NJ News Round-Up April 9
Obit- Sterling B. Gleason, of Gloucester City

Parker McCay Campaign Contributions (2002-2006) $1 Million; At One Time Was Employed by City of Gloucester City

By Bill Cleary

Parker McCay, the law firm that was employed by the City of Gloucester City and represented by former City Solicitor James Maley, is mentioned in a news article published in Monday's edition of The Record .

The article is about a controversial plan to transform old Meadowlands dumps into a luxury golf community; and it details the money that politicians and law firms have reaped from the project. Paytoplaychart_3 Plus it mentions pay-to-play reforms that were passed in 2004 to address this type of situation.

"EnCap's plan has been a cash cow for some New Jersey politicians and the politically connected professionals who help finance their campaigns, state documents show."

Encap, from North Carolina, according to the story, "shelled out more than $13 million in professional fees and political contributions at the same time it was securing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax grants and other forms of public financing and backing from state officials."

(The graph is provided by Blue Jersey New Jersey Politics 101).

The article further states, "Some of the beneficiaries have been the kind of firms whose political contributions were targeted by pay-to-play reforms enacted by the state in 2004 to address the appearance that government was for sale in New Jersey. But those reforms apply only to government contracts, not work commissioned by a private entity like EnCap.

Still, critics say the company's largesse and its remarkable record of securing government help for its development plan raises exactly the type of questions the reforms were intended to address.

"It's bound to raise suspicions on the part of taxpayers and residents of the community," said Heather Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Citizens Campaign, a civic organization that advocates for pay-to-play reform.

For this article, The Record reviewed documents detailing fees paid to law firms and lobbyists and included only those making in excess of $100,000. Firms receiving big payouts from EnCap include:

McCarter & English of Newark, the state's largest law firm, billed EnCap more than $1.25 million. McCarter and English campaign contributions statewide totaled at least $275,000 from 2002 to 2006.

Parker McCay, a South Jersey firm whose chief executive is Philip Norcross, brother of South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross, collected $400,000 as bond counsel. Parker McCay's campaign contributions from 2002 to 2006 were nearly $1 million, including more than $40,000 by Philip Norcross to the Bergen County Democratic Organization.

According to Gloucester City Councilman Nick Marchese, Parker McCay was paid $300,000 to defend the City in a lawsuit brought by Mobile Dredging who claimed it was delayed in completing the City Marina at Proprietors Park on time because of poor engineering design. The company filed a lawsuit and received $260,000 judgment against the taxpayers of Gloucester City. 

"The lawyer fees for Mr. Maley's work on this lawsuit may even be higher. We are asking Parker McKay to produce those records. Until they do the final payment will be withheld," said Marchese.