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NJ report blasts defunct Newark water corporation

2-19-14

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A new report offers scathing criticism of the corporation formed to oversee Newark’s water system.

The report released by the Office of the State Comptroller on Wednesday says an investigation revealed that the now-defunct Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation operated “free from any meaningful oversight.”

It alleges executive director Linda Watkins-Brashear wrote checks to herself without board approval, gave no-bid contracts to associates and lost more than $500,000 through risky investments.

The report criticized the city of Newark for not providing more oversight of the corporation such as requiring yearly audits and sending a representative to meetings.

There was no answer at a number listed for Watkins-Brashear Wednesday. Sen. Cory Booker, Newark’s mayor during the period referenced in the report, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.