On March 21st, Parsippany Council Vice President Michael dePierro received three political contributions, each amounting to $2,600, which is the maximum permitted. The donations came from Lanidex, PARQ Development, and the lawyer representing the PARQ redevelopment initiative at the former Lanidex office location in the town. This happened even though dePierro had declared his departure from the Council just two months earlier.
When confronted about these checks totaling $7,800 at the last Council meeting on Tuesday, August 8th, dePierro initially remained silent. He later claimed that the political contributions were intended to be used for non-campaign related items. The mayor and allied Council members then claimed that there was no wrongdoing by dePierro in accepting these large political donations, despite voting in favor of the project as a member of the planning board.
Parsippany voters deserve to know the more obvious reason why dePierro accepted these lavish campaign contributions: to be given to Mayor Barberio’s handpicked candidates for the upcoming Council election, without having to record the developer contributions in their campaign finance reports.
Unfortunately for Mayor Barberio and Councilman dePierro, engaged citizens have uncovered this scheme despite the attempt to cover up these donations with amended campaign finance paperwork.
The voters of Parsippany deserve a fair election this November, untainted by dePierro’s developer dollars. I’m running for Council this year to end these backroom deals in Parsippany. My running mates and I are calling on Mayor Barberio’s Council candidates to reject any donations from Councilman dePierro’s political funds. If such a donation has already been made, we are calling on those candidates to return the developer cash publicly and immediately.
Bernard G. Clarkin