According to two reliable sources in the town, Elvira Barrillas, an assistant to Parks and Recreation Commissioner Peter Perez for the last seven years, was given the federal subpoena last Wednesday.
It is not known when Barrillas will be called to testify or whether she already has given a statement or evidence to the federal investigators.
Calls to reach Barrillas and Perez were unreturned by press time. Township officials have refused to comment on any phase of the investigation, other than that every township employee will cooperate fully with the probe.
The North Bergen Reporter learned last month that Perez is one of those being looked at in the probe, according to a source in the United States Attorney's Office. Barrillas' subpoena is the first official association to Perez as part of the investigation.
Barrillas is the first known township employee to have received a subpoena from the FBI regarding the probe.
Others may have also been served, but there is no formal record of the list of employees that have been called to testify.
FBI spokeswoman Sandra Carroll would not comment on the details of the subpoena, but did say that "the investigation in North Bergen is ongoing and that people are cooperating with the investigation."
Jeffrey Clark of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark also declined to comment on either the probe or the apparent subpoena.
The FBI conducted a raid of Town Hall and other township agencies, including the Municipal Utilities Authority, last December, seizing several boxes of files and documents.
It was later learned that the FBI was looking for specific contracts and vouchers involving the work of two different air conditioning and heating contractors and whether those contractors were doing work for officials and employees and sending the bills to be paid by the township.
One of those contractors, Leonard Farinola, who owns and operates Fresco Air Company, was paid more than $2.7 million for contracting work within the township over the last decade, according to public records.
The investigation seeks to discover whether any of that work was done in officials' private homes.
FBI agents visited the homes of former Township Administrator Joseph Auriemma, current Assistant Public Safety Director Vincent Zappulla and others in December to check to see if any illegal work had been done at their homes.
It has been reported in other newspapers that Farinola has been cooperating with the FBI and allegedly wore a wire recently to collect incriminating evidence against others while getting a better deal in terms of his own possible sentence. When reached last month, Farinola denied wearing the wire, but did say that, "I'm giving [the FBI] all the information that they need. I'm willing to cooperate with the investigation and we're just waiting to see what's going to happen."
No charges or indictments have been handed down yet as part of the investigation. Barrillas was only called to testify, so the appearance does not mean that she is actually involved with any wrongdoing.
A source in the U.S. Attorney's office revealed that possible indictments could be handed down in the case at any time, as soon as the federal grand jury reviews all of the collected evidence and testimony. But there has not been a timetable set on any possible charges.