It’s the very situation that Christopher Christie has labeled “pension abuse” and vowed to stop if elected governor.
Christie refused to say at a public event Thursday whether he would call on friend and fundraiser John P. Inglesino to give up the pension credits he is earning as a $3,000-per-year political consultant for Republican Sen. Joe Pennacchio. Christie then abruptly canceled an interview with The Associated Press that had been scheduled weeks ago but did not give a reason why.
Christie said this week he had “no idea” that Inglesino, one of his closest campaign advisers and a friend for 15 years, remained in the government pension system because of a job with the state senator from Morris County, where Christie lives. Inglesino, a corporate lawyer, began working for Pennacchio after losing re-election as a Morris County freeholder. Without the job, he would have been out of the pension system on Jan. 1, 2008, the day he was enrolled in the plan through Pennacchio.
Asked whether he’d call on Inglesino to give up his pension or the political job, Christie didn’t give a direct answer.
“I’ve made it very clear that my position on pensions and politicians is that when I get into office pensions for politicians in this state will be eliminated,” he said. “Anybody, whether they’re a friend of mine, and adviser of mine, an opponent of mine, if they’re into this public service to get a public pension, they’re going to be sorely disappointed.”
So just like Christie’s stance on dual office holding, it’s only a problem he will deal with if elected. And you may remember, Inglesino is the same person who Rick Merkt says tried to bribe him with a “major position” to get out of the race for Chris Christie. Maybe we should just start calling Christie two face, the face that talks the game he thinks people want to hear and then the other one that doesn’t live up to those standards by a long shot. Now Christie supporters will point to the bad Democrats and try to turn away attention, but the moral of this story seems to be that pension padding is a bad thing for everyone except Christie’s friends, similar to many of his other questionable situations.