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.
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…..