As Sen. Robert Menendez prepares to chair a hearing in Washington this week on Sandy recovery funds, he's getting an earful from New Jersey residents.
During a meeting in Newark on Monday, Thomas Largey of Sea Bright raised questions about the Sandy contractor the Christie Administration fired in January and the decisions the company had already made about distributing aid.
"I don't trust the program," Largey said. "I don't trust what he did and it should all be done from scratch. It should be started over."
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which oversees Sandy aid distribution, has said federally-mandated requirements caused the delays.
But Menendez disagreed.
"What I heard here today had a lot to do, not with the federal government, but with who the state contractor was, who the state officials were, and a state department that is totally unresponsive to letters sent to it by citizens where they get a response from no one," Menendez said.
On Wednesday, Menendez will chair a Senate hearing on the coordination of Sandy aid. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is expected to testify about the agency's plan to oversee a second round of relief funds that were announced in October 2013.