Princeton officials approve almost $400,000 contract for environmental testing at former illegal dump on River Road, but will town’s insurance company foot the bill?
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Princeton officials approve almost $400,000 contract for environmental testing at former illegal dump on River Road, but will town’s insurance company foot the bill?

The Princeton Council voted unanimously on Monday night to approve a $392,420 contract with environmental firm Whitman Associates to conduct more analysis and testing at the town’s sewer operating committee facility on River Road. An illegal dump was being operated at the site, where contractors allegedly were allowed to dispose of waste in exchange for…

State fined municipality of Princeton $35,000 for operating illegal dump at sewer facility
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State fined municipality of Princeton $35,000 for operating illegal dump at sewer facility

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection fined the municipality of Princeton $35,000 for operating a dump without proper permits, public records show. Employees at the River Road facility in the northeast corner of Princeton allegedly took bribes to allow private contractors to dump waste at the sewer department site located at 290-298 River Road,…

Planet Princeton wins New Jersey News Commons award for local investigative reporting for sewer department series

Planet Princeton wins New Jersey News Commons award for local investigative reporting for sewer department series

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University announced the winners of the third annual New Jersey News Commons Excellence in Local News Awards on Monday. Planet Princeton is one of seven winners. Awards were given for work by local news outlets in New Jersey in 2019 in the fields of local news innovation,…

Settlement reached in Planet Princeton’s public records case seeking sewer department records
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Settlement reached in Planet Princeton’s public records case seeking sewer department records

The municipality of Princeton and Mercer County have produced more than 1,500 pages of emails and other documents in response to public records requests and a lawsuit that was filed by Planet Princeton this summer regarding documents related to illegal dumping at the town’s sewer department facility on River Road in the northeastern section of…

Third arrest made in illegal dumping investigation in Princeton
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Third arrest made in illegal dumping investigation in Princeton

A second employee who worked for the municipality of Princeton has been charged by the Mercer County Prosecutor in connection with the illegal dumping investigation in Princeton. Frank Casole, 60, was charged this week with being an accomplice to bribery in the second degree for allegedly being complicit in the illegal dumping scandal by aiding…

Mercer County Prosecutor charges one contractor in illegal dumping case
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Mercer County Prosecutor charges one contractor in illegal dumping case

The owner of an Edison-based construction company has been charged with bribing a supervisor for the municipality of Princeton in exchange for dumping dirt at the River Road sewer department site. The investigation into illegal dumping was triggered by a series of stories written by Planet Princeton. Planet Princeton investigated accusations about illegal dumping and…

Federal Court: NJ public records custodians can’t abdicate role at the behest of law enforcement agencies
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Federal Court: NJ public records custodians can’t abdicate role at the behest of law enforcement agencies

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a decision Wednesday in a public records case that is similar to Planet Princeton’s lawsuit against the town of Princeton and Mercer County. The precedent-setting decision is a victory for journalists and public records advocates. In 2015, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden and publicist…

Planet Princeton starts to receive documents related to public records lawsuit about former landfill, sewer department site
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Planet Princeton starts to receive documents related to public records lawsuit about former landfill, sewer department site

Planet Princeton has started receiving documents from Mercer County and the Municipality of Princeton in response to a lawsuit filed last month seeking public records related to the municipal sewer department site, the former landfill and the town’s solar arrays. Princeton officials and a lawyer for Mercer County both previously issued blanket denials of Planet…

An array of problems at former landfill site in Princeton
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An array of problems at former landfill site in Princeton

Less than two years after solar panels were installed on top of the former municipal landfill in Princeton, the soil under and around the panels is eroding, waste from the landfill is exposed, and when it rains, stormwater flows onto the landfill and then into a ditch and nearby wetlands. In February, an inspector for…

Planet Princeton files lawsuit against municipality, county and prosecutor seeking public records related to sewer department, landfill, solar arrays
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Planet Princeton files lawsuit against municipality, county and prosecutor seeking public records related to sewer department, landfill, solar arrays

