Batter up. It is time for our 2nd hitter seeking to be the new Mayor of Trenton. Paul M. Pintella, also known as, Pauly P., Mini Me, and Paul “Mr. Urban League” Pintella. I think we got all the current nicknames. Paul please let us know if we missed any of your current street names. We’ll try to use all of Paul’s nicknames so you can determine which you enjoy the most or find most appropriate.
Paul M. Pintella was first elected to City Council in 1994 and has been our current Council President since 2002. Paul Jr. (Daddy Pintella, as he was known in Trenton), Pauly P’s dad was also well known in about the streets of Trenton. Mini Me and his dad were the operators of the Trenton Metro Urban League (Urban League) for years. The Urban League was designed to provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for African Americans. The Trenton organization seemed to emphasize programs to assist the youth in Trenton’s inner city. It provided training and mentoring opportunities and youth athletic opportunities. The Trenton branch of the Urban League was set up as a not for profit corporation and benefited from county, state and federal funds. (See Trentonian, March 12, 2003). Daddy Pintella was the chief executive officer of the Trenton Urban League and Pauly P. was a paid Urban League coordinator.
The Urban League closed its doors August 2002, almost a year after its president and CEO of almost 30 years, Paul Pintella, Jr. died, leaving hundreds if not thousands of inner city youths without opportunities. (See Trentonian, March 12, 2003). After Daddy Pintella’s death, the Board of Directors appointed a new President, Mary Jane Barretta. Pauly P. quickly criticized the new President’s appointment. Ms. Barretta tried unsuccessfully to reconcile the Urban League records and its financials. Urban League treasurer Anthony Bullett confirmed that League officials encountered a financial maze attempting to decipher Pintella’s financial records and ordered an audit of its financial status. (See Trentonian, March 14, 2003). The subsequent audit revealed the group owed almost $325,000 and had additional projected losses estimated to be nearly $500,000. Also, according to City Business Administrator, Dennis Gonzalez, the City was left holding the bag on an unfinished development project that required $349,650 to complete. (See Trentonian, March 12, 2003). The League audit also had another shocking revelation. It revealed the existence of a previously unknown fund referred to as the “Sunshine Fund” -- an account monitored only by and used exclusively by Daddy Pintella and...you guessed it our hero of the day, Council President Paul Michael Pintella. It was also confirmed that Urban League money had been placed in the Sunshine Fund. (See Trentonian, March 13, 2003). The last important note about the “Sunshine Fund” is that it allowed both Pintellas, father and son, to draw checks on the account. (See Trentonian, December 28, 2003).
Throughout the investigation process, our hero, Pauly P., your Council President remained substantially mum and refused to comment. The following are direct quotes from the March 12, 2003 article; “Pintella offered "no comment’’ when asked if he had responded to a 2001 memo written by his father’s successor, Mary Jane Barretta. The interim Urban League president allegedly quizzed Pintella in a memo about his father’s Sunshine Fund account and other organization bank matters. Barretta had written in another memo that she was trying desperately to "piece together’’ the Urban League financial history. Pintella offered another "no comment’’ regarding the fact that local, state and federal prosecutors had met to talk about Urban League matters‘.
The post script of this regrettable story is that after the League’s audit, and an apparent inability to account for large sums of debts, unaccounted for money usage, and vast amounts of adverse publicity, the League’s Board of Directors and the National Urban League decided to disband the entire operation. As a footnote, you should know that many prominent local area businessmen and women were on the Urban League Board, including well known bank officers and the former publisher of the Trenton Times. The speculation about the “true story” or the “real deal” regarding the missing Urban League records, money and its debts approaching $500,000, has run rampant throughout political and social circles for years. It is the proverbial elephant in the room that know one will publicly talk about. The most popular theory as to why there were never indictments and subsequent convictions goes like this. The Trenton Urban League was founded by Catherine Graham and Edith Savage-Jennings, to prominent, well regarded Trenton women. Its board consisted of a who’s who in the Trenton business and social circles. To drag out an investigation, grand jury, and trial would’ve drug the names of many good people and businesses through the media storm. End result... disband, sweep it under the rug, and turn out the lights. I guess in 2002 and 2003 no one involved could ever imagine that our tarnished hero would ever again subject himself to the bright white lights and media scrutiny that comes with the desire to seek higher office. Well we were all wrong... Pauly “Urban League” Pintella, (a moniker he is sure to wear until he comes clean and answers all the unanswered questions), must think our memories have been clouded. Yep, believe it or not, this fellow is running for Mayor of your Capital City. Hopefully, you and the rest of Trenton will demand some answers when you see him around town.
