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Hudson County Corruption in the Kenny Era – Investigation Of The Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission
Immunity Granted

Hudson County Politics

The next two witnesses, testifying under a grant of immunity, told of several kickback schemes under which Callari would get 75 percent of the amount they received under fraudulent vouchers. A father and son team, they were active in several construction ventures.

Joseph D. Rossillo, the son, of Guttenberg, took the stand first and testified to several occasions when Mosquito Commission checks were sent to him on fraudulent vouchers. Rossillo said he would deposit the check in his bank account and then write a check to cash for the amount he would kick back to Callari.

The largest amount involved a $25,000 Mosquito Commission payment to the younger Rossillo for excavating drainage ditches – work that was never performed. Rossillo described details of the transaction this way:

Q. Fine. All right. Then if we could, then, Mr. Rossillo, let me just go back a little bit. You said Mr. Grasso called you down to the office and described a certain job to you, is that correct?
A. Yes, he did.

Q. And he asked you for your letterhead of J. Rossillo Trucking Company?
A. Yes, he did.

Q. And then what did he do with that particular letterhead and bill form once he got it from you?
A. He has the original copy. This is my copy that he gave me.

Q. Right. What did he do with it?
A. He then wrote up a voucher.

Q. Okay. Did he type that or have that typed in the office?
A. I believe he typed it, because I left it with him.

Q. All right. Will you read the job description that is on Exhibit C-29 o f this work that you were supposed to do?
A. "Excavating trenches, furnishing fill in the property known as the Colt property in Secaucus."

Q. In Secaucus?
A. "Work completed. $25,000."

Q. 25,000. Did !tots ever do any of that work, incidentally?
A. Take the Fifth. Witness' Counsel: Your Fifth Amendmentt protection has been granted.
A. No, I never did the work.

Q. All right.

Q. Who is that bill addressed to?
A. This bill is addressed to the Hudson County Mosquito Commission – Extermination Commission.

Q. All right, fine. Now, as I get it, a couple of days later, or two or three days later, you got a check from the Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission, for $25.000 drawn on their account in the Trust Company of New Jersey, Journal Square. Is that correct?
A. Yes, that is.

Q. And C-28 that we are now showing you is a copy of that particular check?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. All right. Now, would you tell its, first of all, what you did with that check? You already indicated Mr. Grasso had told you you were to keep 25% and return 75c, is that right?
A. I got the check. I went down to my bank in Secaucus, National Bank of Secaucus, deposited the check. A few days later I went in and withdrew one of my own checks to cash for eighteen-thousand-eight-hundred-some-odd dollars.

Q. Eighteen-thousand-eight-hundred-some-odd?
A. Right.

Q. All right. How was that money delivered to you at the bank; what did you do with it, et cetera?
A. I went to the bank president of my bank and explained to him that I had put a check in three or four days before, to see if what is cleared; I want to withdraw some money on it. And he checked my account. The check was cleared. I then, in turn, went to the window and I withdrew eighteen-thousand-eight-hundred-seventy-some-odd dollars, whatever it was. I got it in thousand-dollar--thousand dollar packages, hundred-dollar bills. It was wrapped up in rubber bands, wrapped up into an envelope and then wrapped up with rubber bands. I then took it; put it in my attache case; went directly to the Hudson County Mosquito Commission, Duncan Avenue, went upstairs; went in to Ralph J. Grasso; told him that I had the money.

Q. Did yoy show hint the package?
A. I showed him the package. I took it out of the attache case, showed it to him.

Q. Where was Ralph. Grasso when you showed him this?
A. In the engineering room.

Q. That's the consulting engineer for the Mosquito Comrrz-ission?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. What did he tell you to do with it?
A. He told me to bring it to Mr. C. Harry Callari.

Q. What did you do?
A. I then walked down the corridor, went inside, saw Mr. Callari, greeted him.

Q. That's C. Harry Callari. the executire director?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. Where was he?
A. He was in the conference room in the Mosquito Commission down the corridor from the engineering room.

Q. And what did you do?

Q. Was anybody else present or just the two of you?
A. Just me and Air. Callari.

Q. What did yoy do then with the package?
A. I then opened up my attache case; took the package out; unwrapped the rubber bands; took the money out of the envelope; took the rubber bands off; laid it on the table; counted it and gave it to Mr. Callari.

Q. And what did he say?
A. "Thank you." We counted it out, okay. He asked me how I was, how my father was, so forth, and we ended the conversation. I then got up, picked up my valise, went into the engineering room, said goodby to Ralph and went downstairs and proceeded to my business.

Q. Mr. Rossillo. did you do any of the work on that voucher that you submitted for $23.000?
A. No, I didn't..

Q. Was that a fictitious representation to the commission?
A. Yes, it was.

Q. And so what you were really doing was getting twenty-five cents on the dollar to cash checks?
A. Yes, sir.

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