When confronted Tuesday evening with facts regarding the purchase of the police department's emergency mobile command center, Mayor Andy Skibitsky denied any collusion between town officials and the command center's manufacturer.
You be the judge after considering the following.
*In fall of 2012 - Westfield police chief David Wayman and police captain Chris Battiloro boarded a flight to meet with Power Innovations International Inc. President/CEO Robert Mount in American Fork, Utah. The purpose of this trip was to shop for an emergency mobile command center.
*In January 2013 - The Westfield police department held an exhibition at the armory on Rahway Ave., for town officials and other agencies to get a glimpse, for the first time, a mobile command center that Chief Wayman wanted to obtain.
*February 11, 2013 - A 96 hour motor vehicle "In Transit Permit" was issued by the state of Utah, to the Westfield Police Department, to have a 2008 Ford Expedition, from Power Innovations International, delivered to Westfield. The permit lists Westfield as the owner. See photo below.
*March 5, 2013 - Westfield town council presents the first reading of a bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment.
*March 15, 2013 - pictures are taken of a Ford F-350 Pickup truck parked inside a closed garage of Sevells Auto Body on South Ave. in Westfield. The Ford F-350 was used to tow the emergency mobile command center to Westfield, from Utah, in January. The mobile command center was stored at another unknown location. See photo below.
*March 19, 2013 - Westfield town council presents the second reading of a bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment. A vote was taken and the bond ordinance to purchase emergency equipment passed.
*April 4, 2013 - Town of Westfield advertises a Public Notice in the Westfield Leader Newspaper, an "Invitation to Bid" to those interested in submitting a proposal to deliver "public safety equipment." All bids are to be submitted by 10:00 am. on April 16, 2013.
*April 9, 2013 - Power Innovations International Inc. of Utah is issued a State of New Jersey "Business Registration Certificate" which allows Robert Mount/Power Innovations to obtain specifications to submit a sealed bid proposal to Westfield. Note: The certificate's effective date is backdated to April 5, 2013.
*Robert Mount of Power Innovations International submits a "Noncollusion Affidavit of Prime Bidder." See photo below.
The "Technical Specifications" are a listing of public safety equipment Westfield is seeking to purchase. The specifications are a blueprint of the general items, communications equipment, computing equipment, generator transfer switch equipment, and other fixtures of a mobile command center that Westfield is looking to purchase. Only two companies answer Westfield's public notice inviting companies to submit bid proposals. Only one company, Power Innovations International, submitted a bid proposal.
The Town of Westfield accepts Power Innovation International's bid proposal to supply the town with "public safety equipment"......equipment now known as the emergency mobile command center that was brought to Westfield in January, along with the Ford Expedition and the Ford F-350 truck used to tow the command center.
Westfield Police Chief David Wayman is praised by Councilman Sam Della Fera, at a town council meeting, for his negotiating skills and the great deal he got on the town's purchase of the emergency mobile command center.
It is discovered that Power Innovations International is delivering a "demo" model and not building a new mobile command center based on the specifications supplied by Westfield.
All the while, the "demo" model emergency mobile command center is being hidden in Westfield since its arrival in January long before any bond resolution was voted on. This alone, calls into question, who wrote the specifications that Westfield supplied to potential bidders?
The specifications allegedly match the "demo" emergency mobile command center already in Westfield. Did Power Innovations International supply the specifications to Westfield prior to being a liscensed New Jersey bidder?
A former Westfield town council member revealed to the Fact of The Matter that Westfield Police Chief David Wayman had appeared before Mayor Skibitsky's finance committee and stated that he could get a better price on the emergency mobile command center if Westfield town officials agreed to allow Power Innovations International to showcase the command center, after Westfield makes the purchase, at expos and other police related exhibitions.
Was this agreement listed in the specifications or anywhere else in legal bid documents?
Westfield's emergency mobile command center showed up in Atlantic City and again in Philadelphia at police related exhibitions.
When Mayor Skibitsky was asked numerous times, at town council meetings, if a "backroom deal" was made with Power Innovations International to showcase the emergency mobile command center at exhibitions in return for a discounted purchase price......Mayor Skibitsky refused to answer and remained silent. The mayor has a right to remain silent, anything he says can and will be used.....etc.
A phone call was placed to Power Innovations International in 2013, after Westfield's purchase. When asked if the same purchase price, for the same unit Westfield received would be available if another police department was interested in buying an emergency mobile command center, Robert Mount stated, "We gave Westfield a special deal."
When the Union County Prosecutors Office was contacted regarding the questionable bidding process that took place to obtain the emergency mobile command center, it was determined that there was no bribery that took place.
With the information received from a former Westfield Councilman, months after the Union County Prosecutor released it's findings, should the investigation be reopened? TFoTM has been advised the the former Westfield Town Council member would cooperate and provide a statement to investigators.
This investigation should not be done by Union County. It should be done by a state law enforcement agency or a federal agency employing a municipal corruption unit.
Why don't local news agencies question the purchase process now that they are presented with these facts?
With a municipal election this November, an election that will decide who represents Westfield citizens for the next four years, voters and candidates need to question Mayor Skibitsky and his town council members regarding the wasteful spending, mismanagement, and lack of transparency that has infested Mayor Skibitsky's administration.
Mindowaskin Pond was drained last year. Time to drain the "swamp" of what has become a tainted administration run by arrogance, entitlement, and partisan politics.
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