New Jersey COLA Wars (3): The Other Case

Also heard on Tuesday were arguments in Delucia v. New Jersey where retirees on disability retirement in the Police and Fire plan argued that as crime victims they should not have their benefits reduced by the elimination of their pension cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs).  Here are the unedited arguments by both sides:



This trial is secondary to Berg v. Christie since if Berg prevails and New Jersey has to restore COLAs then the plaintiffs here have nothing more to win.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Did those disability retirement “crime victims” include the officer that stapled his “trigger finger” ?


    • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

      No. Both of these officers were shot in the line of duty. One of them returned fire and killed his assailant. The other assailant was wounded.


      • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

        Well that post brings Tough Loves’ credibility down to below zero. Objective posts and opinions are fine but when the hatred shows through you blow it. LOL


        • Anonymous: YOU ARE SPOT ON.

          John, this kind of hateful speech should be pulled by you lest you want to be associated with the content of the message.


          • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm

            Joelfrank, What “hateful speech”?

            I was pointing out that Public Sector “disability” retirements are not always what the Private Sector considers as “disabled”, and giving, by example the absurd disability approved for a stapled trigger finger.

            When you can’t beat your better-educated and better-informed adversary, then try to eliminate him ….that’s your objective.

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 11:21 am

        BS… here’s the article:–235499581.html

        And here are the 1-st2paragraphs from that article:

        “A former New Jersey Transit police officer who retired on disability after stapling his own hand is the subject of renewed scrutiny after a video emerged, showing him repeatedly firing a sniper rifle at a gun range.”

        “In Christopher Onesti’s 2008 application for a disability pension, doctors said he was “permanently and totally disabled” because he would have trouble operating his service weapon and performing other police duties. His injuries stem from a firearms certification class two years earlier, where Onesti accidentally fired a staple into his non-shooting hand while preparing to attach a paper target to some cardboard.”
        SO WHOSE credibility is zero?


        • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2014 at 11:57 am



          • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm

            Can’t handle the truth?

          • Posted by twentysixpointtwo on January 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm

            TL, This blog serves as an outlet for you to vent your disgust and anger at public employees, and what you see as inequities in their compensation relative to the private sector, and in some cases- such as this compensation for a self inflicted injury by one careless officer who seems to have recovered- you are spot-on. Should be investigated. Similarly, the laws of math cannot be repealed and its wise to renegotiate the conditions of future contracts. Equally wise-and honorable- would be for the state to have planned its spending around its current obligations. How about directing some of your outrage and research at targets where our state wastes far more of our tax dollars than would be spent honoring past and existing contracts with those who serve us? .

          • Posted by truthnolie on January 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

            She’s just super jealous and apparently has no man in her life to control her thoughts or speech……if she did she’d be too busy in the kitchen instead of posting on here all day long.

        • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm

          twentysixpointtwo, It would be accurate to say that I am disgusted with Public Sector compensation, generally not in the cash pay (which is essentially the same as Private Sector cash pay), but in the FAR FAR greater pensions & benefits.

          If you want your (excessive) PAST service pension accruals to be “honored”, it’s time the Public Sector workers/Unions step up to the plate and accept very material (50+%) reductions in the pension accrual rate for FUTURE Service for all CURRENT workers. Even AFTER that 50+% reduction, your pensions would STILL be better than those granted 90% of comparable Private Sector workers.


  2. Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    This is why your credibility is zero:

    You never will answer a direct question on this site or the MANY other sites you comment on concerning public pensions when someone challenges your assertions or states a fact you will just quote another article that suits you or change the subject to deflect the question or ignore a fact.

    You cherry pick the articles you quote to suit your AGENDA.

    Your hatred of public employees and their pensions shows through in every posting, jealous are you?

    I could go on and on about your posts but I have better things to do, I post occasionally when a subject interests me. You on the other hand seem to have dedicated your life to vilify public employees and their pensions which they earned. Or perhaps you are a paid blogger. For these reasons I feel pity for you. Have a nice day.


