Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Is NJ looking to run landfill owner out of bullets?

Fenimore Landfill owner Richard Bernardi

"That's how the government plays. You're guilty until you're proven innocent. They run you out of bullets until you have nothing left."

That was Richard Bernardi's assessment of his latest legal skirmish with the state over his ownership and management of the notorious Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury, NJ.

Bernardi told reporter Louis C. Hockman of NJ Advance Media that he is aware of a criminal investigation into his activities at the site.

 "They're telegraphing their moves now," he said. 

Earlier this month, an appellate court rescinded the emergency order used to shut down the landfill on June 26, 2013 under the Legacy Landfill Law that Gov. Chris Christie signed the same day. The court said the state Department of Environmental Protection's commissioner improperly relied on gas readings taken weeks before the law went into effect, and said Bernardi's company had a right to fight an emergency action in court.

Bernardi said that decision was clearly coming after his attorney and the state Attorney General's Office argued the matter in court Sept. 8.

The next day, he said, the state issued a subpoena seeking his financial records. That subpoena was eventually given to his accountant as part of a criminal investigation, collecting evidence to be presented to a grand jury.

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