Department of Community Affairs grilled over Sandy funds at budget hearing

A hearing over the state budget turned into a Sandy grilling Monday, as Democrats spent several hours questioning the commissioner of the Department of Community

A hearing over the state budget turned into

A hearing over the state budget turned into a Sandy grilling Monday, as Democrats spent several hours questioning the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

TRENTON - A hearing over the state budget turned into a Sandy grilling Monday, as Democrats spent several hours questioning the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

Every spring, the legislature's budget committees sit down with the heads of various state government offices to hash out their finances.

"We're supposed to be standing for openness and transparency and this does not look like openness and transparency unfortunately," said Assemblyman Gary Schaer.

Richard Constable, head of the Department of Community Affairs and an overseer of the state's largest Sandy recovery program, found himself defending the Christie administration against pretty rough criticism.
     
Constable called the suggestion that the administration is discriminating in the way it administers housing dollars offensive.

Constable said critics incorrectly skewed the stats, and FEMA data mistakenly led some homeowners to appear ineligible and be denied funding. He says that's being cleaned up with another round of appeals.
     
Democrats also tried to dig into how DCA hands out recovery contracts, and whether it's ready to hand out another round of federal aid. "Eight years after Katrina, the federal government went in, HUD did an audit and they're seeking to recapture approximately $700 million from the state of Louisiana," Constable said. "We don't want to see something like that happen in New Jersey."
     
Budget hearings will continue throughout the month.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Police in Asbury Park calling for cease fire 1 Police in Asbury Park call for cease-fire after shootings
Fire breaks out at Jersey City home 2 Fire breaks out at Jersey City home
Jersey Weekend Buzz 3 Jersey Weekend Buzz
Monmouth County officials continue to search for missing 4 Officials continue to search for missing 19-year-old
VIDEO: Man reunited with missing wedding ring 5 VIDEO: Man reunited with missing wedding ring

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE