Ethics of Pension Padding in NJ

P.L. 2007, c. 29, which became effective on January 1, 2008, was reform legislation “designed to ensure the system serves career public employees rather than political appointees” and to “cut out the entrenched core of abuse that has been corrupting our pension and benefits systems from within.” One of the components of the new law, N.J.S.A. 43:15A-7.2,  excluded professional services contractors, such as municipal lawyers, architects and engineers from enrolling in the state’s PERS pension system.

At least one lawyer in New Jersey had a problem with that and his employers offered help.

The Township of Commerical on August 21, 2008 had on their agenda an innocuous looking ordinance:

pp-ordinance

which worked out fine until the Division of Pensions and Benefits got wind of it and sent a letter that begins:

pp-seeley-ltr

But it did not end there. Lawyer Thomas Seeley is not in the New Jersey retirement system currently and he had his employee contributions returned to him (no word on whether Commercial got their deposits back on the employer portion) but was it ethical the way township officials attempted to evade the law?

John Paff and the New Jersey Libertarian Party thought not so they filed a complaint with the Local Finance Board on April 23, 2013 on the grounds that:

N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.5(c) states that “no local government officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others”

It was reported yesterday that LFB Complaint #13013 was settled:

pp-lfb-ltr

Perfectly legal then in New Jersey to try and avoid a pension-padding law as long as you do not succeed though we may never know how many others have indeed succeeded.

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on January 24, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Seems that ‘…attempt to use…’ was violated

    Reply

  2. Posted by friendofTR on January 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Lawyers … always want to steal at any cost ,,, shake down lawyers or shake up for pay to play especially for DeCotttiis … either way shake down lawyers win in NJ

    Reply

  3. Posted by friendofTR on January 24, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Maribella getting fired yet from Scotch Plains yet?

    Reply

  4. Posted by friendofTR on January 24, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Linden Mayor Armstead, a/k/a as a stupid fucking asshole, will try to double his salary as Linden Mayor. Why? Maybe he got caught doctoring his Union County job and was asked to leave.

    Reply

  5. […] A lawyer in Cumberland County tried to get around this provision with the help of his employers and was caught which basically meant that the contributions he made into the New Jersey Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) were returned to him.  The attempt to game the system was deemed to be ethical by the Local Finance Board last month. […]

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on January 25, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Look at Putin Republican Party Congressman Jason Chafetz of Utah’s attacks on officials and rules from the Government Office of Ethics for Trumputin. A fifth grader could understand that the billionaire has many conflicts of interest that would give any reasonable person pause. In this new normal lead by the Putin Republicans no rules or laws apply to their fearless leader and Congress members who chair committees will miss use their authority to intimidate career civil servants in the best interest of Trumputin, not the American people or the Constitution, so ethics violations and protest against such violations are on hold because at the federal level of this nation new exceptions are being developed based on our billionaire Presidents man domestic and foreign business connections, so for at least the next four years under Jason’s sway rich elected and appointed official from DC and throughout the land are free to operate free of the constraints of ethic rules and clauses, the enemy that looks like us will destroy this republic as we know it simply by twisting the ptotections for the elite, shame on Jason Chaffetz America and the world is watching your antics and democracy will suffer. You are a silly, foolish Congressman.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on January 26, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Oh, please include the streets of urban America, trade wars around the global, supporting Putin’s imperialism to reconfigure the old Soviet Union etc, etc to be expanded. We have all manners of crazy coming from Trumputins Whitehouse.

    Reply

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