Tag Archives: Bryant

Wayne Bryant to Go to Jail

Longtime eCache readers have heard me rant about former state senator Wayne Bryant. The legislative leader was sentenced Friday to four years in jail for corruption. Bryant had a $30,000 job at UMDNJ to read a newspaper. Bryant got that job after he influenced tax dollars to fund the school. That was just one of Bryant’s many public jobs.

He played the race card. He played politics. He was tried. He was convicted. Now Bryant is sorry.

I cannot express how deeply sorry I am for the scorn my actions have caused.

Corruption usually ends in sorrow once caught. Bryant is typical.

Unfortunately. New Jersey is corrupt to the core.

“New Jersey’s corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation,” said Ed Kahrer, who heads the FBI’s white-collar and public corruption division. “Corruption is a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state.”

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

If the Brady’s had a driveway with a garage and a back entrance to the house, why does Mr. Brady enter the house via the front door after work?  How does he get home?  Carol Brady drove the station wagon, got into an accident, and drove home.  Mike arrived home from work and entered the front door.  The bunch lives on a cul-de-sac.  It makes no sense . . . It’s Wednesday.  I wonder who is the guest of honor at the White House on the taxpayer dime . . . If New Jersey’s gubernatorial election were held today, I truly think Corzine would lose.  I base this on my colleagues, bastions of liberalism, complain about this budget and economy . . . NJ Transit seems to have the right approach: business is down so it is cutting spending.  I wonder if someone has whispered that approach to Governor Corzine.  He seems unaware it’s an option . . . On what grounds does disgraced Wayne Bryant think he is entitled to use his campaign funds to defend himself in court due to his gross corruption? . . . New Jersey government’s cluelessness seems to have no bounds.  Corzine’s treasurer stated today, “The governor stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the New Jersey property taxpayer.”  CLUELESS!  My property taxes are about to jump high . . . President Obama claimed he wouldn’t hire lobbyists.  Today it was announced that he hired two more lobbyists.  Hypocrite . . . President Obama claimed he would change the way government business is done (ala Jim “I’m a Gay American” McGreevey) by not signing any bill with earmarks.  Today, not in public, Obama signed a bill with nearly 9,000 earmarks.  Hypocrite . . . Congress has spent more than $1 billion per hour since Obama took office . . .

Chutzpah

On the heels of former state senator Nick Asselta selling his vote for a cushy seat on the Board of Public Utilities (btw, this little six-year run will net him $13,657.84 in perpetuity on the backs of taxpayers on top of the $125,000 annual salary) comes multi-dipper former state senator Wayne Bryant and his request to use campaign funds to pay the legal fees associated with his corruption:

Former state Sen. Wayne Bryant wants to use his campaign cash to pay legal bills stemming from his indictment on federal corruption charges, state election officials said Wednesday.

Bryant’s request to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission is the first time anyone has sought approval to use campaign money to defend against criminal charges, said Frederick M. Herrmann, the commission’s executive director.

Let’s see . . .

Bryant raised money from people to get himself elected to the state senate. He raised so much money that $625,000 is still in the bank. But after getting himself elected, Bryant strong-armed a state university to hire him as a consultant to sit and read a newspaper. He also siphoned off some of the Christmas tree money the state provided Camden. Taxpayers are funding the trial against him.

Bryant wants to use the excess campaign fund to defend those actions.

Now, that’s chutzpah!

Wayne Bryant & Personal Responsibility

One of the things I have learned during the many years I have spent in fourth grade is that it appears to be natural to avoid personal responsibility. Time after time when a student is “caught” doing something inappropriate, he states that someone(s) else is doing it too (or something even more horrendous). The lesson taught, of course, is that despite what others may have done, he still had committed some infraction and needs to accept responsibility for it. With few exceptions, that others were misbehaving does not excuse the misbehavior of the “caught” student.

It takes time, but students learn personal responsibility.

Apparently, those lessons are not taught everywhere. Embattled State Senator Wayne Bryant is running around stating that US Attorney Chris Christie singled him out for “selective prosecution”.

