False statements by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno enabled a police official to improperly receive $170,000 from a state pension fund, according to a New Jersey Watchdog investigation.
Guadagno hired Donovan as “Sheriff’s Chief” in September 2008. In a memo to her staff, the future lieutenant governor announced Donovan was replacing John Cerrato as Chief. Donovan was a retired investigator who had worked for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
As the new Chief, Donovan should have re-enrolled in the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. Under state law – N.J.S.A. 43:16A-15.3 – retirement benefits should have stopped with his employment.
Instead, Guadagno deceived county officials, the press and the public about Donovan’s job title.
In a news release, Guadagno announced the hiring of Donovan as “Chief Warrant Officer,” a different position that’s exempt from PFRS and its rules. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office informed county payroll officials that Donovan was hired as Chief Warrant Officer.