Newark — The Murphy for Governor campaign today renewed its call for Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno to allow the release of the state Attorney General’s criminal investigation into the pension padding scheme she concocted while serving as Monmouth County Sheriff.
That report has been kept secret by the Christie-Guadagno administration, despite efforts by state pension system leaders for its release.
“Kim Guadagno obviously has no problem in wanting to hold herself to a different standard, yet another trick she learned at Chris Christie’s side for the past eight years,” said Murphy for Governor spokesman Derek Roseman. “If she truly has nothing to hide, then she would have no issue in having the Attorney General release the findings of the state’s criminal investigation into her conduct while sheriff.”
Or, as Politico’s New Jersey Playbook says: “Let’s be honest: We’ve never gotten a comprehensive, straight answer about that controversy.”
KIM GUADAGNO: PENSION PADDING, CHEATING TAXPAYERS & COVERING IT UP
During Guadagno’s Time As Sheriff, She ‘Was Involved In What Looks Like A Classic Case Of Good, Old-Fashioned Jersey-Style Double Dipping.’ Paul Mulshine wrote in January 2011 in the Star-Ledger: “Guadagno was involved in what looks like a classic case of good, old- fashioned Jersey-style double-dipping…the hiring of retired law enforcement officer Michael Donovan by then-Sheriff Kim Guadagno in 2008. The report stated that Donovan was hired as ‘sheriff’s chief,’ but was listed in a different job category, ‘chief warrant officer.’ Big difference. As chief warrant officer, Donovan was exempt from the state Police and Fire Retirement System. He could, therefore, continue to collect the $85,000 pension he’d accrued in his 30 years on prior jobs, first as a Neptune police officer and later as a Monmouth County prosecutor’s investigator. That was in addition to his $87,500 salary in the new job. But if he’d been listed as chief — which is the position he holds on the office website — Donovan would have had to go back into the PFRS system and live on his salary alone.” (Star-Ledger column, 1/6/11)
Guadagno’s Hiring Of Donovan Led To Pension Fraud Investigation That Was Closed Without Explanation By Christie/Guadagno Attorney General. “The Police and Firemen’s Retirement System’s board of trustees requested a criminal investigation in 2011 after it discovered the scheme. By then, Guadagno had been elected lieutenant governor as Christie’s running mate. The case was assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice, where Guadagno once served as a deputy director. DCJ reports to the attorney general, who reports to Christie. Both the attorney general and Guadagno are members of Christie’s cabinet… In a 13-month investigation, DCJ produced just one report totaling five pages. There is no record indicating that investigators ever contacted, interviewed or took statements from Guadagno or anyone else, according to an index of the case file that a trial judge ordered the agency to release.” (WNYC.org, 10/10/17)
President Of NJ Policeman’s Benevolent Association Said That If Guadagno Wanted To Pay Donovan $170,000-Plus A Year, She Should Have Taken It Out Of Her Budget, Not The Pension Fund. Tony Wieners, president of the state Policemen’s Benevolent Association, was quoted by the Star-Ledger’s Paul Mulshine: “If he’s in there for five years, collecting a pension of $80,000, then that’s $400,000 coming out of our pension fund.” (Star-Ledger column, 1/6/11)
Courier News Editorial: Guadagno May Have Cheated Taxpayers Out Of More Than $200,000 By Manipulating Pension Padding. The Courier News editorialized: “But according to documents obtained by New Jersey Watchdog, there wasn’t much of an investigation at all. In fact, officials appear to have largely blown the whole thing off, which isn’t exactly a surprise given the various conflicts of interest Guadagno has in the case. For instance, Guadagno is a former deputy director of the attorney general’s Division of Criminal Justice, which was supposed to carry out the probe. Guadagno isn’t saying anything, of course, and neither is anyone in the administration. The investigation – whatever there was of it – was supposedly completed two years ago, but no one has bothered to offer up any results. Meanwhile, taxpayers may have been cheated out of more than $200,000 thanks to Guadagno’s alleged manipulation. There’s nothing terribly unusual here, sadly, but it’s disheartening nonetheless. It is a reminder that nearly everyone in politics, even someone as relatively inconsequential as Guadagno, seems to be wired the same way: Tell everyone else what they can and can’t do, but ignore those rules for yourself.” (Courier News, 6/10/14)