New Jersey Governor’s Idea of Good Government

People who commit crimes and serve their time deserve a second chance.  If we don’t think that’s true, then we need to lock them up forever – and be prepared to foot the bill for doing so.

Even so, some of the crimes that some folks commit suggest that certain jobs are best off limits to some of them.  You wouldn’t, for example, want someone released from jail after serving a term for pedophilia to serve as a school crossing guard and maybe someone with a history of drug abuse shouldn’t be permitted to serve as a pharmacy tech.  It just seems reasonable:  help people get a second chance but don’t let them take the kind of jobs where they’ll be tempted to return to their old ways.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy apparently hasn’t gotten that memo.

This came to light a while back when it was reported that Murphy’s Department of Education hired a former Passaic City councilman for a $70,000-a-year job as a “special assistant” in the department’s Office of Civic and Social Engagement.

Even though while serving on the Passaic City council, the guy was convicted of accepting $26,000 in bribes to help a company get state contracts and spent more than two years in jail for his crimes.

So why’d they hire this guy for this job?

An education department spokesman lamely offered that “A legal review has been done and he was deemed eligible to serve in this position.”

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy, a rich guy with little experience with state or local government, supports the hiring, saying that someone who has admitted his mistake, repented, and paid the price deserves the right to get back on his feet and that this man “…has done all the above and I think we should accept that that should be the new norm going forward.”

In general The Curmudgeon doesn’t disagree, but the job involves working “…with various stakeholders, faith-based groups and other community and civic organizations to advance public education in New Jersey.”

Some of which, it’s not hard to imagine, will end up seeking state contracts.

Which means New Jersey has just given a fox the job of guarding the hen house.

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