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Saturday, February 24, 2024

More whistleblowers are needed in Trenton to battle corruption (L.A. PARKER COLUMN) - The Trentonian

When a City of Trenton employee accused fellow workers of padding time sheets with bogus overtime hours, the shrill sound of her whistle pierced walls in the capital city.

Light shined on the gravy train that had allowed employees of the Bureau of Environmental Health, a division of the city’s Health & Human Services, opportunities to pad paychecks with dirty money.

On Tuesday, the whistleblower proved accurate with her accusations of malfeasance when two BHE workers admitted participation in a conspiracy to obtain overtime payments from the city of Trenton for work they did not perform by fraudulently inflating the overtime hours they claimed to have worked conducting residential lead inspections, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Michael Ingram, 71, of Trenton, and William Kreiss, 40, of Yardley, Pa. each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to information charging them with one count of conspiracy to embezzle, steal, and obtain by fraud more than $5,000 in funds from the city of Trenton. Ingram received approximately $22,000 and Kreiss $32,000 in fraudulent pay.

The State Attorney General statement noted that beginning in or around 2018, Trenton began drawing funds from a State grant for childhood lead testing (“State Childhood Lead Grant”) that was awarded to the City of Trenton to conduct lead inspections at residences which had reported having children with elevated levels of lead in their blood.

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