A federal investigation into public employees’ health benefits extends beyond Margate and into Ventnor and Atlantic City, officials said Monday.
No charges have been filed, and the FBI declined comment.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian confirmed the city, like Margate, received a grand jury subpoena in early June from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for information about employee health benefits. The city, which has 850 employees on state public health benefits plans, responded that month, he said.
Ventnor City Commissioner Lance Landgraf said Monday his city also received a subpoena but declined to comment further.
On Saturday, Margate Mayor Mike Becker confirmed a federal investigation in his city and said he would suspend without pay any city employees who were indicted as a result. Margate has 116 employees.
Guardian also said any city employee who is indicted would be suspended without pay. The employee would have five days to appeal the suspension for a final determination.
“An indictment is just the start of the process,” Guardian said. “They’re still innocent until they’re proven guilty.”
Longport Mayor Nick Russo said the borough has not received a subpoena for the information.
Special Agent Jessica Weisman of the FBI’s Northfield office declined comment Monday.
Margate Superintendent John DiNicola said he has heard the rumors about an ongoing investigation involving a number of public employees. DiNicola said he is not aware of any school district employees being questioned in connection with the investigation.
Guardian said the city’s Fire Department will consider mutual aid for the neighboring Downbeach communities in the event of a staffing problem associated with an investigation.
Atlantic City Fire Chief Scott Evans said he will speak with other fire chiefs and departments when more information emerges.
“Atlantic City would definitely, absolutely assist our neighbors in anything we can do,” Evans said. “We will wait and see what happens.”
It’s still unknown how many people could be affected by the investigation and from which departments, Guardian said.
Staff writers John De-Rosier and Suzanne Marino contributed to this report.