Audrey Ignatoff
Correcting corruption in New Jersey can produce goldmine
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By Audrey Ignatoff
September 7, 2011

When Governor Christie was the US Attorney for New Jersey, we have seen an abundance of arrests of corrupt individuals, including public figures. This tradition is being carried out by Paula Dow, the Attorney General of New Jersey as well. When convictions are obtained, fines are imposed on these criminals and pensions are often denied, bring in a great amount of capital to the ailing finances of New Jersey.

We have all seen the arrests and convictions of many, including 100 New Jersey mayors, state senators, as well as many other public officials and others. On the top of the list are former Newark Mayor and former State Senator, Sharp James and former state senator, Wayne Bryant. Sharp James was convicted of corruption in a Newark real estate deal which involved his mistress, and Wayne Bryant was convicted of bribing The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with a 10.5 million dollar grant in exchange for a $35,000 no show job which contributed to his pension of $83,688 per year. Recently, a former Middlesex County Sheriff of 30 years, Joseph Spicuzzo was arrested for bribery in exchange for jobs in his office.

This certainly seems to be a trend in New Jersey. It's time to ask, "How many people actually obtain jobs legally?" Certainly, many well-qualified people who have been looking for positions in the public as well as the private sector are no doubt frustrated after never even being contacted for an interview or receiving a suitable position. Many people have studied, obtained degrees, and gained experience, only to be ignored and overlooked in favor of the less qualified.

Perhaps there is a connection between not giving a bribe and not ever getting a job, which is particularly frustrating in a down turned economy which is forcing many good people into bankruptcy and foreclosure. It is time for individuals and the officials to take a serious look at this problem at every level. Ferreting out these bribery schemes can net a significant amount of fines and also turn the economy around by the hiring of the most qualified employees, and not simply the ones who not only can afford the bribe, but know exactly who to go to. After all, one just can't stand out on the street and ask "Who wants to take my money in exchange for a job?" In other words, you have to know the "squirrel" " who is grabbing the "nuts" in any given place. This becomes complicated for the uninformed and the non corrupt.

I have seen how this trend has effected myself and members of my family since moving to New Jersey in 1991. For example, when myself, my husband, and my son applied for positions at a community college that we were well qualified for, we never got the positions nor even interviews, most of the time. After many years of analyzing this situation, I strongly suspect foul play. This is particularly onerous since this not only effects people's income, health insurance, and pensions, but impacts upon the students who are enrolled at these institutions by not giving them the advantage of exposure to the best trained and most qualified individuals. This leads to producing less competitive graduates who must compete with others who were trained by better qualified mentors.

Examination of the hiring trends at all of the colleges and universities in New Jersey will no doubt uncover tons of people hired who were less qualified than those who were overlooked. Certainly, the efficiency of these organizations which are being largely funded by public money, is being compromised. And, this does not only effect New Jersey, but the whole country as well because of the large input of federal dollars in grants, loans, and federal work study programs for students.

If you feel that you were very qualified for a position that you did not even receive an interview for, try to find out who did received that position and what their qualifications are in terms of education and experience. You may be surprised or even shocked to see people in positions at colleges and universities without even the required education for the position, nor any relevant experience in the prospective field. It's like a fighter training with an amateur and facing the world champion in the ring. Clearly, he won't be able to stand up to the competition, and nearly will many poorly trained students.

I know of a person who was hired as a professor at a community college with only an AAS degree, and others with only a BA degree. This is not the stated policy of the college, nor Middle States Association for Colleges and Universities, which require a Master's degree to teach. Other individuals were hired with no degree at all, and one that I know of recently was hired with a degree in a different field than the position required. Yet, there is another person who was hired in a media related position at a well known university with no degree at all, while thousands of college graduates would gladly take this position.

It's possible that these jobs are spoken for even before they are advertised, making this fraud in advertising, and certainly, not equal employment opportunity. If you suspect fraud, contact the Attorney General to report it. This is against the law and punishable by fines and ten years in jail or more. Act NOW to report corruption in New Jersey going to www.njdcj.org to make a report.

The people of New Jersey deserve better. It's time we take the power back, and give people a fair chance to obtain the employment that they deserve. Let's put the productivity and the money back into New Jersey!

© Audrey Ignatoff

 

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Audrey Ignatoff

Audrey Ignatoff is the president of Senior Arts and Systems, a consulting company in health care and geriatrics... (more)

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