EDISON - A Newark police recruit whose career almost ended before it began because of bureaucratic red tape has now seen her dream come true, months after her story was made public in a Kane In Your Corner investigation.
In January, News 12 New Jersey first told you the story of Andy Santana. Her lifelong dream of becoming a police officer appeared to have been derailed after she was injured at the Essex County Police Academy. Her hip was broken so badly that doctors had to insert a metal plate. Santana requested a medical deferment and worked hard to make a full recovery, but the New Jersey Civil Service Commission claimed Santana had “resigned.” It told her that her hiring list had expired and she would have to start the application process over from the beginning, which would have set her back years. After the Kane In Your Corner investigation, the city of Newark intervened and made sure Santana obtained a spot in the next academy class. Friday, Newark Police Officer Andy Santana was part of the honor guard, carrying the flag into her graduation ceremony. Her dream had finally become reality.
Meantime, a victim of Superstorm Sandy whose battle with FEMA was highlighted by Kane In Your Corner during last year’s second anniversary of the storm has made it back home in time for the third anniversary. Last October, Joan Tunbridge of Point Pleasant Beach was $50,000 short of being able to move back home. She was fighting with FEMA over her flood insurance claim and with the state over her RREM grant, and work on her house had stopped.
This year, Tunbridge is finally back home, but not because her financial issues are settled. Her contractors simply agreed to finish the work, and wait to get paid until she receives her money.
“Every time it's the last paperwork, it's not the last paperwork, if you know what I mean,” Tunbridge says. “But I think I really did just finish the last paperwork for the RREM grant.” Tunbridge says she’s especially thankful for her contractors who were willing to do the work before the funding issue was settled. “Thank God they're decent because what would you do?” she asks.