Paul J. Sansone, Sr., CEO of Sansone Auto Group, announced the donation by Sansone Auto Group of a Ford F150 pickup truck, used in a 9/11 bogus charity scheme, to the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association (PAPBA).
Mr. Sansone’s announcement was made today at a press conference held at Sansone Auto Mall, 90 Route 1 North, Avenel, NJ. Mr. Sansone was joined by Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac, John Pugliese, president, Sansone Auto Group, Robert Morris, First Vice President, PAPBA and Chief Robert Hubner and Deputy Chief Joseph Nisky of the Woodbridge Police Department.
The donated vehicle, emblazoned with the names of 9/11 first responders who perished at the World Trade Center, was a prominent prop used by two New Jersey residents soliciting funds to assist 9/11 first responders. The purported charity was not registered in New Jersey and, it is alleged, funds collected were never used as advertised.
Sansone Auto Group, which originally sold the vehicle, repurchased the vehicle from the company that financed it after the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office uncovered the scheme. Sansone also replaced the engine.
During the event Mr. Sansone said, “On behalf of the Sansone Auto Network, I am proud to be a part of this very special occasion. We at Sansone have a profound respect for those in law enforcement and all our first responders. It gives us great pride to donate this special vehicle to those who dedicate their lives to serve and protect every day.” In further comments, Mr. Sansone stated, “We trust this donated truck will serve as but one more example of our honoring those who made the supreme sacrifice on September 11, 2001. Therefore, it is with great pleasure we present this vehicle to the Port Authority PBA. We are comforted to know it will be used to help those in need.”
Mr. Morris, who accepted the vehicle on behalf of the PAPBA, said the vehicle will be used in the PAPBA’s many charitable endeavors, such as the Sandy Ground Project, an effort to build 26 playgrounds (one in the name of each victim of the Sandy Hill Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT), in areas devastated by Super Storm Sandy. Also, the Police Unity Tour which raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The PAPBA also mobilizes its members to assist communities during times of need as it did during the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. The PAPBA also responded to Boston to offer members of the Boston Police Department comfort and assistance during their long days securing and investigating the Boston Marathon crime scene.
“The fact this vehicle was used to perpetrate a scam, on the people of New Jersey, using the names of those who gave their lives so others could live, speaks to the devious character of those who operated the bogus charity,” said Mr. Morris. “But, through the kindness, understanding and generosity of the Sansone Auto Group, this vehicle will now be used for good while honoring those brave men and woman.”
“The PAPBA’s charitable efforts are an attempt to pay back what we received in the aftermath of September 11, 2001,” added Morris. “Individuals and organizations from throughout our nation responded to New York to assist us during our time of need. We will never, ever forget that,” he concluded.
Mayor McCormac highlighted Mr. Sansone’s and the Sansone Auto Group’s commitment to community when he said, “Paul Sansone and the Sansone Auto Group stand as a partner with the Woodbridge Township community, including supporting the Woodbridge Police Department and law enforcement initiatives. The donation of the 9/11 support vehicle to the Port Authority PBA and the members of the Port Authority Police Department represents yet another commitment to the men and woman who bravely encounter danger on a daily basis. Woodbridge is proud to stand with the PAPBA and the Sansone Auto Group to honor those who perished on September 11, 2001.”
Thirty-seven Port Authority police officers were killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center. Tragically that loss is the single, largest loss of life suffered by a police department in the history of American law enforcement.
In addition to the World Trade Center, the Port Authority Police Department patrols all Port Authority of New York and New Jersey facilities which include JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Teterboro Airport. Also, the PATH Rail System, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the George Washington Bridge and Lincoln and Holland Tunnels in addition to Port Newark, Port Elizabeth, Brooklyn Piers, the Bayonne and Goethals Bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing.