Though Chris Christie has called the practice "pension abuse," the AP is reporting that one of his top political advisers and fundraisers, John Inglesino, has a state job for $3,000 -- the minimum needed to remain in New Jersey's pension system.
He got the job from State Sen. Joe Pennacchio the day after his term as freeholder ended, when he would have no longer been earning credit towards a pension. It also happens that Inglesino's firm got one of Christie's no-bid contracts while he was US Attorney.
Christie had an interview scheduled with the AP yesterday, but he "abruptly canceled" it after the news broke.
Now State Senator Joe Vitale (see below for the press release he issued today) is asking Christie to call for the release of any documents that demonstrate the work Inglesino has done. "We all deserve to see exactly what this “political adviser” did in his state taxpayer funded job that allowed him to pad his pension."
This was Christie's take on pension padding a few months back: "The pension abuse is terrible,'' Christie said in a March interview on New Jersey 101.5. "I mean, let's face it. Part-time employees, people making $5,000 on somebody's staff being eligible for a pension? Being eligible for health benefits. On our dime? I would end it.''
These are his close friends. If he wants to end the pension abuse, he can start with them.
AP: Christie campaign adviser on N.J. state pension rolls
AP: Christie ducks questions on adviser's pension
For what it's worth, it wouldn't be the first time Christie's words don't match his actions.