PARSIPPANY — Documents uncovered by mayoral candidate James R. Barberio show that Mayor Michael Soriano stole Parsippany-Troy Hills Township funds and resources to purchase and hang banners associated with his private organization, the Soriano Civic Association.
“The documents that I was able to uncover are shocking, to say the least,” said Barberio who is running against Soriano for mayor. “They prove that Soriano used township funds and resources to further his own personal and political interests at the expense of Parsippany taxpayers”.
In May 2020, Soriano directed the Township Superintendent of Recreation to order banners congratulating the graduating high school classes from the Merch Pros company of Boonton. The banners included the text “Paid for by Soriano Civic Association”.
However, the documents uncovered by Barberio show that statement is a lie. In an email dated May 27, 2020, Soriano directed the Superintendent of Recreation to enter the invoice, totaling $1,528, into the Township’s Edmunds billing system indicating that the “donor’s treasurer” would send a check “once the township is billed”.
Later that same day, the Superintendent of Recreation asked Soriano what address should be placed on the invoice. Soriano responded, “township”. In addition to illegally running his civic association expenses through the township’s treasury, Soriano unlawfully directed township personnel to hang and remove the private association banners.
Parsippany Department of Parks and Forestry time sheets dated June 4, 2020 and July 31, 2020 indicate that township crews were directed to hang the banners over township roads and remove them as part of their daily township assignments. This work is confirmed by the Superintendent of Recreation in an email dated June 1, 2020 in which he advised Soriano that “Jim will have a crew hang them ASAP”.
The Superintendent of Recreation was referring to the Superintendent of the Parsippany Department of Parks and Forestry, who was copied on the email. “I am calling on the Attorney General to investigate Soriano and his civic association for their theft of township funds and resources, and specifically for Michael Soriano’s use of township personnel and resources to further his political and personal agendas,” said Barberio.
“As a proud Parsippany resident, I will not stand by and let Michael Soriano steal our taxpayer’s hard-earned money while he simultaneously burdens them with outrageous utility and tax increases”.
The Soriano Civic Association, Inc. lists Scott Carlson, the former township planning board attorney and special counsel, as its registered agent.
Click here to view emails regarding the claim.
This press release was submitted by Team Barberio.