Bob Hough, the head of the town of Princeton’s department of infrastructure and operations, has been put on paid leave while the police and the Mercer County Prosecutor continue to investigate issues related to illegal dumping and the misuse of municipal property and employees at the municipal sewer department facility on River Road.
Last week, Tommy Hughes, the supervisor for the sewer department, was fired. Hough is responsible for supervising the sewer operating division.
A Planet Princeton investigation first revealed the problems at the more than 60-acre facility. The reporter collected photos, videos and other information after receiving tips from several sources that at least four private contractors were using the public facility, which is funded by taxpayer dollars, to dump dirt, asphalt and other materials at the site. Sources alleged that a town employee was receiving cash kickbacks for allowing the dumping, which they said has gone on for the past three or four years. Sources also told Planet Princeton that workers and municipal equipment, including a $300,000 truck, were used during business hours for private jobs for contractors in exchange for kickbacks.
“This afternoon, we took administrative actions related to senior leadership in the department of infrastructure and operations which oversees the sewer operating division,” Princeton Administrator Marc Dashield said in a press release late Wednesday afternoon .” These administrative actions are necessary as an administrative investigation continues into a failure of the Sewer operating division’s adherence to DEP regulations related to proper maintenance of the site. Consequently, the department director has been placed on paid administrative leave with pay pending further investigation.”
Dashield also said the municipality intends to terminate the contract with ICUNJ, the contractor for the Linden and Spruce road project, based on the contractor’s improper dumping of materials at the River Road Site. “The municipality is exploring all avenues for holding all contractors responsible for damages incurred by the town,” reads Dashield’s statement. “The municipality continues to cooperate with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office as they evaluate criminal related matters.”
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