07/26/2008Questions surround grant in Clifton HeightsBy: Dawn Mitchell , Times CorrespondentCLIFTON HEIGHTS - Residents and some council members questioned the transfer of $825,000 in grant money to the Clifton Heights Economic Corp., a nonprofit entitythat council has no control over, at a recent council meeting."I don't know how we authorized this corporation when we never got papers on thiscorporation," said Councilman Mario Alpini. A listing for the corporation at nonprofitcompendium Guidestar.org could not be found.Council President Anthony Casadei, answering a question from the audience,revealed state Rep. Nicholas Micozzie, R-163, of Upper Darby, "took care of allowingmoney to go to the corporation," but said he did not know who established thecorporation or who is in it.According to a document disclosed at the meeting - which one council memberinsisted each member of council had received during a caucus meeting the previous Thursday - former council president James Salmon is listed as president of thenonprofit.Salmon was running for another term on council last year, but was forced to stepdown for violating the federal Hatch Act because of his employment with theDepartment of Defense. Under the act, federal employees cannot hold electedoffice.Other nonprofit board members include: Clifton Heights Business AssociationPresident Rich Angelucci, owner of Full Cycle Ink Jet; Vice President Joe Lombardo,owner of M.F. Williams Funeral Home; and Financial Secretary Russ Jirik, owner of Family Matters Adult Day Care, according to that document.Also on the Clifton Heights Economic Corp. board is retired Clifton Heights policechief Ronald Berry, whose wife, Betsy, is a Clifton Heights council member. He iscurrently deputy director of the county Juvenile Detention Center in Lima.Angelucci and Jirik each made contributions totaling $300 to Micozzie in 2005 and2006, while Lombardo has contributed at least $850 to Micozzie and $2,500 to theDelaware County Republican Finance Committee between 2002 and 2006,according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. "Ron and Betsy Berry" havealso contributed at least $795 to Micozzie since 2000, according to state records.In late June, council voted 5-3 to return $300,000 and $525,000 in grants issued lastspring by the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development. Alpini and fellowcouncil members Robert Penjuke and Harris Resnick opposed the motion.