The SEC has accused New Jersey of fraud related to the pensions:
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the State of New Jersey with securities fraud for misrepresenting and failing to disclose to investors in billions of dollars worth of municipal bond offerings that it was underfunding the state’s two largest pension plans.
According to the SEC’s order, New Jersey offered and sold more than $26 billion worth of municipal bonds in 79 offerings between August 2001 and April 2007. The offering documents for these securities created the false impression that the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) were being adequately funded, masking the fact that New Jersey was unable to make contributions to TPAF and PERS without raising taxes, cutting other services or otherwise affecting its budget. As a result, investors were not provided adequate information to evaluate the state’s ability to fund the pensions or assess their impact on the state’s financial condition.
New Jersey is the first state ever charged by the SEC for violations of the federal securities laws. New Jersey agreed to settle the case without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings.
That’s the SEC press release, the NYT article is here. Needless to say, Democrats were governors most of this time period. On the other hand, Chris Christie not funding the pension at all is not going to work out much better.