A Wharton sewer cleaning company reimbursed the township of Maplewood and the township department of public works a total of $420 to settle allegations it engaged in overbilling the township and more than 100 New Jersey municipalities, according to a published report Thursday.
Jet-Vac of Wharton, a company that contracts with the state for the sale and servicing of various equipment charged the municipalities a total of $158,266 in higher rates than those allowed under terms of the contract – a violation of the agreement, NJ.com reported.
From February 2003 until the middle of 2007, the report said, the township was charged a higher rate by Jet-Vac, necessitating a $300 reimbursement, while the township DPW was overbilled $120 during the same time.
“The type of unlawful conduct alleged here victimizes every New Jersey resident by potentially affecting our tax rates and undermining consumers’ trust in state contractors,” Eric Kanefsky, the acting director of the state Division of Consumer Affairs, said in a statement reported by NJ.com.
Under the February settlement agreement, the company agreed to reimburse 108 municipalities and public agencies, the report said.
In addition, its former vice president and general manager, Michael Rattay, agreed to leave the company, the report said. Rattay has been barred from state contracts and the company also agreed to pay a $129,000 related to Rattay's conduct.
NJ.com reports all reimbursement checks to municipalities have been distributed.
Under terms of the agreement, the company will also provide the state every six months with a current list of all government contracts, as well as a certification that Rattay was not involved in any way with the contracts, the report said. If the company violates the agreement, its state contracts could be canceled and the company could be barred from doing any future work with the state.
For a list of all municipalities involved, click here.