The Asbury Park Press (APP) powers a government-records website that tracks, among other things, people receiving New Jersey government pensions (326,401) and convicts (308,207). These are separate databases but apparently can be cross-checked which is what APP did for a story where they found:
Dozens of convicted criminals are collecting more than a million dollars in taxpayer-funded retirement checks, including at least one who is still behind bars, an Asbury Park Press investigation found.
The list of convicts profiting from state pensions reads like a who’s who of New Jersey corruption: former mayors, an assemblyman, county executives and other politicians convicted of tainting their offices, the Press found.
And while state law bars convicts from receiving a pension check while behind bars, the Press found that wasn’t the case for convicted corrections officer Bobby Singletary, 58, of Paterson. He was paid an annual pension of $51,278 for the past 27 months while in prison. He is serving seven years for smuggling drugs to prisoners.
Since the Press’ discovery, the state Treasury Department said it will cut off Singletary’s checks “later this summer.”
This story is getting some play as a cure-all but for me it summoned up Dr. Evil:
Stopping one million dollars of payments to 40 people will do nothing to avert the pending bankruptcy of the New Jersey retirement system (and will likely cost taxpayers more as legal bills for getting this reform through will be multiples of any savings). Extorting $100 billion from some source (the federal government, taxpayers, retiree givebacks) is a start.