EXCLUSIVE: Convicts profiting from pensions
Originally appeared in: Asbury Park Press
By: Andrew Ford
July 28, 2016
- State pension payments were sent to a prison inmate for 27 months, the Asbury Park Press found.
- More than 40 convicted criminals out of prison are collecting state retirement checks.
- At the end of this story, check out the list of politicians convicted of federal crimes who still get their pension.
- Dozens of convicted criminals are collecting more than a million dollars in taxpayer-funded retirement checks, including at least one who is still behind bars, an Asbury Park Press investigation found.
The list of convicts profiting from state pensions reads like a who’s who of New Jersey corruption: former mayors, an assemblyman, county executives and other politicians convicted of tainting their offices, the Press found.
And while state law bars convicts from receiving a pension check while behind bars, the Press found that wasn’t the case for convicted corrections officer Bobby Singletary, 58, of Paterson. He was paid an annual pension of $51,278 for the past 27 months while in prison. He is serving seven years for smuggling drugs to prisoners.
Since the Press’ discovery, the state Treasury Department said it will cut off Singletary’s checks “later this summer.”
Annual state pensions for convicted officials ranged from $83,000 – about four times higher than the average state retiree’s income – to just under $1,000 a year.
“I can’t think of a bigger slap in the face to a taxpayer than saying someone has done something illegal, gone to jail, violated the public trust, but we’re gonna continue to pay them a pension,” said state Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth. “It’s somewhat stunning.”
Read more here.