Ethics: Paul Sarlo style

Bergen County Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36) has had so many ethical lapses that we could fill a book. Last year he engineered a massive tax increase on gasoline that was veiled in replenishing the depleted Transportation Trust fund, but in actuality resulted in New Jersey to go billions of dollars more in debt while making his family business, Sanzari and Company, millions of dollars.

Sarlo devised the manipulation of labor unions to move campaign donations to supporters and against detractors. Among his partners in the scheme was Senator Steve Oroho (R-24). Oroho became the face of the gas tax debate, but not without compensation.

What has caught the interest of investigators was the hundreds of thousands of dollars that 825 PAC and various labor unions were directed to send to Oroho by Sarlo. Oroho in turn hired a Pennsylvania based blog, Sussex Watchdog, to attack anyone who dared expose the scheme. Primarily featured in the blog attacks were Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus and Assemblyman Jay Webber who opposed the gas tax. The Watchdog ran vicious attacks paid for by union dues to support the tainted Democrat Sarlo, as he raked in contracts and riches at the taxpayers’ expense. 

“While it could be argued that Senator Oroho took a brave stance to save the Transportation Trust fund, another argument is put forth as to how much money was taken from the labor unions and to what cost?”

Since the large union donations have been received, Oroho has become arguably the most pro-big labor supporter in the state senate. Recently Oroho was among the few republican votes for the massive PSE&G Nuclear Tax Bail-out. That will seriously raise everybody’s electric bills.

Roll Call_ NJ S2313 _ 2018-2019 _ Regular Session _ LegiScan

Before the gas tax, Sarlo had fleeced the taxpayers in two massively expensive boondoggle projects that have cost New Jersey taxpayers BILLIONS and potentially made his company millions. The Xanadu project and the EnCap Scandal.

Sarlo, until recently, also served as municipal engineer for Carlstadt, seeing absolutely no conflict of interest in working as a paid agent of two municipalities in his constituency – or in hauling in another paycheck from the Sanzari construction company where he was Chief Engineer.

That would be the same Sanzari company that was awarded a non-competitive bid to build rail terminal in the Meadowlands. Nor did Sarlo see any conflicts in passing legislation to finance EnCap, which his election campaign and employer benefited from. No conflicts were seen when Sarlo castigated the State Health Commissioner for a license extension for Pascack Valley Hospital, where his employer had a direct financial interest.

Meadowlands Remediation and Redevelopment Project

Between Encap and Xanadu, not to mention his Gas Tax coup, Oroho’s buddy, Paul Sarlo’s legendary conflicts of interest could fill a library.


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