Leo Viguie, 38, of Bayonne, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to one count of theft of government funds totaling $40,000 for allegedly bid-rigging in order to fraudulently obtain U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant funds from the City of Bayonne, said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Viguie was the owner of L.V. Renovations LLC, a general contracting company in Bayonne. The City of Bayonne Department of Community Development (CBDCD) was a government agency that received funds from HUD under a federal program that provided grants of up to $20,000 to low-income families. The grants were to be used to rehabilitate their homes and repair conditions that affected health and safety and their homes’ accessibility, energy efficiency, or code compliance.
In September 2011, Viguie, as the owner of L.V. Renovations, LLC, allegedly caused another contractor to provide Viguie with a bid that was higher than his own for the purpose of obtaining HUD grant funds from the City of Bayonne. Viguie then allegedly submitted the other contractor’s bid along with his own to the CBDCD. As a result of Viguie’s alleged colluding with the other contractor and submitting the two bids, Viguie wrongfully obtained $20,000 in HUD grant funds from the CBDCD on Sept. 29, 2011, according to Fishman.
In December 2011, Viguie allegedly supplied another contractor with a bid on behalf of L.V. Renovations that was higher than the other contractor’s bid for the purpose of obtaining HUD grant funds from the City of Bayonne, Fishman said. The other contractor then allegedly submitted the two bids to the CBDCD. As a result of Viguie’s alleged colluding with the other contractor who then submitted the two bids, the other contractor wrongfully obtained $20,000 in HUD grant funds from the CBDCD on Dec. 28, 2011.
The theft-of-government-funds charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Dec. 4, 2013.
Public hearing scheduled for BLRA dissolution
The Bayonne City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing at its Aug. 14 meeting in preparation for passing several ordinances and resolutions that would dissolve the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) and allow the city to absorb its debt. One ordinance would approve the borrowing of $75 million to cover the cost. The meeting will be held in the city council chambers at 7 p.m.
Sudden unexpected death law passed
Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey and Sandra Bolden Cunningham that will provide further research into sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
“Epilepsy is a relatively well-known condition, but SUDEP is poorly understood, mainly because of lack of data and information,” said Codey. “By creating a uniform system to collect information about those who have died from this condition, as is done with many other disorders, we will get a better understanding of how and why this happens. With this information, we can then work on preventing it.”
The law will require the State Medical Examiner to establish a program to educate medical examiners in New Jersey about SUDEP. Medical examiners will be required to include, as part of their investigation into the cause of death, questions that would determine if the person in question had epilepsy. Family members of those suspected to have died of SUDEP or who had epilepsy will also be asked permission to send all relevant medical information about the deceased to a SUDEP registry.
“The death of a young, healthy loved one for no apparent reason, as occurs with this condition, can be extremely traumatic,” said Cunningham. “By creating a standard protocol to investigate cases, we will at least have the ability to begin the process of providing better research into SUDEP, so that one day we may be able to provide much-needed answers to the grieving families.”
Bayonne Nature Club and Hackensack Riverkeeper are hosting a kayak tour departing from Bayonne on Saturday, August 24 starting at 9 a.m. for 2 ½ hours, traveling as a group. If you have paddled on bays and tidal water before, join the tour. Kayaks will be provided. Seating is limited and preregistration is required. The cost is $10 per paddler, processing fee. Participants must be 18 years old or older. Tandem and single kayaks are available. For registration and more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HCCC gets gift from Christ Hospital Foundation
Hudson County Community College Vice President for Development Joseph Sansone announced that the college’s foundation has received a donation from the Christ Hospital Foundation in the amount of $107,978.
Sansone said that the donation is a result of the Christ Hospital Foundation being dissolved, with pro rata shares of that organization’s funds being provided to 11 recipients. Hudson County Community College will use the gift for scholarships in its Licensed Practical Nursing, Medical Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, and Paramedic Science programs.
“Hudson County Community College has enjoyed a long and very productive cooperative relationship with Christ Hospital and its School of Nursing,” Sansone said. “We are very grateful for this gift. It will not only benefit our students, but also our community when the students have graduated and are working in these professions.”