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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
New Jersey
Some builders whine about results of State Investigation
Thursday, 07 April 2005

New Jersey Home Builder Investigation
New Jersey's CSI damning report leaves builders spinning, while
State's largest builder, K Havnanian Homes acknowledges problems and supports a Home Lemon Law.


Star-Ledger
Builders defend work after SCI's negative report
Joseph Riggs, group president of K. Hovnanian Homes, the state's largest residential builder, said he did not believe the SCI report was accurate but conceded there have been some problems...
"Problems have arisen," Riggs said. "Most builders, us particularly, stand behind their houses. There have been times when we have responded (to complaints) more slowly than we should have." Riggs said his company could support a lemon law -- that it had, in fact, bought back houses from some owners they could not satisfy -- but he said extending the Consumer Fraud Act to new housing as the SCI also recommended could be nettlesome.
Read more...
 
The Associated Press - New Jersey Investigations
Saturday, 02 April 2005
Report on home builders finds waste, abuse
"This is a system mired in the past, a system utterly incompatible with 21st century standards and expectations, a system that, in many respects, is as fractured and as imperiled by structural flaws as the problem-plagued homes it has produced," said the report released Thursday by the State Commission of Investigation.
To correct the problems, the commission recommended several measures, including instituting stricter licensing of construction supervisors, requiring currently unlicensed carpenters and masons to become licensed, expanding the state Consumer Fraud Act to include new home construction and creating a "lemon law" for new homes that would require builders to buy back problem houses.
Read more...
 
Star-Ledger Editorial Endorses Recommendations to Regulate Industry
Saturday, 02 April 2005
The Star-Ledger Editorial
Safeguard home buyers
The State Commission of Investigation's latest comprehensive report calls on the Legislature to protect consumers from developers who cut corners. While professional groups are already balking at some of the recommendations, we endorse the move to correct what the SCI found to be a persistent problem in the home-building industry... The SCI proposes a package of legislation including extension of the state's Consumer Fraud Act to new houses, enacting a lemon law that gives a builder a specific time period to correct problems or buy back the house, publishing a list of claims against builders and changing the definition of what's a major structural defect.
Read more...
 
New Jersey recommends Home Lemon Law
Saturday, 02 April 2005
Home building remedies urged
SCI: Industry rife with problems
In its final, 51-page report on its investigation into systemic problems in the building industry, the SCI outlines a battery of suggested changes. Key among the recommendations are an overhaul of the state's Consumer Fraud Act, the creation of a "lemon law" for new home buyers, and a requirement that all construction crew supervisors earn licenses and certification before they can work on New Jersey developments... In its report, the SCI outlines how a "lemon law" could protect buyers of new homes that are still seriously flawed after several repairs are made. The law could force the builder of such a home to buy it back.
 State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation Report
State of New Jersey commission of Investigation 51 page Report
TITLED: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - New-Home Construction in New Jersey
SCI Latest Reports and Hearings
Read more...
 
Investication Recomends New Home Lemon Law for New Jersey
Friday, 01 April 2005

The Star-Ledger
N.J. home builders hammered by SCI

Probers call for lemon law, more licensing
In a scathing indictment of new home construction in New Jersey, the State Commission of Investigation yesterday proposed sweeping reforms designed to attack an "astonishing statewide panorama of waste, fraud and abuse." Sparing no facet of the industry, commissioners said their lengthy investigation had documented shoddy workmanship in expensive houses, a breakdown in the state inspection system and a nightmarish maze of trouble for homeowners trying to get problems corrected. The recommendations include everything from a lemon law that would require builders to buy back new houses with major deficiencies, to the licensing of unregulated construction trades like carpentry and masonry...SCI -- while agreeing that not all builders or inspectors are to blame -- stressed that the focus must be on protecting homeowners against whatever smaller percentage of ruthless contractors and inspectors that are out there. They said their investigation turned up roughly 2,000 victims. "When it happens to you, it doesn't really matter how many good houses are out there," Gaal said. 
State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation Report
State of New Jersey commission of Investigation 51 page Report
TITLED: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - New-Home Construction in New Jersey
SCI Latest Reports and Hearings

Read more...
 
New Jersey Supreme Court Rule to Hold Builder Accountable
Wednesday, 26 January 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
Justices hold builders liable years after sale
Ruling is a victory for new home buyers

Giving homeowners a powerful new set of allies, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday that municipal construction officials can fine builders for faulty craftsmanship years after the house is completed and sold.
Read more...
 
Catching up on New Jersey Corruption News
Friday, 03 December 2004

Fired....Building official is accused of approving work on sites he owns.  Chief inspector, William Strohmeyer and another inspector John Tamburrinni also inspected the infamous Crosby's house in Branchberg, which has been the subject of newspapers reports for several years. See Crosby House news accounts in HOBB archives 
Building official in Bridgewater under fire                                                                           By PETER N. SPENCER Staff Writer
Published in the Courier News on November 21, 2004                                                        BRIDGEWATER -- The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is moving to revoke the license of Bridgewater's chief code enforcement officer for allegedly approving construction projects on three township properties he owns.

Read more...
 
Editorial - Drop the hammer on code violators
Saturday, 13 November 2004

An Asbury Park Press editorial

Drop the hammer on code violators

The agency responsible for overseeing housing code enforcement in New Jersey presented a list of proposed reforms last week in response to an 18-month investigation by the State Commission of Investigation that found deficient construction practices, inadequacies in home warranty programs and a badly flawed code enforcement system... But the suggested reforms don't absolve Community Affairs, or the Legislature, of responsibility for a system that is badly broken. And they won't help the thousands of consumers who have been victimized over the years by unscrupulous or incompetent builders and code enforcement officers. Five hearings and 40 hours of testimony on the issue confirmed what SCI Chairman Francis F. Schiller said the agency's earlier investigations had found -- "a startling lack of proper and appropriate enforcement and follow through" at both the state and local levels.

Read more...
 
New Jersey continues to crackdown on development & builder political corruption
Tuesday, 29 June 2004
New Jersey continues to crackdown on development & builder political corruption
FBI raids the home of former mayor of Marlboro, while a former mayor of Ashury Prark Kenneth ""Butch"" Saunders is set to be sentenced in federal court in Newark July 8 for conspiring four years ago to bribe a city councilwoman, for her votes on redevelopment. Ocean Township Mayor Terrance D. Weldon, pleaded guilty in October 2002 to extorting bribes from land developers in that township.

FBI raid former Marlboro mayor's home
MARLBORO --- A raid by federal agents on the home of a former mayor is the latest move in an expanding probe into whether developers influenced local politicians to get projects approved, according to a published report. ""We're investigating allegations of bribery, extortion and public corruption in Marlboro and the former Marlboro political climate,"" Edward J. Kahrer, an FBI supervisory special agent, told the Asbury Park Sunday Press.

Ex-Asbury mayor to be sentenced July 8 for bribe plot, tax fraud
ASBURY PARK -- Former city Mayor Kenneth ""Butch"" Saunders is set to be sentenced in federal court in Newark July 8 for conspiring four years ago to bribe a city councilwoman for her votes on redevelopment so that he could get his own corrupt payments if a deal went through.

McCarren is the lead prosecutor of charges against several Monmouth County officials the past two years, including former Ocean Township Mayor Terrance D. Weldon, who pleaded guilty in October 2002 to extorting bribes from land developers in that township.

 
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Reckless Endangerment
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Outsized Ambition, Greed and
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