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Hudson County Corruption in the Kenny Era – Investigation Of The Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission
Extensive Power Exercised

Hudson County Politics

Even the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and its contractors were not immune from the Mosquito Commission and its power to halt construction. While dredging was underway for the $9 million extension of the turnpike through the Hackensack meadowlands, the general contracting firm of Atlantic-Gahagan was asked for $85,000 to cover repairs to "damaged drainage ditches." The project engineer, George G. Felps, said his company finally agreed to pay because they regarded it "as a right to go to work and not to be molested." An additional demand for $140,000 from the company was rejected summarily. Under questioning, Felps said he saw no work performed on the ditches by the Mosquito Commission for the original $85,000.

Clyde Nichols, Vice President of the Penn Central Company Real Estate Department, said his company paid a total of $86,000 from 1966 to 1969 to the Mosquito Commission for alleged damage caused by the operations of his railroad. He, too, testified he could see nothing that was done by the Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission with the money even though he passes the site in question every day on the train.

Some $50,000 from the Atlantic-Gahagan Dredging Co.; $9,500 front the New Jersey Turnpike Authority; and $55,000 from the Penn Central Company wound up in the so-called secret account where 99 percent of the funds were paid out for nonexistent or highly questionable purchases.

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