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Former Teaneck Councilman Held $95K No-Show Job, Suit Alleges

Lawsuit claims fraud at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

A former Teaneck member and political consultant held a $95,000 a year no-show job at a Bergen County agency where colleagues were unsure what he did outside of occasionally signing paperwork, documents filed in federal civil court Wednesday allege.

Elnatan Rudolph, who was elected to the Teaneck council in 2006 and once worked as an assistant to the former executive director of the Bergen County Improvement Authority, rarely told BCIA staffers where he was and spent little time at the office, the court papers claim.

The allegations came to light in an amendment to a lawsuit filed by the BCIA. The the private operator of Bergen Regional Medical Center worked with two elevator repair companies to defraud the county agency.

Rudolph and former BCIA executive director Edward Hynes “allowed” BCIA to pay for services that were never performed and elevator equipment that was never installed at the medical center, the court documents say. Court papers say the elevator project fraud cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Equipment already paid for was allegedly moved to hide the fact that it had never been installed.

The two former officials are named as defendants in the BCIA’s suit, along with medical center officials, elevator companies and up to 100 unknown individuals who aided in the alleged fraud.

Rudolph did not respond to an e-mail message seeking comment Thursday. In a story on northjersey.com, he was quoted as saying he had not seen the court papers. Hynes could not be reached for comment.

"We are confident that these allegations will be proven to have no merit and we intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit," said Donnalee Corrieri, a spokeswoman for Bergen Regional Medical Center.

The former Teaneck councilman won his seat during a special election with the backing of former Bergen County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Ferriero. Opponents claimed the ex-party boss planted Rudolph in town.

Rudolph critics also blasted him for voting in New York City six months after moving to the township. 

 

