Very good investigative report by Mark Lagerkvist posted over at NJ WatchDog that chronicles the double dipping(those that receive a state salary while also collecting a state pension) of many county cops around the state.
Of particular interest to those who live in Monmouth County is the excerpt below that pertains the Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who went out of her way to provide a double-dipping job opportunity to Michael W. Donovan in 2008 while Monmouth County Sheriff.
The double-dipping of Michael W. Donovan Jr. – revealed by a New Jersey Watchdog investigative report last year – provides an inside look at how powerful politicians can conspire to cheat pension funds.
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…
Some schemes are enabled by superiors who have already gamed the system for themselves…