>PENSION SCANDAL IN THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Acting Sheriff Golden Promotes Pension Fraud By Head Of Law Enforcement Division

>FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2010
Press Contact: Jon Evans (732) 739 8888

Hazlet, NJ – This week, New Jersey Watchdog.org broke news casting another ominous cloud over the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. The information, which has been verified, shows that in 2008, the previous Republican Sheriff allowed and participated in a scheme allowing a high-ranking Monmouth County Sheriff’s employee to blatantly violate pension laws giving him a full pension and a full County paycheck at the same time. Despite his knowledge of this fraudulent act, acting-Sheriff Golden continues to employ this person under the same arrangement.

Specifically, Monmouth County acting-Sheriff Shaun Golden has authorized Sheriff’s Chief Mickey Donovan to sidestep pension rules allowing him to collect more than $85,000 a year in retirement pay while at the same time still making an annual County salary of $87,500 for a total in excess of $172,000.00 per year. This “double-dipping” scheme is in violation of the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System rules and regulations.

In May 2005, Donovan retired as a detective lieutenant from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and began collecting his annual $85,000 pension. In an August 21, 2008, memo it was announced, by then-Sheriff Kim Guadagno, that Donovan would be hired as the “new Chief of the Law Enforcement Division”. However, in order to avoid having to give back a pension, his title was changed and Donovan was hired and sworn in as “Chief Warrant Officer” on September 22, 2008. Although Donovan was hired as “Chief Warrant Officer,” permitting circumvention of the pension rules, in actuality, the position of “Chief Warrant Officer” was eliminated on September 16, 2008- a week before Donovan was hired to the fictitious position- under Sheriff’s General Order 98-20 setting forth the organizational structure of the Sheriff’s Office. As a result, Donovan was hired and continues to occupy a position that does not exist in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. Clearly, this scheme was concocted so that Donovan could continue to double dip at taxpayers’ expense. Donovan continues to be listed on the County’s web page as “Monmouth County Sheriff’s Chief” and is described as “the Chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office” and not as “Chief Warrants Officer.” On July 6, 2010, acting-Sheriff Golden signed an amendment to the organizational structure of the Law Enforcement Division, yet did not include the position of “Chief Warrant Officer” and there is currently no such position within the organizational structure of the Sheriff’s Office.

Democratic Sheriff Candidate Eric Brophy responded to the ongoing situation, “This continuing fraud cast upon the taxpayers of Monmouth County by sworn officers of the law is the most egregious example yet of Golden’s complete and utter mismanagement of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. His complete disregard for the taxpayers of Monmouth County or for the laws and rules of this State is appalling. Someone who is charged as the Chief Executive Officer of a 600 person police agency must know the status and job titles of his division heads. If he doesn’t, then he has no business running such an operation. If he does know but disregards these acts, he is complicit in perpetuating this fraud and can no longer be trusted to hold the position. Monmouth County needs a Sheriff who will be responsible with taxpayer dollars and who not only talks about pension reform, but who actually ends abuses of the system. ”

For more details as well as evidence of all facts cited herein, visit New Jersey Watchdog Online at http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2010/10/19/1286/

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Filed under Eric Brophy, Monmouth County Sheriff, pension fraud, press release, Shaun Golden

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