Report: Court Could Order Release Of Pension Probe Documents

(Photo credit: bloomsberries)

(Photo credit: bloomsberries)

STATE – A New Jersey court could force the Christie administration to release information about an investigation into an alleged double-dipping scheme that involves Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, according to a New Jersey Watchdog report.

Investigative reporter Mark Lagerkvist has been trying to obtain information about a Division of Criminal Justice investigation into an alleged case of illegal double-dipping in the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office, but state officials argue that the investigative records should be exempt from disclosure under New Jersey public records laws.

Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson has ordered the state to submit an index of the investigatory records  and will require the Division of Criminal Justice to argue the need for secrecy on a document-by-document basis, according to the report. The state had been seeking an order to dismiss Lagerkvist’s suit completely.

As Monmouth County Sheriff, Guadagno hired Michael W. Donovan Jr. as “chief of law enforcement division” in 2008. Donovan was collecting an $85,000 per year state pension as a retired county prosecutor’s office investigator. According to Lagerkvist, Donovan should have had to stop receiving pension benefits and resume making contributions to the state pension fund. Instead, Donovan continued collecting his pension in addition to an $87,500 salary for the new job.

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