Daily Archives: October 11, 2011

Rothman Seeks Ethics Investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Press Release

Washington, DC – On October 7, 2011, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), along with 45 of his colleagues, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Committee on the Judiciary urging them to investigate and hold hearings on the outstanding ethical questions surrounding U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Here is the letter:

October 7, 2011

Lamar Smith
Chairman, Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member, Judiciary Committee
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Conyers:

We are deeply concerned about recent reports concerning potential ethics violations by a Member of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas. We are also concerned by the unwillingness or inability of the Court to address these allegations in a manner that promotes public confidence and trust in the judicial system.

As you know, unlike all other federal judges, Justices of the United States Supreme Court have not adopted and are not subject to a comprehensive code of judicial ethics. In this instance, it is essential that the Congress – and in particular the House Judiciary Committee – review these allegations to ensure the integrity of the Court is not comprised in the eyes of the public.

Public records clearly demonstrate that Justice Thomas has failed to accurately disclose information concerning the income and employment status of his wife, as required by law. According to a recent review by Common Cause, a nonpartisan government accountability group, Justice Thomas failed to report at least $1.6 million in income earned by his wife since 1997.

In addition, news reports indicate that Justice Thomas may have also failed to report gifts from wealthy supporters and inappropriately solicited donations for favored non-profit organizations. Meanwhile, the court continues to operate without a binding code of ethics or a transparent process to determine recusal.

We urge you, as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee of Jurisdiction, to investigate and hold hearings on the outstanding ethical questions surrounding the court.

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Filed under financial disclosure, House Judiciary Committee, Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S Supreme Court, US Congressman Steve Rothman

What If Everyone Saw This Clip Of Robert Reich Exposing 7 GOP Lies?

Robert Reich reveals the 7 biggest lies about the economy.

Stay informed my friends.

from Moveon.org

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Filed under 7 lies, deficit reduction, economic growth, Medicare, MoveOn.org, Robert Reich, Social Security, tax cuts

NJ Watchdog: THE “GOLDEN” AGE OF DOUBLE-DIPPING IN MONMOUTH COUNTY

NJ Watchdog yesterday posted a follow-up to it’s story “43 TOP NJ COUNTY COPS DO THE BIG DOUBLE-DIP: HOW 16 SHERIFFS & 27 UNDERSHERIFFS POCKET MILLIONS IN PENSIONS PLUS SALARIES” by investigative reporter Mark Lagerkvist, which I posted about back in September.

The update titled “THE “GOLDEN” AGE OF DOUBLE-DIPPING IN MONMOUTH COUNTY” details the abuses of the Monmouth County Sheriffs Department and specifically names both former Monmouth County Sheriffs Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and current Sheriff Shaun Golden, as being complacent in the hiring of and promotions of 3 current Monmouth County Undersheriff who all are politically connected, retired from well paying state jobs and started collecting their pensions, then were hired to work for the Sheriffs Department.

This practice of complacently allowing Double-Dipping by in Monmouth County by our current and former Sherriffs is even more disturbing when you consider that they have been rewarded for their actions, Guadagno going on to become Lt. Governor and Golden recently being named as Secretary of the statewide organization the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey (COANJ), which is a nearly century-old professional organization of the elected constitutional officers of all 21 counties who’s membership includes Sheriffs, County Surrogates, County Clerks, and Registers of Deeds and Mortgages.

Why do the Monmouth County Freeholders allow this abuse of tax payer dollars to go on?

Below is an excerpt from NJ Watchdogs update:

Three of Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden’s undersheriffs are guilty of double-dipping – not a felony or misdemeanor, just a costly reality in the world of New Jersey politics.

The most controversial of the three is Undersheriff Michael W. Donovan Jr. Donovan’s double-dipping – revealed by a New Jersey Watchdog investigative report last year

As Monmouth County sheriff in 2008, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno hired Donovan as chief in charge of law enforcement. There was an obstacle: Donovan had retired as a county investigator three years earlier. Since a sheriff’s chief officer is a position subject to the rules of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), Donovan faced the prospect of giving up pension checks by going back to work.

To help Donovan double-dip, Guadagno informed payroll officials Donovan was her chief warrant officer – a similar sounding but completely different position not subject to PFRS rules. In contrast, Guadagno’s own memo and organizational chart identified Donovan as her chief in charge of law enforcement.

With Guadagno’s help, Donovan pocketed $85,000 a year in retirement pay along with his new salary of $87,000. He scammed $245,000 from PFRS – $227,000 in pension pay, plus $18,000 he should have contributed to the pension fund after being re-hired.

Faced with controversy, Sheriff Shaun Golden – Guadagno’s successor – found a way to protect his office and Donovan. In February, Golden gave Donovan a raise and promoted him to undersheriff, a position not subject to PFRS rules. So Donovan continues his double-dipping ways, more lucrative than ever…..

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Filed under double dipping, Kim Guadagono, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Sheriff, New Jersey Watchdog, Shaun Golden