Report Criticizes N.J. Law Firm and its Developer Client
Posted Feb 29, 2008 8:59 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A politically connected law firm and its developer client were criticized in a report issued yesterday by New Jersey’s inspector general detailing the failure of a project to clean up and build houses on landfills.
The New York Times said sections of the report “amounted to a sweeping indictment of New Jersey’s political culture, in which large developers work with well-connected law firms to lobby state agencies for the purpose of waiving environmental regulations and other rules.”
The firm named in the report was DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Wisler, and its client was EnCap Golf Holdings. The report said the company misled government officials about its ability to get financing to do the work and the progress it was making, the New York Times reports. And it said the law firm gained access to elected officials to discuss the project after the firm and developer made campaign contributions.
However, name partner Eric Wisler said in the report that the none of the donations was “tied to any action or event happening during the project.”