In January, investigators from the DCA, which has jurisdiction over the state's construction offices, but cannot conduct criminal investigations, seized documents from the Hoboken Construction Office.
Last week, DCA Public Information Officer Christopher Donnelly refused to state the exact nature of the investigation or even who was being investigated, saying only that the government agency is "currently conducting an investigation in Hoboken."
Speaking on behalf of Mayor David Roberts last week, City Spokesman Bill Campbell would only say, "The mayor is aware of the investigation. However, due to its nature and that it is an ongoing investigation, the city will not offer a comment at this time."
In addition to the DCA investigation, former Hoboken Business Administrator George Crimmins, who is currently a consultant for the city, filed an ethics complaint against Construction Officer Alfred Arezzo with the DCA in November of 2006. Crimmins would not comment as to the details of the letter.
Because the DCA could not comment, it is unknown whether the letter is the reason for the investigation.
Arezzo, who according to staff at the construction office was on vacation this week, could not be reached for a comment.
Arezzo's position and his failure to file a financial disclosure statement
As chief construction officer for the city of Hoboken, Arezzo, who has been at his current position for over 20 years according to Campbell, reviews architectural plans, ensures that proper permits have been taken out by developers, and makes certain that all buildings are up to code when they are going up, particularly with regard to safety issues.
For prospective developers who chose to build in Hoboken, Arezzo's office is the point of entry for new construction in the city, according to Campbell.
Michael Mullins can be reached at email@example.com.