Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Buck Stops at Schoor

Noted engineer is indicted as part of corruption probe
From The Star-Ledger

The founder of a prominent engineering firm that has become one of the state's biggest government contractors was indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption charges yesterday.

The charges against Howard Schoor, 67, of Colts Neck stem from a long-running federal investigation into corruption in Monmouth County that has snared two dozen public officials.

he firm Schoor founded in 1968, Schoor DePalma, has been involved in high-profile projects in the public and private sector and has showered New Jersey politicians with millions of dollars in campaign cash over the years. The firm's engineers have been involved with everything from the Asbury Park waterfront redevelopment to Jersey Gardens mall and the Turnpike's Interchange 13A.

Schoor DePalma, based in Manalapan, is a household name in New Jersey politics. As governments around the state have debated a crackdown on pay-to-play, the practice of contributing campaign cash to help win public contracts, the engineering firm has often been cited as a prime player in the system.

The firm and its employees have donated nearly $3 million to New Jersey politicians and political parties at the state and county levels over the past quarter-century, mostly to Democrats. It ceased giving donations last August amid criticism of pay-to-play and the corruption investigation.

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(graphic courtesy of The Asbury Park Press)

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