Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Monitor Report on New Jersey Med School Identifies Demands for Jobs from Politicians

As part of the deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) appointed former federal judge Herbert Stern as its outside monitor to investigate corruption and financial fraud at the school.  Stern's first report (here) to the U.S. Attorney's Office identifies significant problems, ranging from inappropriate expenses to hiring practices tainted by political influence.  According to the report, "Our investigation revealed that UMDNJ, for several decades, was besieged by politicians looking to use UMDNJ, and in particular, its large workforce, as a vehicle for patronage and favor peddling.  In short, politicians exerted significant pressure and used their offices to influence hiring practices and decisions at UMDNJ."  Another issue raised in the report concerns whether a state Senator who chaired the appropriations committee steered millions of dollars worth of appropriations to the school after it retained him as a part-time consultant.  A Newark Star-Ledger story (here) discusses the report.  If Stern's investigation uncovers significant instances of corruption, federal prosecutors are likely to commence a grand jury investigation of the individuals involved, if it has not started already. (ph)

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Corruption, Fraud, Government Reports | Permalink

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