Yesterday I told you about the link of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) executive director Curtis Bashaw and Sun National Bank. Today, Gannett delves into the links between Sun and the McGreevey administration.
Bashaw, prior to being appointed to the CRDA by former governor James McGreevey, was on the advisory board of none other than Sun National Bank. He still owns stock in the bank. Bashaw also sits on Economic Development Authority (EDA) that approves loans from the federal government. Congress Hall, Bashaw’s prized renovated hotel in Cape May received federal funds. While he took on more Sun debt to finance the project, the EDA needed to approve the balance of debt, now that the feds were no longer going to be first in line for payment. The EDA approved the re-structuring of debt, even though Bashaw did recuse himself.
Bashaw does not recuse himself, however, now in his dealings with Sun as the executive director of the CRDA.
Bashaw said he hasn’t recused himself from CRDA issues with Sun National Bank.
But he is overseeing a massive project that Vineland Construction is running. The links are too close and the appearance of impropriety is too great. It is such that Tom Bracken, chief executive officer of Sun National Bank, tried to diffuse what is on every reader’s mind:
But there is no quid pro quo at all involved with this.
But Sun’s links to the corrupt McGreevey administration make it difficult to accept at face value.
And just to bring this full circle, it appears that Sun’s own PAC finances David Von Savage, the Cape May County Republican Party chairman. Mr. Von Savage as the one who was responsible for the advertisement on PoliticsNJ.com which showed Osama bin Laden holding up a Kerry for President placard.
This entire story reeks of McGreevey’s dirty politics. Bashaw advised Sun. Sun drops money all over the state, including areas that support McGreevey. McGreevey and Bashaw are friends. McGreevey appoints Bashaw to head the CRDA right after CRDA provides a sweetheart deal to Sun. Sun steps up and provides Bashaw with the money he needs to complete his renovation of Congress Hall.
The ties are too tight. Where is the would-be governor speaking out about the corruption, favoritism and fraud?
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