    • Posted by twentysixpointtwo on January 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm



      • Posted by truthnolie on January 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        Don’t let the words of an old busy body shrew get to you…..she’s been spouting this stuff forever but no one takes her seriously. Wait until she has to pony more $ up in increased taxes to cover the pension pay in and hopefully the COLA…..then she might have to get off her ass and get a job (or two) to make up the cost instead of sitting around on it all day posting delusional rantings.


        • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 5:51 pm

          A COLA reinstatement will only hasten the doomsday date for NJ’s Public Sector pension Plans.


          • Posted by Anonymous on July 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

            Chicken little the pension crisis will be solved and public workers in NJ will receive earned retirement benefits. Intervention and an end to NJ urban warfare that now specifically targets cops is the pressing crisis. Where is the leadership, where is the NJ gang peace process. This will be real training for action”serious candidate ” for the White House. Stop the violence in urban NJ, then you can talk about what’s not being done in the Middle East. Cleanup NJ before the end of CC’ s term. More people killed in urban NJ than largest conflicts in Gaza.

    • John Bury needs to pull these postings. John: Why have you allowed your important work become victim to such intolerable rants? Do you want to broaden participation or severely restrict it? We await your reply.


      • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm

        Joelfrank You and I have traded numerous comments. You can’t seem to deal with the truth …. your pensions are excessive, unjustified and need to be reduced for the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers

        When you have nothing left to counter valid arguments, your then move to attempt to silence the messenger.

        How Democratic!

        Surely you must be one of those “Best and Brightest” hires we hear about (and are extorted to pay so much for).


    • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2014 at 5:49 pm


      Ask me a question …and let’s debate it.


    • Posted by bpaterson on January 31, 2014 at 10:57 am

      ive been reading this forum for some time and I am not hear to defend toughloves stance; but you accuse toughlove of hating public sector workers. That I don’t see, never read where he attacks directly their work ethic but attacks the system that was created. At most he calls public sector workers greedy but then most of you want to spin toughlove as a women thinking that’s an insult which makes one wonder how misogynistic those posters are. Now the pension system, yes I see he finds major problems with the configuration of it and notes how it became excessive. But the worker themselves, he does not constantly attack the employee.

      The posters against toughlove call him a hater of the public sector worker and that sounds very similar to the situation of those that speak against the school districts must hate children. He expresses his opinion, maybe too repetitive, and its up to the readers to analyze whether valid or not. We know the stance of some of the posters obviously.


      • Posted by Tough Love on January 31, 2014 at 7:01 pm


        Quoting …”you accuse toughlove of hating public sector workers. That I don’t see, never read where he attacks directly their work ethic but attacks the system that was created. ”

        BINGO….That’s correct.

        The employees are not directly to blame for this mess … the ROOT CAUSE of which is the granting of pensions (and retiree healthcare benefits) FAR FAR greater than “necessary” (to attract and retain a qualified workforce) and MULTIPLES greater than those granted comparable Private Sector workers.

        The “blame” lies primarily with our elected officials for granting these benefits … AND secondarily with the PUBLIC Sector UNIONS that via campaign contributions and election support, “bought” the favorable votes of these elected officials.

        But that being said, the FINANCIAL BENEFICIARIES of these grossly excessive pension and benefit promises are indeed the workers … THAT’S where the Taxpayers must look to remedy this financial “mugging” perpetrated against them … at the very least, materially reducing (by 50+%) the pension accrual rate for the FUTURE service of all CURRENT workers.

        And even doing so doesn’t begin to address how to deal with the huge unfunded liability for PAST Service accruals.


  3. Posted by truthnolie on January 30, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    So in your pretentious mind whatever you consider intolerable should be stricken from the conversation…….hmm……sounds like censoring to me……..wanna burn books too Adolf????


  4. Posted by Anonymous on February 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    The Deferred Compensation Plan for NJ State employees is one of the most expensive individual account plans in the nation. The Federal Thrift Savings Plan charges, by far, the lowest fees of any individual account plan in the nation.

    That said, as a former Federal Prosecutor does the Governor maintain a retirement-investment account with the Federal Thrift Savings Plan?


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