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GannettUSA Today

Friday, March 30, 2007

Blind to corruption

It never ceases to amaze me how when a public official is charged with a crime, his colleagues rush to recount his good deeds. The latest is Assembly Majority Leader Joseph J. Roberts Jr., D-Camden, gushing about Sen. Wayne R. Bryant, D-Camden, after Bryant was charged Thursday with public corruption. After praising Bryant for his welfare reform, urban renewal and other legislative measures, Roberts concluded, "Today's news threatens to overshadow all of those worthy achievements.'' Threatens?

Bryant's actions, as charged by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, are particularly offensive because they involve public money - defrauding the state's pension system by glomming no-show jobs at three public institutions. And who paid for his misbegotten salaries and will pay for the pension boost he gained as a result? The constituents that Roberts said Bryant served so well. They should be irate at how Bryant used them and demand that he resign from the Senate.

A crook is a crook, once verified by the court system, who must pay for his crime. Even one corrupt deed erases any good he may have done. His payment should include loss of all pension benefits. Alas, New Jersey's new law barring pension benefits from corrupt public officials covers only crimes committed after its April 14 effective date. So Bryant is grandfathered from the law and could get his $81,269 pension - yet another abuse of the state's taxpayers.


Blogger margaret said...

Bryant should not get the pensions from the no-show jobs. How hard would it be to elimitate those pensions, April 14th date or no April 14th date?? It's a no-brainer to me.

6:13 AM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't blame him because it takes three jobs just to afford to live in New Jersey.

2:38 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that the pension forfeit bill does not cover prior activity is an outrage. It certainly makes one wonder if ALL of our elected officials have at least 1 indiscretion in their past.

4:21 PM, April 17, 2007  

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