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Oaklyn Council Candidates Call On Embattled Solicitor To Step Down During State Probe

June 2, 2010

OAKLYN, NJ — Following last week’s disturbing story in The Philadelphia Inquirer, revealing that New Jersey Division of Pension and Benefits is investigating Oaklyn Solicitor Timothy Higgins, Republican Council Candidates Dennis Bataloni and Charlie Kolbe want to know what Borough Hall officials knew and when did they know it.

“The primary duty of every public servant is to ensure that the taxpayers’ money is handled in a responsible, efficient and ethical manner,” added Bataloni. “This looks like yet another unfortunate example of Oaklyn’s career politicians failing to protect the residents who pay the bills.”

According to the Inquirer story, the State of New Jersey informed Oaklyn’s government back in February 2010 that Higgins was under investigation. At issue is Higgins’ pension eligibility, since Oaklyn officials continued to allow the solicitor to accrue pension credits even though allowing him to do so violated a 2007 pension reform law. Borough officials verbally shrugged off responsibility for the error, characterizing it as a “misunderstanding.” (Source: “Camden County lawyer under probe on pension,” 5/27/10, http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_region/20100527_Camden_County_lawyer_under_probe_on_pension.html#axzz0pBtzXamx <http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_region/20100527_Camden_County_lawyer_under_probe_on_pension.html#axzz0pBtzXamx> ).

“There’s nothing ambiguous about pension fraud,” continued Bataloni. “It’s a sad commentary on Borough Hall that we probably would’ve never found out about this probe were it not for the Inquirer’s reporting. Oaklyn’s government owes the taxpayers an explanation.”

“Mr. Higgins must step down immediately, at least until such time that the state concludes its investigation and makes its findings known to the public,” concluded Kolbe. “We firmly believe in the constitutional principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ but a solicitor cannot continue to execute the duties of his office while the state is simultaneously investigating whether he’s violated the public’s trust.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Reform NOW permalink
    June 2, 2010 1:00 pm

    End the game of Monopoly!

    The longest running game of Monopoly will continue to be played in South Jersey with taxpayer money. Only this game of Monopoly has to do with political real estate and pensions, and the only winners are the politically connected while the losers remain REAL PEOPLE AND FAMILIES of Camden County.

    Last week was a bad week of press for the CamCo Dems. Within 24 hours there were a couple of disturbing press reporters about abuse of power and lack of oversight. While the media reports are but a pittance of what we her on the street, the media reports do provide insight into why new voice are needed in the entrenched establishment of Camden County.

    Last Wednesday the Courier Post question Don Norcross’s (the little don) residency in the 5th district. Little don says he is offended, and we say: So are the voters. Camden has only gotten worse under the iron fist rule and the profiteering of the CamCo politically connected, and We The People are simply fed-up. Where there is smoke, there is fire was the CamCo Freedom Fighters motto Wednesday.

    Then last Thursday, a mere 24 hours later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports a well connected CamCo lawyer in local democrat circles is under probe for pension fraud. It seems a certain friend of the democrat party has been systematically playing a side “pension game” with the help of a couple of friends. Frankly, it is reprehensible this can continue to go on, and it is no laughing matter.

    And let’s not forget it was just a couple of months ago the audit on the South Jersey Transportation Authority detailed similar, and more expensive abuse by well connected local dems. In addition, just about a year ago another connected and elected dem, Sen. Jimmy Beach, was caught playing the pension game with a gig at Camden County College. You can find a link to the entire story right here: Beach’s hand was caught in the cookie jar

    Friends, know them by their fruits and actions because their words mean nothing except dollar signs. Thankfully we have real leaders like Gov. Christie and Assemblyman DiCicco who understand when it comes to playing Monopoly with CamCo dems somebody has to keep their eyes on the banker.

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