NJ HOMELAND SECURITY’S 18 DOUBLE-DIPPERS NAB $9M IN PENSIONS Investigative Report by Mark Lagerkvist
The seal reads New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness. But for agents drawing state salaries plus pension pay, it’s a symbol of their own fiscal security.
OHSP provides a bureaucratic safe haven for 18 “retired” officials who have collected nearly $9 million in state pension checks, a New Jersey Watchdog investigation revealed.
Those double-dippers currently receive more than $3 million a year – $1.3 million in state pension checks plus $1.7 million in salaries. On average, each gets $171,000 a year – $95,000 a year in salary plus $76,000 in retirement pay. (See below chart for names and amounts.)
One-third of OHSP stafffers with salaries over $75,000 are double-dippers, led by Deputy Director Drew Lieb. He gets $226,000 a year – a $130,000 salary plus a $96,000 State Police pension as a retired lieutenant colonel.
Other top double-dippers include Acting Deputy Director Dennis Quinn and Assistant Deputy Director Anne Kreigner. Quinn gets $196,000 a year – $115,000 in salary on top of a $81,000 pension. Kreigner collects $186,000 per annum – $108,000 in salary and $78,000 in retirement pay. Each started collecting pensions after “retiring” for one day, returning to the state payroll with a different job title the following day.
New Jersey Watchdog’s analysis of state payroll and pension records for the 18 officials also found:
- One-third “retired” from public employment for one day to start drawing state pensions.
- Half are State Police retirees; the rest retired from other state or local law enforcement units.
- The average age of retirement was 49.
OHSP reports directly to Gov. Chris Christie. It functions primarily as a bureaucracy that administers government grants and plans strategies to react to potential catastrophes.
While the FBI, State Police and others focus on the frontline work of apprehending terrorists and responding to emergencies, OHSP seems to have more in common with the Keystone Kops. Its history of scandal and screw-ups began in 2002, when it was created as the Office of Counter-Terrorism by executive order of then-Gov. James McGreevey.
For homeland security adviser, McGreevey infamously hired Golan Cipel, his Israeli sex partner with no police experience, at a $110,000 salary. Two years later, McGreevey resigned as governor when faced with threats Cipel would file a sexual harassment suit against him.
In 2006, then-Gov. Jon Corzine reorganized OCT as the Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness. Instead of reporting to the Attorney General, OHSP’s director was given cabinet-level status. Corzine also continued its exemption from state Open Public Records Act requests, enabling the agency to operate in relative secrecy.
However, governmental audits offer glimpses of OHSP internal operation. In 2009, a state legislative audit found:
- OHSP failed to retrieve ID badges and access passes from terminated employees.
- Data on OHSP computers were not encrypted, creating security risks when agency laptops were lost or stolen.
- Agency vehicles and “free” E-Z Passes were used more for commuting than state business, in violation of guidelines.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released its inspector general’s audit of $174 million in grants administered by OSHP from 2007 to 2009. It concluded:
- New Jersey was unable to show how the grants resulted in improved preparedness because OSHP did not set proper guidelines to measure progress.
- OSHP did not adequately monitor grants and failed to detect $2.6 million that was improperly spent.
- The agency failed to process and distribute grants in a timely manner.
- OHSP did not ensure that inventories of equipment purchased with grants were maintained.
In its responses to the audits, OHSP did not dispute with the findings. It submitted plans for corrective action to the state auditor and inspector general. (See above links to audit documents.)
# # #
NJ WATCHDOG’S LIST OF DOUBLE-DIPPERS AT NJ OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY & PREPAREDNESS
|Deputy Director||Lieb||Drew||$ 226,144||$ 130,000||$ 96,144|
|Act Dep Director||Quinn||Dennis||$ 195,808||$ 115,000||$ 80,808|
|Asst Dep Director||Kriegner||Anne||$ 186,427||$ 107,743||$ 78,684|
|Supv Investigator||Dolina||Joseph||$ 188,202||$ 99,618||$ 88,584|
|Manager 2||Richardson||Randall||$ 182,341||$ 98,725||$ 83,616|
|Conf Assistant||Leonardis||David||$ 180,534||$ 97,794||$ 82,740|
|Admin Analyst||Morocco||Daniel||$ 178,830||$ 96,198||$ 82,632|
|Mgmnt Impv Spec||Moore||Edwin||$ 170,707||$ 95,119||$ 75,588|
|Supv Planner||Centonze||Carol||$ 157,563||$ 93,819||$ 63,744|
|Chief, Training||Buttich||Joseph||$ 164,356||$ 93,448||$ 70,908|
|Crit Infra Coord||Conrey||Joseph||$ 157,901||$ 92,777||$ 65,124|
|Supv Train Tech||Salvatore||Michael||$ 157,788||$ 87,612||$ 70,176|
|Admin Analyst 1||Mihalik||John||$ 146,955||$ 85,935||$ 61,020|
|Admin Analyst 1||Schroeder||John||$ 159,747||$ 85,935||$ 73,812|
|Admin Analyst 1||Kilmurray||Robert||$ 171,879||$ 85,935||$ 85,944|
|Intel Analyst 3||Sante||Craig||$ 140,736||$ 82,656||$ 58,080|
|Crit Infra Coord||Sample||Dennis||$ 145,021||$ 75,673||$ 69,348|
|Admin Analyst 2||O’Nieal||Brian||$ 162,610||$ 86,578||$ 76,032|
|AVERAGE||$ 170,752||$ 95,031||$ 75,721|
New Jersey Watchdog’s research focused on employees of the state Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness who receive state pensions plus salaries of $75,000 a year or more. Data are from pension, payroll and personnel records obtained from the New Jersey Department of Treasury and state Civil Service Commission through state Open Public Records Act requests. Salaries, pensions and employment status are current as of December 2011.