Believe it or not there is more. Next we need to visit a forgery episode that affected our hero a few years back. It seems as though Slick Paul (we thought we should introduce a new more appropriate nickname for forgery), found it necessary to forge a signature or signatures (depending on who is telling the story), on certain American Legion Baseball forms. This slight of hand move managed to cost Pauly’s player and team and caused all of the young men to be thrust into a firestorm they did not ask for. It deflated many young men and their parents that had sacrificed many spring and summer evenings honing their skills on a baseball field rather than loitering on city street corners. “Slick” Paul describes this indiscretion not as a serious error or a character flaw that he must address and correct, but, as a minor trivial, overblown matter. (See Trentonian, January 13, 2010). The last time I checked forgery was a crime in New Jersey. (See NJSA 2C:21-1) It is a deplorable act and a pitiful example set by an adult entrusted with the youth of our city. By the way it is also a despicable act to be carried out by a public official who now desires to be elected as the city’s chief executive. Well it may lend itself to greater efficiency in city government. With efficient forgery skills there may be no need for Department Directors, the Legal Department the Clerk’s Office or Council to sign off on any of the Mayor’s desires. The best comment I have seen regarding Slick Pauly’s forgery defense was made by my fellow blogger, Bald Fat and Angry, who noted that he learned “in the second grade that forgery is a big no-no. I guess they didn’t teach that at The Hun School or Howard University”. (See http://baldfatangry.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/handicapped-trenton-2010-prince-paulie-powerpoint-pintella/)
If somehow you are still undecided about our hero’s fitness to be mayor here are a few more tidbits for you to contemplate in a short bullet version;
• Trenton’s taxes have risen 60% since Pauly P. first sat on Council in 1994. The total tax rate in 1994 was $3.29 and your estimated rate in 2010, that the State just set for you (because Paul and Council could not approve a budget) is $5.28. That is about a $1,990 increase for a homeowner with a home assessed at 100 thousand.
• As Council President Pauly, did not hold one public budget cutting session so that you or high could observe suggested cuts or suggest some of our own. We are now in the 11th month of this year’s fiscal budget.
• Pauly voted to raise your taxes again this year by 22%.
• Pauly voted to permit the Palmer administration to sell off a portion of your Trenton Water Works, without permitting you to vote on the matter.
To this day, little has been written about what actually happened to the missing Urban League money after 2003. So we were excited when Pauly P. announced his run for Mayor and his intention to not hide from the Urban League and forgery issues that have haunted his past. (See Trentonian January 13, 2010). Unfortunately for all of us, we did not realize that Paul “Mr. Urban League” Pintella’s open discussion about his checkered past was a one day pass expiring after the Trentonian published its article. You see when it comes to Pauly explaining the missing Urban League money and his role in the matter, the proverbial cat seems to have swallowed the canary. Come on Mini Me speak up we are waiting with baited breath. Your mentor Doug “the King” Palmer certainly would not have let the truth get in the way of him spinning a story. Ok, we will assume that you are exercising your 5th amendment right to remain silent until we hear otherwise. Of course that is a privilege one can only exercise in a criminal or quasi criminal proceeding. I guess we will have to be satisfied with your silence and determine for ourselves what that means regarding your culpability and your electability.
PAUL M. PINTELLA YOU TOO HAVE STRUCK OUT!!! YOU ARE NOT DESERVING OF OUR SUPPORT FOR ANY ELECTED OFFICE.
p.s. Thanks for your patience. We apologize for the length of this blog, but we wanted to get the details correct and to footnote them wherever possible. The reference to Daddy Pintella is not meant in any derogatory way, rather it is the manner which we've heard him referred in and about Trenton.