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JeffO March 30, 2012 at 01:24 AM
"The former Teaneck councilman won his seat during a special election with the backing of former Bergen County Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Ferriero." That was in 2006 when he ran on a slate with Adam Gussen. In 2008 Mr. Rudolph ran again on a slate with two other candidates, also with the backing of the disgraced Ferriero machine. Rudolph didn't win in 2008, but one of his running mates did -- Mohammed Hameeddudin, who is now running for re-election in our upcoming council election. I don't want to suggest unwarranted guilt by association, but at the time Rudolph ran in 2008, his $95,000-a-year patronage job at the BCIA was a well known fact. Perhaps it wasn't called a "no-show" job at that time, but everybody with an ounce of sense knew or should have known that it didn't pass the smell test. In fact, it stunk out loud. Which did not, obviously, dissuade Mr. Hameeddudin from signing on to that slate. When I was asked to support his candidacy at that time, I told him that if he ran with Rudloph it would be a deal-breaker for me. It's still a deal-breaker. Mr. Hammeeduddin has shown a singular lack of good judgment in his political alliances and a fundamental followership -- certainly not leadership -- that over the last 2 to 4 years has resulted in one council fiasco after another. I just don't think he deserves t be returned to office.
Art Vatsky March 30, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Trouble did surround Mr. Rudolph during and after the 2006 campaign. There were illegal campaign mailings the last weekend of the campaign, too late to be responded to before the election. Only later was it learned that Mr. Rudolph had been employed by a firm known for controversial campaigns. When the new Council convened and citizens asked for an investigation, the response from the Council was no. C. Gussen, Rudolph's slatemate, said then that the new Council wanted to looked forward, not backward. I was there. While there was further investigation by the County Prosecutor, the case appears to have been dropped due to other more pressing cases like the two unsolved murders of Teaneck citizens.
Mildred March 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Many Teaneck residents were aware of his "no show job" at the BCIA. The Bergen County Prosecutor dropped the ball. It has nothing to do with the unsolved murders of Teaneck citizens. They simply failed to investigate the issue. Mr Rudolph was a member of Councilman then Mayor Elie Katz's "Team Katz" in his bid for re-election to Teanecks Council. Trust was a concern for many voters. Justice appears to have been slow, non the less, its about time. Teaneck's tax payers should be concerned about any of the towns contracts involving the BCIA during Ruldolphs Tenure on the Teaneck Town Council.....
A A Siddiqui March 30, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Jeff For the last 2 years i have listened to your rants about the Mayor. You are a delusional person who has not contributed anything to Teaneck unlike our fabulous Mayor. Here are just some of his accomplishments. Worked with the council to get Teaneck Liability insurance, increased recycling from once a month to twice a month and increased revenue. He has decreased spending increases in a glide pattern that has not impacted services all while working with his colleagues, which is why 5 out of 6 want him back. The one that is not supporting him is your candidate. Your negative campaign tactics shows who you are and they belong in the tea party arena.
Margot Fisher March 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM
For readers who may have forgotten or don't follow the inside baseball, Rudolph was elected in 2006 on a slate with Adam Gussen. He ran again in 2008, on the Elie Katz-backed "Team Teaneck" with Mohammed Hameeduddin. He lost the second bid but Hameeduddin won, and was subsequently named Mayor by a non-unanimous council majority vote. Hameeduddin is now vying for a second term.
JamesTS March 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I do not like Rudolph and his political dealings. But i do not think it is fair to have guilt by association with the mayor. The mayor is not the one being named in this federal lawsuit. lets just be fair.
Umer Sheriff March 30, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Jeff, Your blatant jealously and partisian attacks will do nothing but galvanize support for Mohammed. He is a transformative figure in our country that is well respected. Wow the Whitehouse must be really stupid to invite our Teaneck Mayor 4 times to discuss issues. Your comments have made a buzz alright they are getting people to call him to show support start to write letters, walking campaigns and give him donation. Thanks for petty comments.
Noah Cohen March 30, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Please note comments using personal insults and profanity violate terms of service and will be removed.
Art Vatsky March 30, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Individual Councilmember achievements are blurred by our form of government. That is why I have asked incumbent candidates to issue their voting records during their tenure in office. Regarding Teaneck Liability Insurance, the Council acted AFTER our Township lost ~$10 million in legal judgments by empoyees who were mistreated on the job. That $10 million is still in our tax bills. C (Councilmember) Katz was there all that time, was even Mayor. (Elie, correct the record where I am wrong.) By the way, "Mayor" in Teaneck signifies who chairs Council meetings and performs civil marriages and little else.
Joanna Hafner March 31, 2012 at 02:07 AM
If this guy had a "a no show job" I hope he is convicted and has to pay the money he earned back with interest and jail time I am sick and tired of our tax money being misused and no one is held accountable as for the politics I don't care who it is or the position they hold or the party in there in the abuse of power needs to stop.
Mildred March 31, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Thank you Art V for setting the record straight! The Mayor of Teaneck holds no power!!!! The manager form of government prevails in Teaneck. Mr Hameeduddin is the Mayor and that title is only used to preform civil marriages and control council meetings.The title Mayor holds zero power in Teaneck. Too bad many of the residents are unaware of Teaneck's form of Govmnt. I hear that Teaneck is being investigated by the DOJ. This is going to be very interesting. Many ppl get invited to the White House, let's not get carried away. I say, let justice prevail. The timing can't be good for some on the Council who aspire for re-election or higher office. The chickens have come to roost, lol. As many of us knew they would. Teaneck taxpayers deserve better !!!!! It is what it is and, smelling quite nasty !!!
JeffO March 31, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Mr. Sheriff, I don't believe we've ever met, but if it makes you feel better to attribute my comment to jealousy, go right ahead. As far as being "partisan," I'm not sure how you're defining it here. For the record, I'm a lifelong registered Democrat and have never qualified my party affiliation with the term "blue dog" (i.e., conservative), as our deputy mayor does. I am also a strong supporter of President Obama. Of course, in Teaneck we have non-partisan government, non-partisan elections and ideally, a non-partisan spirit in our approach to local issues. This is one of two main reasons why so many people in Teaneck, regardless of party, were troubled by the influence of the Ferriero-dominated Democratic county machine in recent elections. The other main reason, especially among many registered Democrats, was the feeling that something very wrong and un-Democratic was going on with that machine -- a feeling confirmed by Ferriero's criminal conviction on fraud (overturned on a Supreme Court-mandated technicality) and also with these new allegations concerning the BCIA and the patronage job held by Mr. Hammeeddudin's 2008 running mate. I am sorry my comment has angered you and AA Siddiqui, but I note that neither of you have addressed my point regarding what this news item says about Mr. Hammeeddudin's judgment. For my part, I have yet to deliver on my statement that our council has been marked by fiascoes. I hope to do that soon.
