False statements by Guadagno in 2008 enabled her chief officer, Michael W. Donovan Jr., to collect nearly $85,000 a year in state retirement pay in addition to his $87,500 annual salary. The story was first reported by New Jersey Watchdog in 2010.
Under state statute, “Any person who shall knowingly make any false statement or shall falsify or permit to be falsified any record or records of this retirement system … shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, a Christie appointee, is in charge of the probe of fellow cabinet member Guadagno.
Christie has not publicly addressed the scandal – including the question of whether he should have appointed an independent prosecutor to handle the case. Representatives for Chiesa have not responded to queries about the investigation, which began 19 months ago. Spokespeople for Guadagno have declined comment.
Ironically, one of Christie’s self-proclaimed accomplishments during his first term has been pension reform.
A state appellate judge denied a motion last month by the Attorney General seeking to stop the Government Records Council, another state agency, from reviewing Treasury files requested by the investigative news site.
As a result, Treasury officials must comply with a GRC order to turn over 26 documents for inspection. After review, the Council will determine which documents, if any, should be released to New Jersey Watchdog under the Open Public Records Act.