Time for a Regime Change at Proprietary House

Lo and behold, what do I find in yesterday’s e-mail inbox but a communique from Kurt Epps informing me that my efforts appear to be having an impact regarding the scandal that is quickly engulfing the Executive Board of Proprietary House as it casts a dubious pall over the city of Perth Amboy.

I’m not sure which efforts Kurt was referring to, but I suspect it was the e-mail I dispatched on Jun 20 to Proprietary House Executive Board President Jeff Huber in which I minced no words and pulled no punches:

1. On what date was the sex offender appointed to the Executive Board?
2. Who recommended his appointment?
3. Who was responsible for appointing him?
4. Was a background check performed on the sex offender prior to his recommendation/appointment?
5. If not, why not?
6. If so, how did it miss the fact that he’s a convicted sex offender?
7. When did you first become aware that the person in question is a convicted sex offender?
8. Did you notify the other members of the board after discovering that this person is a convicted sex offender?
9. Did you suggest to the sex offender that he resign from the board?
10. If not, why not?
11. If so, did he refuse to resign?
12. Is the sex offender presently a member of the Executive Board? If so, why has no action been taken to dismiss him?

Kindly provide me with answers to these questions in a timely and expeditious fashion. If I do not hear back from you by Friday, I will continue to e-mail these questions and carefully note each and every attempt. I understand that you may very well believe you owe me no explanation, but surely you must realize that at some point in time someone in a position of authority WILL be asking these questions.

Silence sometimes speaks far louder than words. The longer you drag this out, the worse it’s going to get when the proverbial excrement really does hit the fan.

Needless to say, I have not yet received a response – nor do I expect to receive one. But my e-mail apparently lit a fire under Huber’s backside, because sometime yesterday the Facebook page for Proprietary House  was edited as follows:

Meet the Trustees

By Jan RossKevin Junior and 2 others in Proprietary House Historical Society · Edit Doc

As of June 2012, the Board of Trustees for the Proprietary House consists of the following people, who are dedicated individuals that each brings their own, special talents:

Executive Board…

  • President: Jeff Huber
  • 1st Vice President: Jane Hogya
  • 2nd Vice President: Stephen Probert
  • Secretary: Courtney Eddington
  • Treasurer:

Hmmmmm. Interesting. Just three days previously, here is how the page looked:

As of June 2012, the Board of Trustees for the Proprietary House consists of the following people, who are dedicated individuals that each brings their own, special talents:

Executive Board…

  • President: Jeff Huber
  • 1st Vice President: Jane Hogya
  • 2nd Vice President: Stephen Probert
  • Secretary: Courtney Eddington
  • Treasurer: Kevin Wenng Jr

Unfortunately, the legalities of this delicate situation prohibit me from publishing a name in connection with criminal activity. But I can make the following suggestion:

1. Go to this site. On the home page, scroll to the bottom and click on “Enter.” On the page that opens, click on “Individual Search”and enter various names in the search box. You will know where to get those names. Please take note of the warning: “Any person who uses the information contained herein to threaten, intimidate or harass another, or who otherwise misuses that information may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability.”

2. Those of you who have Facebook accounts should be aware that Facebook routinely deletes the accounts of convicted sex offenders. But they cannot do so unless they are informed.

Oh, but there’s more…so much more. A source close to the Executive Board sent me this eye-opening e-mail yesterday evening:

The BIG problem started when the Executive Board refused funds earmarked for the Prop House out of the $3.7 million remaining from a huge sum voted on by the NJ voters some years before for open space and historical restoration. [Note: according to Assembly Bill 4361, introduced in November of 2011 by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, $3.3 million would have been allocated to Prop House. With that level of funding, most if not all of the restoration of the mansion - including period furnishings - could have been completed].

Council President Ken Balut promised to find this money when a number of volunteers began restoring the interior of the Mansion in October of 2009. Ken went all the way to Gov. Christie’s office to secure these funds, made possible by Assemblyman Wisniewski and Senator Vitale.

Both Ken Balut and Dave Donnelly  had an hour-plus meeting with Jeff Huber and Jane Hogya – who both insisted they did not want the money, claiming, “If we take that money, no one will give us donations,” “We have volunteers who will do the work,” and “We’re like the Vatican, no one can touch us.”

Recently, the Tea Room was shut down due to mold growing in the old wine cellar where the afternoon Tea is held – probably because Stephen Probert removed all the grouting from the pyramid of steps in the front of the House, but never replaced it, allowing water to saturate the area below the steps.

It fits Probert’s plan of filling all the slots with family and friends as he drove out all the long time, dedicated members. Bringing the sex offender aboard was one of his brainstorms. The State MUST audit the books and remove the Executive Board as soon as possible.

It’s worse than I imagined: cronyism, nepotism, ineptitude, incompetence, flagrant disregard for common decency and the very plausible suspicion that funds have been mismanaged or even embezzled. Proprietary House has become a den of iniquity and I can do little more than repeat what I have written earlier:

  1. The entire Executive Board must resign or be removed from office by the State of New Jersey and a new Board appointed to replace them.
  2. A full investigation of this matter must take place in order to determine who was responsible for a convicted sex offender becoming a member of the Executive Board.
  3. Finally, a full examination of the Proprietary House financial records must be made by State auditors to determine if malfeasance or misappropriation of funds have occurred.

I urge everyone who reads this to contact State Senator Joseph Vitale, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Assemblyman Craig Coughlin and demand that an official state investigation commence immediately to root out the corruption and restore the integrity of the Proprietary House Association.

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2 Responses to Time for a Regime Change at Proprietary House

  1. Tom Ward says:

    Gene: Thank you so much for your excellent postings. Jeff Huber and Jane Hogya have made it well known that they have no intention of cooperating with the City in anything. They have lost sight of their true purpose in being in charge of the House.

  2. kenny says:

    apparently, the Board has turned a public service position into personal fiefdoms. I’ll be writing to these three legislators.