March 31, 2007
New Jersey State Senator Charged with Corruption
New Jersey state Senator Wayne R. Bryant and the former dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) in New Jersey, R. Michael Gallagher, where charged in a twenty-count indictment with violations of Sec. 666 and the mail and wire fraud statutes for illicit arrangements to triple Bryant's state pension through no-show jobs. According to a press release (here) issued by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of New Jersey, Gallagher is accused of obtaining the deanship through Bryant's assistance, and alegedly rewarded him by helping to arrange a no-show job at the SOM. Bryant is also accused of holding other no-show jobs at the Gloucester County Board of Social Services and Rutgers-Camden law school. According to the press release:
Bryant allegedly used his power and influence as Senator and Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to directly lobby state agencies, high-level officials (including the state Treasurer), legislators and their staffs and personally directed changes in the state budget to bring millions of dollars in extra funding to SOM. All the while, Bryant failed to reveal that he was simultaneously on the payroll at SOM, receiving a high salary of $40,841 in 2004. He also used various means to conceal his purported role there, according to the Indictment.
The case comes out of the investigation by an outside monitor of the operations of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), which entered a deferred prosecution agreement in 2005 because of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The indictment also accuses Gallagher of inflating profits at the University Headache Center -- imagine the one-liners about that place -- so that he could earn higher bonuses as its chairman. (ph)
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