Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

District Reverses Course on Law Firm

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

District Reverses Course on Law Firm

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- In a reversal, the school district opted to give two insurance contracts worth a total of $340,000 to a politically- connected law firm from South Jersey.

The firm, Conner Strong and Buckelew of Marlton, has one contract as the district's insurance broker for employee health benefits that pays a maximum of $125,000, plus $75,000 for expenses. Connor Strong's second contract is for $140,000 to serve as broker of casualty and property insurance.

The firm's executive chairman is George Norcross, the powerful South Jersey Democratic leader.

Its chairman is Joseph Buckelew, who had been chairman of the Republican Party in Ocean County for more than two decades.

In June, the school board voted down the contract for the health benefits work. But state-appointed Schools Superintendent Donnie Evans used his powers under the system of state control of Paterson schools to override that vote and approve the contract. …

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