Kiburi Tucker, the business partner of a Newark woman who plead guilty last week in federal court to tax evasion, has resigned from his position at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission effective last Friday, according to an official from the commission.
Michael Pulver, the PVSC's director of human resources and organizational development, confirmed in an interview with TAPinto Newark today that Tucker resigned his position as the commission's senior external relations representative effective on Friday, November 10.
"Mr. Tucker did submit his resignation effective last Friday," Pulver said.
Pulver further stated that it is the commission's official policy not to speak about personnel records and that these records should be obtained through the submission of an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request.
Tucker, a longtime friend of Mayor Baraka, is the business partner of Linda Jumah, the CEO of Elite Strategies, a political fundraising and consulting company.
Jumah, 35, admitted in federal court that after sharing proceeds with a business partner, she under-reported $121,941 in income for the 2015 tax year, resulting in a tax loss of $39,633. Jumah was released on $75,000 unsecured bond. The tax evasion charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2018.
Elite Strategies organized the Mayor's Ball, an annual $1,000-a-seat gala fundraiser held last year at Mr. Adams Steakhouse. Elite Strategies has also sent out an email blast for Team Baraka and has issued statements on behalf of the mayor, such as a April 2016 announcement of a deal between the city and UBER.
Jumah's firm received at least $65,000 in consulting fees from Mayor Ras Baraka's campaign committee.
Records show that between July 2015 and April 2017, the Baraka campaign shelled out three payments of $17,400, $19,000 and $28,000 to Elite Strategies, LLC, the company owned by Jumah and her business partner, Tucker, who spearheaded the black tie, $1,000-a-plate Mayor’s Ball in July, 2015.
Jumah, a Newark political consultant who pleaded guilty earlier this week to federal tax evasion charges, has been suspended without pay from her $75,000-a-year job in Jersey City, according to Jersey City officials.
Hudson County View reported that Jumah will have an employee hearing to decide if she is terminated, which is standard procedure.
Jumah's guilty plea is the latest development to ensnare people with ties to the Baraka administration. Last month, the U.S. Attorney's office announced the arrest of Victor Santos, a real estate investor who is building Newark's new Department of Public Works garage.
Santos was arrested along with three others on federal charges of using “straw buyers” to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans from a bank in 2007 and 2008.