The attorney, Carl Poplar, asked U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson for a hearing to determine whether “selective prosecution” was at play in Bryant’s indictment on bribery, fraud and corruption charges earlier this year.

Just as I tell my students, it doesn’t matter what others do. The question is simple: Did Wayne Bryant commit bribery and fraud? That others may have as well does not answer that question. That others did and were not indicted does not influence whether or not Bryant is guilty. This motion is frivolous.

Of course, claiming that Bryant was singled out demonstrates how out of touch Bryant is with reality. Christie has prosecuted public employee after public employee.

Christie has spear-headed over 100 prosecutions, and he’s toppled members of both parties, including a carload of Republican mayors in Monmouth County two years ago. To the criticism that he’s targeting African-American public officials in his latest string of cases, Marbach and others answer that some of the U.S. Attorney’s highest profile take-downs in the past have been white males: Jim Treffinger, Harry Larrison and John Lynch.

Bryant may be correct that there are other corrupt politicians Christie has not prosecuted. That does not absolve Bryant of his crimes. Remember, this is the guy who held two public positions then used his influence as a state senator to direct public funds to a public college, and then was hired by that school to sit in a room and read the newspaper. All the while, the public pension kept clicking.

Senator Bryant, man up.

Corruption, Pensions & Wayne Bryant

When they prosecute state senator Wayne Bryant, one of the punishments in addition to jail time needs to be a review of his pension.

The AP today laid out some of the issues regarding the triple-dipper.

The newspaper also reported that Bryant has filed time sheets reporting work for the county on days he did legislative work in Trenton. For example, he logged 8.3 hours of work for Gloucester County on July 28, a day he had a full workday as a senator in the Capital City.

In all, Bryant made $177,700 last year from four taxpayer-funded jobs that count toward his pension: the Gloucester County job, his state Senate seat, the UMDNJ job, and an adjunct professorship at Rutgers University-Camden. If he were to retire immediately, Bryant would be eligible for an $82,000 annual pension.

He logged hours working for Gloucester while he was attending meetings in Trenton. This was two months ago, long after the magnifying glass was on him.

Do not reward this behavior. Strip him of his pension benefits. Lying and cheating has him currently available to earn much more than public school teachers earn in this state.

The path to cleaning up corruption in New Jersey is prosecuting the big names who are corrupt. Bryant is a good place to start.

More Legislative Corruption

Remember this post? I lamented in July 2005 that New Jersey taxpayers were shunned yet again. Then Governor Codey found an extra $17 million dollars. Rather than returning it to the overtaxed property owners of this state, Codey doled out the money with the help of state senator Wayne Bryant.

I also called on then candidate Corzine to take a stand:

Mr. Corzine, why don’t you step to the microphone and tell the state you do not condone how the money was dispersed and as governor you would have returned the money to the property owners?

In addition to the creation of a no-show job at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, it looks like Bryant benefited from the extra cash that was spread around.

Camden was broke last year (when is it not?). Someone up in Trenton decided to bail the city out. The deficit was $36 million. The state sent $37 million to the city. All this was done after the budget process was completed. So, the state began AY 2006 in the hole. It is that extra $1 million that was added to the aid package that is raising concerns now. It appears that extra cash is being used as a slush fund. Some of that money has filtered to Bryant’s law firm.

According to the Courier Post:

The fund was created after state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Lawnside, cast the deciding vote.

Bryant’s vote added an unexplained, extra $1 million to a $36 million emergency appropriation for Camden. Part of the extra million was later used to pay $56,000 in legal fees to Bryant’s own law firm, according to documents obtained by the Courier-Post.

While Governor Corzine has stated Bryant should step down as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the party he leads isn’t likely to do that. Political analyst David Rebovich points out that the vice chairman of that committee is embattled state senator Sharpe James. James has his own ethical baggage following him.

It would ruffle too many feathers for there to be real leadership here. If James is bypassed, then Rebovich believes there will be charges of racism as both of the state senators are black.

“What do you do if you bypass Sharpe James?” Rebovich asked. “You have a racial problem.”

What that has to do with it I haven’t quite figured out. It seems to me that it is best for the citizens of the state to have leadership that is not corrupt.

