, the standard range for second-degree crimes.
Wiley was charged as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. Wiley must forfeit his job and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. He must pay restitution to the township in an amount to be determined for any wages paid to municipal employees for time spent working at his home.
Deputy Attorneys General David M. Fritch and Cynthia M. Vazquez took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice. Judge Isabella scheduled Wiley to be sentenced on Oct. 26.
Wiley has been Superintendent of Public Works in North Bergen since 1995. His current annual salary is approximately $122,000.