NJ state senator may be ineligible for pension credits after report claims ‘serial absenteeism’

That is the headline from a story that starts:

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari’s alleged no-show job as Linden’s municipal prosecutor — first revealed in a 2019 audit — likely allowed him to collect years of pension credits for which he was ineligible and could expose him to potential criminal prosecution, an investigative report obtained by the USA Today Network New Jersey shows.

The 59-page report, prepared for Linden by law firm Calcagni & Kanefsky, accuses Scutari of “serial absenteeism” during his last five years as prosecutor. It also says the powerful Union County Democrat cost Linden nearly $200,000 and compares his actions to those of Wayne Bryant, the former state senator found guilty in 2008 of illegally padding his pension with a no-show job.

…….

Scutari, who oversees political and judicial appointments as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also leads the Union County Democratic Committee.

That latter job allows Scutari, in a Democrat-dominated county, to pick who he wants to sit on the Board of Commissioners and, by extension, who gets hired by Union County for any job or contract.

Though Nicholas Scutari’s Senate bio page lists his Public/Party Service as “City of Linden Prosecutor 2003-present” that is not the case as only relatives* appear on the latest datauniverse databases. However, back in 2017, he was listed:

I am trying to locate that 59-page report the Christie guys came up with but it seems a stretch to liken this to what Wayne Bryant did (according to his wikipedia entry):

On September 18, 2006, a federal monitor’s report charged Bryant with pressuring officials at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to hire him for a no-show job for which he received a $35,000 annual salary. In his position as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Bryant delivered a total of $12.8 million in state aid to the school during the three years covered by the no-show job. As of September 25, 2006, Bryant stepped down from his position as chairman of the Senate budget committee — and resigned from the committee entirely — amid increasing pressure from legislative leaders. The probe against Bryant expanded, and state and federal investigators at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey demanded records from several public institutions and agencies where Bryant or his law firm, Zeller & Bryant, have worked. One of the notable places was Rutgers University Camden where Bryant received over $130,000 for teaching law school classes. This salary was considered suspicious, as the Rutgers Camden Law School was lobbying and received $11 million from the Camden City Redevelopment fund which Bryant was involved with.

On March 29, 2007, Bryant was indicted on corruption charges for his alleged involvement in funneling millions to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in exchange for a no-show job allegedly provided by R. Michael Gallagher, the former dean at UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine who has also been indicted with Bryant. He also faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and bribery because of his acceptance of salary from the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Rutgers University-Camden, and Gloucester County Board of Social Service while doing very little work.

On November 18, 2008, Bryant was convicted on all counts. On July 24, 2009, District Judge Freda L. Wolfson sentenced Bryant to four years in federal prison.

Now that’s criminal by any standards (even New Jersey’s still – I’m guessing). What Scutari seems to have done is to game the system within the rules that his ilk has set for themselves.

.

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* Sister got director job with Union County:

LastSCUTARI
FirstLAURA
MIM
Enrollment Date8/1/2003
EmployerUNION COUNTY
LocationUNION COUNTY
FundPUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Group 
Veteran?NON-VETERAN
Pension Months198
Employer Salary$142,008
All Salaries$142,008

Apparently another relative:

LastSCUTARI
FirstSALVATORE
MIR
Enrollment Date11/1/1998
EmployerUNION CO BD OF SOCIAL SERVICES
LocationUNION COUNTY
FundPUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM
Group 
Veteran?VETERAN
Pension Months266
Employer Salary$103,636
All Salaries$103,636

Retired uncle:

NameSCUTARI, ANTHONY R
Birth Year1949
Retirement CauseService
Last EmployerUNION COUNTY
Pension FundPERS – Public Employee Retirement System
Retire Date2016-02
Salary for Calculation$113,502
Months of Service284
Type of BenefitMEMBER
Monthly Pension Allowance$3,296.71

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog!🐶🐶🐶🐾🐾🐾 on May 20, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Public Employees, they put the FUN in this dysfunctional public employment system.

    Reply

  2. Posted by qpat00 on May 20, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    one of the larger turds in the politcal cesspool of NJ

    Reply

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