So, New Jersey is amid yet another corruption scandal and her citizens are being shunned (again) because the majority party doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. Precious . . .

Who Investigates the Investigators?

NJ Ethics

It’s always an issue when one is appointed the judge of others. Who judges the judge?

So it is with the New Jersey Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards. This committee is charged with investigating misdoings by the elected ones.

As we reported the other day, state senator Wayne Bryant is in a heap of trouble. An independent report issued Monday charged Bryant with coercing a no-show job from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. For this piece of cake job, Bryant was paid $35,000 annually. In return, Bryant used his leverage as a state senator to secure funds for the university. If true, Bryant should face prosecution.

The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards is the next step in the process. On Monday, it scheduled a meeting for today. Yesterday, Sen. Gerald Cardinale, who sits on the Committee, stated that he was going to request that hearings be opened up into the Bryant mess.

Interestingly, however, this ethics committee ducked its responsibility. Because it was not interested in dealing with one of its own, the Committee cancelled today’s meeting.

Guess what? The Bryant mess is still here folks. But your actions highlight the problem in this state. No one is serious about cleaning up the messes. Those in Trenton just want to ride the gravy train, served by our tax dollars, and abstain from doing any work.

Remember this when they ask you for their vote . . .

More NJ Corruption

What a week it has been. On the heels of former Senate president John Lynch admitting to corruption charges and disgraced former Governor McGreevey releasing his kiss-and-tell memoir comes another report about the embattled University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The first report told us about $243 million in fraud and abuse. This report told us about state senator Wayne Bryant. Bryant seems to have coaxed the corrupt officials at the university to create a no-show job for an annual salary of $35,000. That job was one of several that Bryant held.

Bryant lobbied on behalf of the school in the state Senate. After the no-show job was created, the amount of aid from the state coffers increased dramatically.

The corruption in our state is past epidemic levels. It seems to be what political life is.

Wally Edge ran a blurb about this latest scandal today. I do not understand the following, however:

But this latest news, one Democratic insider says, may be enough to attract some competition for Bryant’s fifth district Senate seat.

Huh? Shouldn’t Bryant be jailed for this? There is no may about it. If what is charged in the independent report is true, Bryant should be indicted, tried, and convicted. If we do not make examples out of these corrupt officials, we will keep paying them not to work.

Taxpayers Shunned . . . Again

New Jersey found $17 million. Instead of returning it to the overtaxed property owners (link1, link2), Acting Governor Codey has doled out the money to municipalities. Sixty percent of the found money went to districts represented solely by Democrats. Only 25.3% of the leftover money went to districts represented only by Republicans. Split districts took in 14.7% of the free money.

New Jersey is divided into 40 legislative districts of equal population. These districts are re-drawn every 10 years following the federal census. Each district is represented in the Legislature by one senator and two assemblymen.

New Jersey leans Democrat and as such more of the legislative districts are controlled by Democrats than Republicans. Of the 40 distrcits, 21 of them are represented by a Democrat senator and two Democrat assemblymen. Republicans control 15 legislative districts with a Republican senator and two Republican assemblymen. The other four districts are split-controlled.

Democrats control 52.5% of the districts, Republicans 37.5%, and the parties split 10% of the districts.

The governor and Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Camden) determined who would receive the money. The Star~Ledger reports that the doling out was very loose and perhaps not quite by the book.

“As far as I am concerned there are any number of needy grants, but they should see the light of day, they should have a chance to be reviewed. There should be accountability,” Malone said. “I can accept some of the politics if they are worthwhile grants, but we do not know. How do we justify this to the public?”

Without a public vetting of the process and noting the discrepancy in the allotted money, New Jersey citizens are left with the impression that Mr. Codey conducted favoritism in the dispersal of the grants. Jon Corzine is running on this promise:

I will, lead this state on the path of honest, open, and effective government.

Here is another opportunity for the would-be governor to show us what he would do. Mr. Corzine, why don’t you step to the microphone and tell the state you do not condone how the money was dispersed and as governor you would have returned the money to the property owners?