NJ Lawmakers give themselves preference

The prevailing doctrine in New Jersey governing employment is called “at-will”. This means that the employer, unless contractually stated otherwise, is free to fire or lay-off any employee for any or no reason, with only short notice expected.

However, under a 23-year old law, public administrators are allowed to collect 3 months pay after being fired for breaking the law. Van Pelt, Lumberton Administrator and the sole Republican in the recent scandal of blatant bribery and wholesale abuse of the public trust benefits from this law.

Under Corzine and the Democratic controlled legislature, New Jersey was happy to let this law stay on the books. Even Corzine’s so-called ethics reform didn’t mandate that ethically challenged public employees or elected officials immediately forgo wages and step down from public employment until the cases are resolved. Corzine even made sure that convicted felons be able to collect on some of their pensions.

While you have no protection as a loyal employee of a private business, union members are guaranteed work even if their job is eliminated under Corzine’s recent sweetheart deal with the CWA. If you are an elected official, you can be fired for appearance of misconduct, and still get a three month free ride on the backs of the taxpayers.

Two state Assembly members say they will introduce legislation to end a 23-year-old law that allows Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt to draw three months of pay after being fired from his job as administrator in Lumberton Township, Burlington County.

This is only appropriate. It is obscene for Jon Corzine to sit idly by while an elected official who is an embarrassment to the state collects over $20,000 in taxpayer funded money after being fired for misconduct.

New Jersey needs a complete overhaul in the ethics department. The time has come for ZERO-TOLERANCE. We have to SAY NO to even the appearance of misconduct!


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