Tuesday, October 16, 2007

D'Amico Brings 'Club Monmouth' to the Parole Board

-- Tenure at Parole Board One of hiring Political Cronies --

"I am not here with any political agenda. What I've stressed with the board is that we are here to render a public service. We're not here to do favors. We're not here to forward partisan agendas.”
- John D'Amico in August 2003
(David Kinney, "Chairman Sets Stage For Parole Reforms,” The Star Ledger, August 7, 2003)

Freehold, NJThe Monmouth County Republican Committee issued the following statement today:

"This summer John D'Amico and the Monmouth County Democrats mailed an attack campaign flyer criticizing the Freeholders' appointment of John Tobia, saying that ‘they'll put an end to the cronyism',” said Monmouth County Republican Spokesman John Raue. "A look at D'Amico's record at the state parole board shows that he in fact brought and retained political cronies with him from Monmouth County to the state parole board.”

"D'Amico said that he had no political agenda when he became NJ Parole Board Chairman, but the first appointment made by Governor McGreevey during D'Amico's tenure at the parole board tells a different story,” said Monmouth County Republican spokesman John Raue.

"Clearly the chairman of the state parole board has great influence over the appointments in his office, so lets look at the first appointment, that occurred by the governor, under D'Amico's tenure at the NJ Parole Board.”

In November 2003, D'Amico's former boss's wife, Veleria N. Lawson, became the first new parole board member hired under the D'Amico Parole Board. "Gov. McGreevey nominated Monmouth County school social worker Veleria N. Lawson to the state Parole Board yesterday. Lawson, a Democrat and the wife of Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson, would earn $104,118 in the full-time position.” (Sandy McClure, "Governor Selects Judge's Wife For Seat On N.J. Parole Board,” The Asbury Park Press, November 20, 2003)

"It is amazing that out of the hundreds of people who were qualified for this appointment it just so happens that D'Amico's ex-boss's wife got the appointment,” said GOP spokesman John Raue.

To make matters worse, during D'Amico's tenure, he retained Mike Dowling as Executive Director of the parole board. Dowling was the failed Democratic Sheriff candidate in Monmouth County immediately prior to his appointment to this lucrative position.

"D'Amico could have sent a clear signal for reform, and wiped the slate clean of cronies and politically motivated hires. Instead, he chose to maintain the system of perks and preferential treatment that was similar to the ‘Club Monmouth' abuses reported by the press.”

"Clearly John D'Amico's definition of not having a ‘political agenda' is overseeing the appointment of his ex-boss's wife for a political patronage position,” said spokesman John Raue. "These are just two examples of cronyism under D'Amico's leadership at the state parole board.”

"Once again the ‘good old boys' mentality is at work with John D'Amico while he claims he does not have ‘any political agenda',” concluded GOP spokesman John Raue.

1 comment:

Barry Goldwater said...

I would also point out that Judges are not permitted to be involved in political activity, yet as soon as he leaves the bench, D'Amico gets a political appointment, and immediately appoints the wife of teh Assignment Judge to another political appopintment.

An Assignment Judge, by the way, who got his appointment as a democrat.

Something smells fishy.