Audrey Ignatoff
Is State Senator Shirley Turner the Queen of Corruption in New Jersey?
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By Audrey Ignatoff
September 30, 2011

State Senator Shirley Turner seems to be a very busy and industrious woman. Not only is she a State Senator for New Jersey but she is the Associate Director of Career Services at Rider University. She proudly states her position on her web page. http://www.njcth.org/PublicInnerPage/Legislative-Profiles/New-Jersey-Senate/Shirley-K — Turner.aspx However, everyone seems to know that her position at Rider is a "no show" job.

One might ask how this is any different from the "no show" jobs of former State Senator Sharpe James who had such a job at Essex County Community College and former State Senator Wayne Bryant who also had a similar situation at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) . A statement appeared on the Blue Jersey site stating the following:

"Because if Shirley Turner is no longer a State Senator, then the no-show job that she has at Rider University, which she has in return for delivering state funds to the school (isn't this what Wayne Bryant went to jail for?) will disappear as well."

The only difference is that the other institutions were public, and Rider University is private. However, Rider University also receives federal and state funding, and therefore, should be accountable for its employees, as well as its students.

Not only is Senator Turner's situation highly suspect, it is wrong! Students assigned to her for career assistance suffer greatly in developing their competitive edge in an increasingly difficult job market. She is hardly ever there, does not return phone calls or emails. Students also pay large tuitions at Rider, and are being short changed, not to mention the extra work on the counseling staff to compensate for Ms. Turner's absence. She is also taking a job away from someone who would actually be there for the students and accomplish something for them. Doesn't Rider University care about the future and careers of its students?

Her main purpose to the university is obviously to steer funding toward them, especially because she serves on both the Education and Budget Committees in the New Jersey legislature Sharpe James served time in federal prison for improper use of funds and bribes. Wayne Bryant is still serving his four year sentence. However, Shirley Turner remains free, despite widespread knowledge of her activities.

In Wayne Bryant's case, Michael Gallagher, a former Dean at UMDNJ was also found guilty of bribery and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. A bribe, by definition, takes more than one person to execute. Why aren't the officials of Rider University worried about when Governor Christie and Attorney

General Paula Dow will be looking into this ongoing situation that has apparently been going on for many years? The blame can also fall on those responsible for hiring her and those who have continued to keep her on the professional staff.

If nothing is done about this situation, State Senator Shirley Turner will remain the "Queen of Corruption" in 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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