in Houston, Texas
$14 million to double-dippers in NJ pension scheme -- but what about Texas?
Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 01:52PM CST
By Trent Seibert
money

It’s a story of 23 current investigators and supervisors who pocketed nearly $14 million in pension pay in addition to their salaries from the New Jersey Attorney General. It’s a double-dipping pension scandal that’s making waves across the Garden State. 

And it’s impossible to find out if anything similar is going on in Texas.

New Jersey’s reporting comes from Mark Lagerkvist, an award-winning reporter behind New Jersey Watchdog. Lagerkvist is a veteran journalist with more than 60 journalism honors under his belt and a good friend of Texas Watchdog.

His hard-hitting reports on taxpayers getting soaked by well-connected bureaucrats taking advantage of pension loopholes make for great reading.

From Lagerkvist’s latest report: 
Sgt. State Investigator Robert W. Kent hit a million dollar jackpot. Kent didn’t win a lottery; he is a double-dipper playing the New Jersey State Pension game.

For the past 22 years, Kent has collected two sets of checks from the state. At age 74, he receives a $100,000 salary plus $59,000 in retirement pay a year though he “retired” for less than a week.

Kent is one of 23 current investigators and supervisors who pocketed nearly $14 million in pension pay in addition to their salaries from the Attorney General, a New Jersey Watchdog investigation found.
This should make Texans angry.

In Texas, information that would reveal the extent certain pensioners are "double-dipping" on the taxpayer dime is kept secret. That's because state law shields information that would identify individual retirees. And lawmakers this year gave pension funds even wider berth in the information they keep away from the public.

Texas Watchdog has aggressively reported on pensions in Texas, and we will continue to do so.

Click on the headlines below to see just some of our work this past year on the pension issue.
 
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Contact Trent Seibert at trent@texaswatchdog.org or 832-316-4994 or on Twitter at @trentseibert  or @texaswatchdog.

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Photo of ‘money' by flickr user Images_of_Money, used via a Creative Commons license.
Comments
jpt51
Wednesday, 12/21/2011 - 09:54PM

Look at higher ups who often leave and then come back as regular employees or consultants. Albert Hawkins is one that comes to mind. Then there's always the higher ups that go to work for contractors and use insider information to the detriment of the taxpayer. Randy Washington was a higher up with the welfare department and later headed the Accenture bid to privatize the agency. They won but the taxpayer lost. The state went from being recognized as the best run big state food stamp program in the nation to the worst of any size in the nation.

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