We don't need to tell you – New Jersey wastes a lot of money.

But Jim Gearhart — in his latest podcast — reflects on what he says may have been the biggest waste in the state's history. In 2005, the director of the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation admitted "money was wasted" under his watch, in a short statement announcing he was stepping down.

Money was wasted. You think so?

"What? Four billion dollars disappeared into thin air. ... And I guess the ruling was, well, that's normal for New Jersey," Jim says in the ppodacast, available every Thursday on iTunes, Google Play and the New Jersey 101.5 app.

It's a sordid story. The $8 billion dollar agency — meant to build schools throughout the state and help provide opportunities for low-income students — was instead a home for "cost overruns, excessive bonuses and widespread mismanagement," the New York Times reported an inspector general found at the time.

And the chairman of its board had been a lobbyist with deep conflicts.

"You put the fox not only in charge of the henhouse, but Frank Purdue's chicken factory as well," Jim says.

But New Jersey's got another big construction project coming up — a controversial, $300 million StateHouse renovation.

"I wonder if the same people are going to end up renovating the statehouse, or it'll be done in the same style," Jim says.

That's just part of the latest installment of the Jim Gearhart Podcast, available every week on New Jersey 101.5 and in the New Jersey 101.5 app. You can also subscribe with your favorite podcasting app for iPhones, Android devices or your computer:

Love podcasts? Also check out Forever 39, Annette and Megan's new podcast about turning 40 — and loving life along the way. This week, they explore what they HATE about warm weather in NJ.

And the New 'Jersey' Guys, Chris and Dan, ask "What makes an MVP?"

— Townsquare Media staff

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