Burnham pleads guilty to theft by deception and official misconduct

Prosecutor:  The Brookdale investigation is ongoing

Curley calls for resignation of Trustees

Former Brookdale Community College President Peter Burnham, 68, pleaded guilty to one count of third degree theft by deception and two counts of second degree official misconduct today before Judge Thomas F. Scully in Monmouth County Court, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosectuor Christopher Gramiccioni.

In a plea agreement, Burnham accepted a five year prison term.  During the first two years he will be ineligible for parole.  Gramiccioni said the parole leniency is in consideration for Burnham’s cooperation with the investigation into Brookdale which is ongoing.  The prosecutor said he expects Burnham, who was released on his own recognisance today, will serve two years after he is sentenced on September 21st.

Gramiccioni said the Brookdale investigation has been going on for the last 15 months.  He declined to say who else at the college is being investigated.

Burnham admitted using college credit cards for more than $24,000 in personal expenses and to defrauding Brookdale and the federal government of $20,398 in funds intended for his son’s college tuition.  Both Brookdale and the federal government paid the young Burnham’s tuition at Monmouth University.  Monmouth later cut a refund check to Burnham for $20,398.  He kept the money.

Freeholder Director John Curley, the “whistle blower” on the Brookdale scandal, today called upon those members of the college’s Board of Trustees who served during Burnham’s tenure as president to immediately resign.

Curley said that two Trustees  have been replaced sense Burnham’s resignation.  He wants all but the two replacements to resign today. Curley first shed light on Burnham’s spending irregularities in a statement issued to MMM in February of 2011.

Posted: July 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Brookdale Community College | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »