Judge Orders Release of Guadagno Pension-Probe Records
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, February 06, 2014, 06:40 PM EST
A New Jersey Watchdog reporter has won the latest round in a three-year battle for public records surrounding the state’s hush-hush investigation of an alleged pension scheme implicating Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Administrative Law Judge Linda M. Kassekert ordered the state Treasury to release 25 of 26 documents the Christie administration has fought hard to keep secret. The parties have until Tuesday to appeal the decision.
The controversy focuses on an alleged pension scheme and false statements by Guadagno when she was Monmouth County sheriff. Treasury officials gathered the documents during an inquiry of whether Guadagno’s chief officer, Michael W. Donovan Jr., improperly collected nearly $85,000 a year in state retirement pay in addition to his $87,500 annual salary.
Kassekert rejected Treasury’s blanket argument that the documents should be exempt from disclosure as personnel or pension records.
“No part of the twenty-six documents contains the kind of information about Michael Donovan that would make it part of his personnel or pension record,” she wrote in her 19-page opinion.