Exclusive: Guadagno welcomes release of investigation documents

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno photo via NJ.gov

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno photo via NJ.gov

In an exclusive interview with MoreMonmouthMusings, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said that she is pleased that the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court has ruled that documents associated with the investigation into her hiring of a retired detective when she was the Monmouth County Sheriff will be released within 45 days.

“The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) and the Police and Firemen’s  Retirement System (PFRS) have investigated my actions while Monmouth County Sheriff, regarding the hiring and compensation of an employee and found nothing.  When the internal investigative documents that the blogger has sued for are released, they will show – again-  that I acted appropriately and in the best interests of Monmouth County taxpayers,” Guadagno said.

Appellate Judges George S. Leone and Carol E. Higbee ruled on Thursday that two documents , a three page letter date June 6, 2011 from PFRS to the Attorney General requesting an investigation and one page letter dated June 21, 2012 from the Division of Criminal Justice(DCJ) to PFRS on the status of the investigation, shall be released.   Leone and Higbee’s ruling overturned a ruling by Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson that the State had the right to withhold the documents from Mark Lagerkvist, a blogger who has used his allegations against Guadagno to kick start his career.

The Appellate Court agreed with Jacobson that an internal memo dated June 14, 2012 should not be turned over to Lagerkvist.

In addition to Michael Donovan’s employment in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office while collecting a pension,  DCJ also investigated at least two other Sheriff’s Office employees from Essex and Union Counties that Guadagno had no involvement with.

“If it had been up to me, these documents would have been released years ago,” Guadagno said.  “But, as a lawyer, and a former state and federal prosecutor,  I respect the court’s decision here.”

Since 2010 Lagerkvist has been reporting Guadagno acted fraudulently when she hired Michael Donovan,  a highly decorated retired former detective from the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office to lead the Monmouth Sheriff’s Office Law Division with the title Chief Warrant Officer in September of 2008. The detective, who served for more than 25 years in the County, was collecting a pension of $85,000 per year.

“The problem with stories on the Internet are that they are sometimes just that, unsubstantiated musings of a blogger.  The Detective’s employment and compensation were reviewed by both Monmouth County and New Jersey’s Pension authorities before he was hired in 2008,” said Guadagno.  “The Freeholder Board, then controlled by Democrats, approved the actual hiring.  It’s no coincidence that it was only after the announcement of my run for Lt. Governor, that someone would try to derail my candidacy by complaining about the efforts of the first woman sheriff in the county.  That’s just politics in New Jersey.  Of course, PFRS found no wrong doing and DCJ investigated and found no wrong doing.

I understand politics – they took their best shot and came up empty.  But it’s a shame that the Detective, now Undersheriff, who simply wanted to serve his county, and who is still serving his county, had to suffer through literally dozens of articles by this blogger simply because of the bloggers peculiar obsession with this story. It’s time to move on.”

Guadagno said that by hiring Donovan at $87,500 with no fringe benefits to lead the Sheriff’s Office Law Division, she saved Monmouth County taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.   “The Detective took a position that usually carries a salary of $120,000-$150,000 plus health and pension benefits.  We were very fortunate to have a well-qualified law enforcement official bring his experience to the office at a drastically lower salary, at a time when we were faced with severe cutbacks in Monmouth County.”



Posted: November 13th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, Kim Guadagno, Monmouth County News, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Exclusive: Guadagno welcomes release of investigation documents”

  1. I'm a little confused said at 1:32 pm on November 13th, 2015:

    Kim Guadagno states in this interview that the Police, Firemans Retirement System (PFRS), investigated her and found nothing.

    Then why did the chairman of the Board recommend the Attorney General to conduct a criminal investigation?? Am I missing something here?


  2. Donovan's not the only one said at 5:08 pm on November 13th, 2015:

    Kevin J. Burke, retires state police major, now assistant county administrator. Kathleen West retired capitan, county prosecutors office, Now saftey official.Joe Annacarico, retired W. Long Branch administrator, nnow a county job for him. Stu Brown, retired Manalapan police chief, now a county job for him too. Theres gotta be more too. Not just Donovan.

  3. Looks like said at 7:13 pm on November 13th, 2015:

    an attempt to take her out of the running for governor, next time- we have heard the issue beaten to death by people who didn’t get hired when she originally won sheriff, plus, the way things go these days, one needs to fear some of one’s own party members- doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of team loyalty to go around.

  4. @Looks like said at 12:55 pm on November 14th, 2015:

    No more team loyalty, hasn’t been for years. Remember Monmouth Rasta Man? How about Republicans for Hornik? Where does this all lead? The Democrats just have to sit back and watch the Republicans destroy each other, it’s happened before. Just look north to Hackensack.