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.

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

State Investigating Double Dipping Sheriff’s Officers

By Art Gallagher

The Star Ledger is reporting that the Treasury Department has initiated an investigation into sheriff’s officers in Essex, Monmouth and Union counties who are collecting pensions from the state Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) while continuing to perform as law enforcement officers, but with civilian titles, allowing them to “double dip”….collect a pension and a salary for job that would not allow for collecting a pension if it were properly classified.

Only elected officials are supposed to be allowed to do that in New Jersey.

In addition to the Treasury Department probe, John Scierchio, chairman of the PFRS board of trustees, has asked the Attorney General’s Office to launch a criminal probe into three sheriff’s officers suspected of circumventing pension guidelines, according to the Star Ledger.

The three officers are Monmouth County undersheriff Mickey Donovan, formerly the chief warrant officer, Essex County chief warrant officer John Dough, and Union County sheriff’s chief Harold Gibson.

This issue was first raised publically regarding Donovan, who retired from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in 2005 and was hired as Monmouth’s chief warant officer by then Monmouth County Sheriff, now Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno in 2008, last October by NJ Watchdog.

NJ Watchdog alleges that Guadagno, as Sheriff, eliminated the chief warrant officer position on September 16, 2008, but then gave Donovan that title a week later, even though he was hired in reality to be the chief law enforcement officer, so that he could collect a pension of $85,000 per year and a salary of $87,500 per year.

In a piece published on April 11, 2011, NJ Watchdog says that Donovan has improperly collected $227,000 in pension payments since 2008.  Additionally, he should have contributed $18,000 to the pension system, according to NJ Watchdog.

Guadagno declined to comment when MMM raised this issue with her when it became public in October.

Shaun Golden, then Acting Sheriff, told MMM in October that he had discussed Donovan’s employment status with state pension official months earlier and offered to make any changes they required.  There were no changes required at the time.  Golden said he told the officials that if they require changes in Monmoth County that they should also look into Essex and Union Counties.

Apparently they did.

Golden announced on February 15, 2011that Donovan was sworn in as undersheriff and is in charge of the law enforcement division.

Undersheriff is a civilian title, not a PFRS job, meaning Donovan, who now makes over $90,000, continues to collect his $85,000 pension.

Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Kim Guadagno, Mickey Donovan, Pensions, Shaun Golden | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments »