Duo who ‘shamelessly abused’ power, had gov’t employees work on campaigns headed to prison
Two former supervisors for the North Bergen Township Department of Public Works have been sentenced to state prison after assigning municipal employees to work on election campaigns and complete personal chores or projects for them or their boss.
Both Troy Bunero, 49, of North Bergen, and Francis “Frank” Longo, 50, of Ridgefield Park were sentenced Thursday to five years in state prison, with no possibility of parole during that term.
They were convicted June 30 of second-degree charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct, as well as third-degree charges of theft by unlawful taking and misapplication of government property. In addition, Bunero was convicted of third-degree tampering with public records and fourth-degree falsifying records for submitting false timesheets.
Bunero and Longo forfeited their jobs as a result of the verdict and are permanently barred from public employment.
The case is the latest incidence of corruption in North Bergen.
James Wiley, 70, the former superintendent of the North Bergen Department of Public Works, pleaded guilty on Sept. 11, 2012 to conspiracy to commit official misconduct, admitting he directed municipal employees to perform hundreds of hours of work at his home, doing housecleaning, yard work and special projects, all while being paid by the township, Hoffman said. He also admitted assigning township employees to work on election campaigns.
Wiley is awaiting sentencing. He faces five to 10 years in state prison and must repay the township.
“Bunero and Longo shamelessly abused their power and the public resources entrusted to them,” Hoffman said in an announcement. “We’re putting government employees on notice that if they engage in this type of self-serving and corrupt conduct, they will be going to prison like these defendants and their boss, James Wiley.”
Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said Bunero and Longo "insisted they were just little guys obeying Superintendent James Wiley, but they showed their true colors by ordering municipal workers to perform personal chores for them as well."
Bunero had worked for North Bergen since 1998 and earned an annual salary of approximately $69,000, Hoffman said. Longo had worked for North Bergen since 1993 and earned an annual salary of approximately $79,000, Hoffman said.