Art Vatsky March 31, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Mildred: I wouldn't exactly say the position of Mayor of Teaneck has no additional power. In good times and bad, it is the Mayor's quotes and face that get the coverage, so they are also unofficial - it is not in the ordinance - spokespersons. So, if the Mayor misspeaks, over or under reacts, it reflects on all of us. Regarding our current Mayor, I am pretty sure he was a compromise candidate. Councilmember Liz Parks was the more popular vote getter and is well known for her work as a council member. She was also Deputy Mayor, I believe. Yet she was passed over. We don't know why. Remember, the Mayor is not elected by the public but only by the Council. Had she been chosen as Mayor, it is likely she would have had meetings with Pres. Obama just as our current Mayor has.
Paul Ostrow March 31, 2012 at 09:20 PM
By statute, and as per N.J.'s Faulkner form of township government operations, the mayor of Teaneck is in large part ceremonial; he or she must chair council meetings, sit on our planning board, execute documents when authorized by council, perform weddings, (I had the pleasure of performing 350+ over an eight year period) and has similar "powers" as the six other members of the governing body. While not true and authoratarian "power" there are several other responsibilities entrusted to the mayor. He or she is the face and voice of Teaneck; there is press contact almost on a daily basis; the mayor is called upon not only for weddings, but for funerals, civic events, functions at the town's sixty plus houses of worship and attends scores of meetings and events on the local, county and state levels. The time commitment is huge and the position requires countless hours of preparation, dialogue, thought, patience and flexibility. I am honored to have held the position and thank my predecessors and those who have held the reins since my tenure. Teaneck's reputation of leadership and ingenuity and our municipality's position amongst other towns, our institutions and businesses, our staff and residents is in large part dependent upon our mayors' ability to communicate, lead, vision, direct and formulate policy with our council & administration and 40,000 residents.
Jacob April 01, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Ostrow for Mayor!
JeffO April 01, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Noah -- Because I receive comments via email, I saw the posts that Patch removed over a day ago. I thought your decisions were defensible -- the removed posts did use personal insults and foul (though not exactly profane) language. Now, over a day later, I see that my post, and the comments under it (one of which was mine), have been removed. I believe (and sincerely hope) that this removal is the work of a "bot" that's turned on when real persons aren't available to moderate and certain comments receive an abundance of "Flag as inappropriate" clicks. I'm sure you know that my comment didn't resort to personal insults, foul language or profanity -- otherwise it would have been removed a day ago. I'd appreciate it if you'd restore my post, and the comments beneath it, as soon as possible. (No need to remove the post that's still here referring to my deleted post. Though I think it does contain a personal insult, I don't really care. It's fine with me.)
Diane Schwarz April 01, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Back to Rudolph, the "no show job" and the BCIA. The BCIA is apparently a can of worms! Besides Rudolph's "no show job", fraud has been charged to the agency (there go our tax dollars!) Rudolph was also "assiatant director" in 2010. The BCIA has been accused of becoming a patronage mill for Dem. contributors, etc. Former BCIA chairperson O'Malley was sentenced to 2 years in prison, relating in part to BCIA involvement. This is also, in some way connected to the mysterious mailing for a Teaneck Councel election, that's never been completely followed up. And now CD 5 has 1 of the same group running for election! Oy vay!
Noah Cohen April 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM
To follow up on questions about comments being removed-- There are two ways for comments to be removed from articles. One is by Patch admins for clearly inappropriate content (profanity, personal insults, SPAM, etc). Also, if readers click "flag as inappropriate" the comment will automatically be removed after three flags. That is done without alerting an editor, but those comments can be restored if they are incorrectly flagged. In this case, I only removed two comments using inappropriate language and a personal insult. We want a forum for debate here. We encourage readers to discuss the topics at hand, but it must be done without personal insults and profanity. The majority of comments posted are civil and show healthy debate. It can be hard to monitor each article comment so I encourage readers to e-mail me at noah@patch.com with any questions or concerns. Thanks, all.
JeffO April 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Call me delusional if you wish, Mr. Siddiqui, but please answer me this: As I stated above, I told candidate Hameeduddin four years ago that I couldn't support him if he ran on a slate with Rudolph -- which he did. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, who do you think had the better grasp on the reality of the situation?
delgado April 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Milly, how many lawsuits have the Christies Republicans thrown at the Bergen Dems and none have stuck. You need to realize that is how modern NJ Republicans works. We have a former Prosecutor, who is on his way to the White house, through phoney prosecutions? Where is all the crime? You really believe that the Donovan Republicans have zero no show jobs? Have you count the lawsuits?
delgado April 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Where does JeffO get off making the following comments "the other main reason, especially among many registered Democrats, was the feeling that something very wrong and un-Democratic was going on with that machine -- a feeling confirmed by Ferriero's criminal conviction on fraud (overturned on a Supreme Court-mandated technicality)"""... Jeff is turning his opinion into a fact..... the Supreme Courts threw it out, because it politically motivated.. We are now stuck with a Governor, who lied his way into the Governors seat and now wants to be V.P. The sad fact is that JeffO keeps repeating the allegation. Where is the crime?? Where is the waste? There have never been one crime under the so called Bergen Dem Machine...
delgado April 17, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Diane, your facts are wrong, Omally was convicted of private sector fraud, nothing to do with BCIA money or resources...so using your logic, all mortgage brokers are criminals. It just so happens after the entire 2006-08 national housing bubble, Prosecutor Christie decided to go after this one mortgage underwriter. Did you ever wonder why? Oh, vay that!

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