Brick Served Subpoena in Birdsall Investigation
Seaside Heights, Lacey, Toms River and Ocean County were also served subpoenas
A subpoena has been served to Brick Township pertaining to the municipality’s business with Birdsall Services Group, a Monmouth County-based engineering and consulting firm that has been under investigation by the state.
The subpoena was issued by the state grand jury sitting in Trenton and was served on multiple municipalities that transact business with Birdsall Engineering, officials across the area said.
All of the municipalities served have two weeks to turn over requested documentation.
In Brick, Birdsall has served as the township engineer for about 15 years, handling the bulk of the township's engineering services.
Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the township received the subpoena on Friday and it requested proposals and contracts dating back to 2008.
Toms River also received a subpoena, Business Administrator Paul Shives confirmed.
Shives said the township is in the process of gathering all its documents for the grand jury. Materials from January 2008 onward were requested.
"It requires the production of documents including engineering proposals, contracts, letters, email communication, invoices, and copies of payments to Birdsall Engineering and/or any of the subsidiary companies for the period of time from January of 2008 to the present."
He said the township only contracted with Birdsall twice in that period.
Lacey township received the subpoena during the afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 22. The subpoena asks for any and all records relating to Birdsall Engineering, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.
“It doesn’t concern me because I know from my dealings with Birdsall, anytime we approved a contract with them, we’ve scrutinized them pretty closely,” Mayor Mark Dykoff said.
On Wednesday, May 3, state investigators executed a search warrant at the offices of Birdsall Services Group. The exact reason for the investigation is currently unknown.
According to an NJ.com story, Birdsall did more than $28 million in business with towns, counties, the state and other public agencies throughout New Jersey in 2011. The company also donated $129,700 to dozens of Democrats and Republicans last year.
“What happened in other towns, I can’t say. “We’ve always followed a fair and open process when we award a contract,” Dykoff said. “They’re just checking back on transactions and contracts that we had with Birdsall for a period of time.”
Currently, the only business the township is doing with Birdsall is a feasibility study for a new power generation facility to be built in Lacey upon Oyster Creek’s closure in 2019, Dykoff said.
The subpoena orders the requested documents for a state grand jury in Trenton at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Toms River Regional Business Administrator Bill Doering said the school district was not subpoenad.
Other entities served subpoenas for their work with Birdsall include Seaside Heights and the county government.