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Friday, October 07, 2005

Follow Up on Structuring Corruption

Pardon me (gotta be careful about saying that in Trenton - someone will think I'm a public employee), while I borrow a format from Tammany on the Hudson and post a few excerpts from a Star-Ledger report:


Codey doles out perks to his allies
From Parole Board to BPU, some appointments ensure hefty pay, pensions and influence
Friday, September 30, 2005
BY JEFF WHELAN AND JOSH MARGOLIN
Star-Ledger Staff

Keeping with New Jersey tradition, acting Gov. Richard Codey made a flurry of appointments this week as he began to reward key loyalists with government posts before heading out the door.

Codey, whose 14-month term in office expires in January, installed stalwarts on agencies ranging from the State Parole Board to the New Jersey Building Authority.

Two of the jobs carry six-year terms and six-figure salaries, ensuring continued state service and boosting the nominee's government pension. The appointments also ensure Codey's allies will continue to influence state government, no matter who wins the gubernatorial election.


then later:

Codey's recent appointments include:

Joe Fiordaliso, his deputy chief of staff, to the state Board of Public Utilities, for a six-year term at $125,301. As Fiordaliso turns 60 within that period, he will be able to retire at that salary, according to the Treasury Department.

and

Yolette Ross, an assistant to the governor, to the State Parole Board for a six-year term at $104,118. Ross already has 21 years and 7 months in the state pension system. By helping her reach the required 25-year service mark, the appointment will enable her to retire with full benefits -- including lifetime health benefits.

and

William Maer to the state Building Authority, which has oversight of construction of state buildings and prisons. Maer is a powerful lobbyist, Democratic strategist and political adviser to Codey. Clients of Maer's lobbying firm include engineers, architects and builders. The four-year appointment does not pay.

*snicker* In Jersey, "does not pay" means "pays from contacts made while holding that position".

Tom Carver to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Carver served as Codey's labor commissioner, a job that would have ended along with Codey's administration. Carver, a former Casino Association president and lobbyist, signed a two-year contract for his new job, which pays $137,500.

and
A.J. Sabath, one of his key political advisers, to replace Carver as labor commissioner. Sabath, 35, had been serving as deputy commissioner. The promotion boosts his salary from $131,000 to $141,000, but his job will still expire in January along with the Codey administration.


Yes, but let's not make Codey out to be a bad guy (I don't think he's particularly bad in anyway). After all,

Codey is hardly the first governor to stack state government with his allies. Former Gov. James E. McGreevey made 200 appointments between the time he announced his resignation in a gay sex scandal and his official departure three months later. Those appointments included installing his chief of staff, Jamie Fox, at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a $206,000 a year job.

Former acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, a Republican who served for only one year, appointed Jeff Michaels, his chief of staff, to the CRDA. DiFrancesco also named his daughter, Marci, to an unpaid post on the Health Care Administration Board.


and let's not forget this one

DiFrancesco also appointed his communications director, Tom Wilson, to the Economic Development Authority, before leaving office.

Wilson, now the Republican state chairman, said there was a distinction between such unpaid positions and a few of the big-salary appointments Codey has made. He said it was unusual Codey was making his moves before the election, meaning his replacement won't have input on appointments of key policy makers.


Yeah, it's very different, Mr. Wilson - you didn't get a job out of it this time. As I continue to say, this Garden needs some sunshine.

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