PERTH AMBOY — Melvin Ramos, who was a top aide to former Mayor Joe Vas, said that Dianne Roman sent municipal employees to do her personal shopping and deliver goods to her home after using a city charge card to pay for the groceries.
Roman, who served as city business administrator under Vas, remains on the municipal payroll under Mayor Wilda Diaz as supervisor of senior-citizen programs.
She recently announced that she would seek election to the school board, running on a slate with a local attorney, Jacqueline Rodriguez-Sanchez.
In an exclusive interview, Ramos said Roman had a city bus driver named ‘Raul’ ferry groceries to her home from the Shop Rite store on Convery Avenue.
Ramos claimed that Roman used a municipal charge card to pay for the items purchased for her personal use.
The former aide, who was convicted on corruption charges along with the politician who dominated Perth Amboy for 18 years, also alleged that ex-Vas campaign treasurer David Benyola approved first time home buyer applications for unqualified city employees.
Roman declined to comment and Benyola could not be reached prior to our publication deadline.
“I cannot talk right now,” said Roman. “I’ll have to call you back.”
The city is having a hard time moving past the Vas era, as several of his closest allies who served as school board members were elected to the City Council last year, including former Republican Party Chairman Kenneth Gonzalez and Joel Pabon, who ran for council on Vas’ ticket in 2008.
Opposing Roman and Rodriguez-Sanchez for the three seats at stake in the April 27 voting are Nina Perkins Nieves, a Goodwin Street resident, plus incumbents Eric Rodgers and Milady Tejeda.
Not seeking election is a third incumbent, Armando Tamargo, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former board member Kenneth Gonzalez after the former Republican Party chairman became a member of the Perth Amboy City Council.
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