Planet Princeton has filed a lawsuit seeking public records related to the municipal sewer department site, the former landfill and the town’s solar arrays. Princeton officials and a lawyer for Mercer County both denied requests for records, citing an ongoing investigation into activity at the sewer department site by the Mercer County Prosecutor. The lawsuit…

Judge issues temporary restraining order blocking Princeton Council from rescinding contract with sewer repair company
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Judge issues temporary restraining order blocking Princeton Council from rescinding contract with sewer repair company

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson issued a temporary restraining order on Monday evening to stop the governing body of Princeton from rescinding a multi-million-dollar contract with a sewer repair contractor. The Princeton Council was slated to rescind a $2.75 million contract for sewer rehabilitation work on Spruce Street and Linden Lane with Integrated…

Bags of asbestos pipe wrap found in a large container at Princeton sewer department site were compromised
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Bags of asbestos pipe wrap found in a large container at Princeton sewer department site were compromised

An environmental consultant examined a container full of bags of asbestos pipe wrap that was found at the River Road sewer department site, and discovered that the bags were punctured and the container had holes in it, according to a public document reviewed by Planet Princeton. On Monday night at a 7 p.m. public meeting,…

Estimated cost for environmental assessment of Princeton sewer department site is almost $164,000
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Estimated cost for environmental assessment of Princeton sewer department site is almost $164,000

The Princeton Council is slated to vote Monday night on a contract for a consultant to conduct an environmental assessment of the sewer department site on River Road, for a cost of up to $163,375. Whitman Environmental Consulting, an environmental consulting firm based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been selected to perform a preliminary environmental assessment…

Contractor sues town of Princeton claiming company was only following officials’ orders when dumping on municipal property
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Contractor sues town of Princeton claiming company was only following officials’ orders when dumping on municipal property

Integrated Construction and Utilities of New Jersey, an Edison-based company that does sewer repair, demolition, and asbestos abatement work, has filed a lawsuit against the town of Princeton for planning to cancel a multi-million dollar contract because of allegations of illegal dumping on municipal property. According to court records, ICUNJ contends that the company was…

Princeton and Mercer County officials deny requests for public records related to illegal dumping scandal
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Princeton and Mercer County officials deny requests for public records related to illegal dumping scandal

Princeton officials Tuesday denied a request from Planet Princeton for public records related to illegal dumping at the municipal sewer department property on River Road. Planet Princeton had requested various documents under the state’s Open Public Records Act and New Jersey Common Law. The documents Planet Princeton requested included: -All contracts between the municipality and…

Officials acknowledge lack of oversight and ‘widespread and systemic violation’ of policies and procedures at Princeton sewer department site
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Officials acknowledge lack of oversight and ‘widespread and systemic violation’ of policies and procedures at Princeton sewer department site

Officials in Princeton announced Monday afternoon that a department director has been fired as a result of the ongoing investigation into illegal dumping and mismanagement of municipal land on River Road in the northern part of town that includes wetlands and is located near the Millstone River. “Recent information released to the municipality from the…

State inspector flagged problems at Princeton municipal site in February, yet NJDEP and local officials did nothing
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State inspector flagged problems at Princeton municipal site in February, yet NJDEP and local officials did nothing

When an employee from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection came to Princeton in February to conduct the annual inspection of the town’s closed landfill, what she found alarmed her. After looking around at the municipal facilities, the inspector contacted local and state officials and filed a complaint with her agency’s own hotline, which…

Princeton municipal employee charged with second-degree bribery in illegal dumping scandal (updated)
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Princeton municipal employee charged with second-degree bribery in illegal dumping scandal (updated)

Thomas Hughes, the former supervisor at the town of Princeton’s sewer department facility on River Road, has been charged with bribery in the second degree for allegedly accepting payments “to influence his official duties,” police said Monday.  Hughes was charged on a summons complaint and released pending future court appearances. His first appearance in Mercer County…

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