People always are seeking out jobs with government and public sector employment. Why do you think you think that is?
For many it is job security. For others, a government job means good benefits – health care and a retirement package. For all too many recently, it offers a chance to pilfer from public coffers!
In Bayonne, New Jersey, criminal charges have been brought against Peter Cresci who was fired in 2009 from the Bayonne Parking Authority. Cresci is charged with second-degree theft by deception of $150,000 because he allegedly was picking up a salary as acting director of the Parking Authority without authorization.
According to records obtained in the federal lawsuit Cresci was never a “legally authorized employee of the BPA” and “personally authorized payroll” to issue him paychecks totaling $150,000 over an unspecified period.
The Waters are Muddy – “Office Space” Revisited
The parties disagreed as to whether Cresci, an assistant attorney with Bayonne when he started doing legal work for the BPA in early 2007, was ever an employee. Cresci also held the position of assistant lawyer and business administrator as well as running a private law practice.
City attorneys and Cresci signed an agreement in February that stated that although Cresci “believed” he was an employee, he never was. How can someone just believe they are an employee? It reminds me of the movie “Office Space” with Jennifer Aniston where the guy with the stapler keeps getting moved all over the office before management finally figures out he never was really employed there.
Cresci said he had not been officially notified of any charges. Cresci said he signed the agreement because he wanted to move forward.
Describing allegations of theft as “ludicrous,” Cresci said there was no deception involved because he was asked to do the job by the BPA commissioners after the termination of the existing management team at a meeting in July 2007.
He said there are tax records, federal disclosures, canceled checks approved by the BPA and even the procedure by which he was fired that verify his employment status and shows he made no attempt to hide his position from the BPA or the city.
“I wasn’t at meetings by myself. There was a board who signed the paychecks,” Cresci said. “Who did they think did all the work, supervised the administrators, the parking enforcement officers?”
It sounds pretty fishy to me. Do you believe him? I think he needs 24 hour theft class.