Senator RONALD L. RICE
District 28 (Essex)
Requires spouse of public officer or employee forfeit pension upon conviction of certain crimes against public officer or employee.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning pension forfeiture for the spouse of a public officer or employee convicted of certain crimes against the public officer or employee, and supplementing chapter 3 of Title 43 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Notwithstanding any rule or regulation to the contrary, the spouse of a person who holds or has held any public office, position, or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof, who is convicted of a crime under Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes for which a sentence of imprisonment in excess of six months is authorized, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of another state or the United States which would have been such a crime under the laws of this State, shall be disqualified as a beneficiary and shall forfeit all of the pension or retirement benefit the person would have received, if any, as a beneficiary of the member of the State or locally-administered pension fund or retirement system.
b. This section shall apply when the victim is the spouse of the person convicted of the crime, or an immediate family member of the victim.
As used in this section, “immediate family member" means a parent or child, whether the individual is related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
c. A court of this State shall enter an order of pension forfeiture pursuant to this section:
(1) immediately upon a finding of guilt by the trier of fact or a plea of guilty entered in any court of this State unless the court, for good cause shown, orders a stay of the pension forfeiture pending a hearing on the merits at the time of sentencing; or
(2) upon application of the county prosecutor or the Attorney General, when the pension forfeiture is based upon a conviction of a crime under the laws of another state of the United States.
An order of pension forfeiture pursuant to this section shall be deemed to have taken effect on the date the person was found guilty by the trier of fact or pled guilty to the offense.
d. If the conviction is reversed or the order of pension forfeiture is overturned, the person’s pension rights and benefits shall be restored from the date of pension forfeiture.
2. This act shall take
This bill would impose the penalty of pension forfeiture upon the spouse of a public officer or employee who commits a crime against the public officer or employee, or an immediate family member of the public officer or employee.
Under the bill, “crime” means any crime as defined under Title 2C of the New Jersey Statues for which a sentence of imprisonment in excess of six months is authorized, and the victim is the person’s spouse or an immediate family member of the victim. “Immediate family member" means a child or parent, whether the individual is related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
This bill is in response to reports of persons committing crimes against their spouse, and the spouse’s immediate family member, being sent to prison, and maintaining eligibility for all or a part of the victim’s pension.