Million Dollar Search Terms Disclosed: Political Retaliation?

PARSIPPANY — Another incident like Bridgegate?  This time it may be in Parsippany.  Parsippany Focus has obtained a tort claim notice filed by retired Police Captain James Carifi through an open public records request (OPRA). This tort claim notice was filed on September 30, 2016.

The tort claim notice lists specific “Client Supplied Keywords” Township attorney John Inglesino and Mayor James Barberio developed and provided to Aurora Information & Security hired to investigate Captain Carifi.

Aurora Information & Security was hired by Mayor James Barberio, without the consent of the Township Council. According to the local finance laws, when municipalities hire for professional services, Council approval is required. Township Council members were not told of Aurora’s hiring until five months later, days after Mayor Barberio defeated Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr. in a hotly contested primary for mayor. (Refer to attached email requesting minutes and resolutions of hiring of Aurora.)

Ironically, the hiring of Aurora was authorized by Mayor Barberio the day after Paul Carifi Jr. announced his candidacy for Mayor on Monday, January 14, 2013 and the two days after the Sunday night meeting at Townhall where Council President Louis Valori had accused Barberio and Inglesino of bribing him with a job offer. (See Consent to Hire Technical Security Consultant for Litigation Purposes).

According to the tort claim filed, the 29 “Client Supplied Keywords” are as follows: James Carifi, Paul Carifi, Election, Contribution, Funds, ELEC (Which stands for Election Law Enforcement Commission), Clerk, Yancy Wazirmas, Jasmine Lim, Elesha Johnson, Board of Elections, Poll, Republican Party, Ballot, Absentee Ballot, Board of Education, Township Council, Mayor, James Barberio, Louis Valori, Robert Peluso, Brian Stanton, Vincent Ferrara, Michael dePierro, Jonathan Nelson, James Vigilante, Robert Colangelo, Daniel Margotta and Bentley. (Click here to see the tort claim document search terms)

(Editors Note: Republicans Robert Peluso and Louis Valori announced they were running for a Council seat shortly thereafter. Brian Stanton, was the Township Council President at the time. Michael dePierro and Vincent Ferrara were Councilmen. Jonathan Nelson, a Democrat, was planning on running for Mayor against the Republican candidate. James Vigilante, now deceased, a former Councilman ran unsuccessfully for Morris County Clerk.)

If that’s not startling enough, in a shocking revelation Aurora then provides an additional four “Suggested Keyword Searches” they would like to search on Captain Carifi’s computer, which Barberio and Inglesino ultimately approved.  Those four search terms were as follows: Carifi, Campaign, Paul and “campaign and mayor.”  This all took place just a few months before the primary election between Paul Carifi Jr. and James Barberio in 2013. (Click here to see Aurora Suggested Keyword Search.)

Parsippany Focus previously reported that Aurora Information Security & Risk was recently found liable for fraud by the Second District Court of appeals of New York in addition to being suspended by the State of New Jersey. While they were suspended, they were not allowed to do business with any municipality while suspended, however Mayor Barberio and John Inglesino continued to work with and pay Aurora during this suspension time.  The suspension time for Aurora Information Security & Risk as listed by the State of New Jersey was from January 16, 2014 to May 13, 2015. (For Aurora suspension click here)

For the past three years, Mayor Barberio and Mr. Inglesino had stated and maintained the position at council meetings and prepared statements that Parsippany residents were at risk because Captain Carifi copied and deleted information from Parsippany Police Department computers.  However, as the search terms are now uncovered, one cannot escape the correlation to Bridgegate. According to the tort claimed filed, No police information or police documents were listed in the search terms as being searched for.

Even more alarming is Aurora’s actual document provided to Mayor Barberio and Mr. Inglesino requesting “Legal Approval” to search “Personal Email Addresses”.  Although it is unknown as to whose email addresses Inglesino and Barberio were searching as there are no listed email addresses on Aurora’s document, it does state “Do any specific email accounts come to mind?”  The document also indicates that Aurora searched Captain Carifi’s “Web credit card transaction receipts”.

Furthermore, the tort claim notice goes on to identify one of Aurora’s invoices paid by the Township of Parsippany, included a billing entry documenting that Aurora was tasked by Mayor Barberio and Township attorney Inglesino with searching Captain Carifi’s home computer for any political activities.

Requests for comments from Jonathan Nelson, Robert Peluso, Yancy Wazirmas and Elesha Johnson went unanswered.

“Mr. Carifi and my office are limited from commenting freely about his disputes with Parsippany due to a variety of constraints, including confidentiality orders entered for the benefit of the Township in two of the three pending lawsuits.  That said, we are anxious to air publicly the facts of this case at the upcoming trial, and believe that the Citizens of Parsippany could be shocked and dismayed by what they learn,” said Christopher Deininger,‎ Partner, Bubb, Grogan & Cocca, representing James Carifi.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Chief Philipps was asked if he participated in the development of the political search terms to be searched for on Captain Carifi’s Parsippany Police computers, but never responded.

Because it has been estimated that the Township has spent over 3.5 million dollars in taxpayer money against Captain Carifi, and that there are so many additional surprising documented facts that are contrary to what Inglesino and Mayor Barberio have portrayed in public within the tort claims notice, Parsippany Focus has decided to title its succeeding articles about this case as Parsippany Gate.

The tort claim notice is a requirement to inform the Township of a potential lawsuit.


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