The AC Press reported on the move by the county freeholders to push ethics complaints off on the state.
Cumberland County will let the state investigate ethics complaints lodged against its elected and appointed officials, work force and government agencies.
While officials say the move is being done as a cost-saving measure, the decision also is related to the August resignation of Louis Magazzu from the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The Press nailed the real reason on the head, and the freeholders are being duplicitous about their stated rationale for the change. What cost savings could they be referring to? The panel was to be comprised of two freeholders and three county residents. The freeholders get the same salary regardless of whether they participate in the ethics panel or not. The residents would not be working at a salary, unless they were planning on creating yet another “authority” type of panel where political cronies would be reimbursed.
The Press pointed to the real reason – the Republican freeholders repeatedly railed about the refusal of the Democrats to fulfill their duty to create the Ethics Boards as required by county statute. Now that they have a majority, they have to follow through. With this gutless action, they can pretend that they are taking a stand on ethics reform while in actuality doing absolutely nothing.
Does anyone for an instant believe that the powers that be in Trenton will raise an eyebrow at ethics infractions in Cumberland County? They looked the other way for years and ignored the backroom deals, shady hiring practices and Lou Magazzu’s fake NACo PAC.