Mar 30,2007 00:00
TRENTON, N.J. - A longtime New Jersey state senator has been charged with using his political clout to get a no-show job at the state medical school.
Federal prosecutors say Wayne Bryant -- one of the state's most powerful Democratic lawmakers -- was able to increase his expected state annual pension from $28,000 to more than $81,000 after he was put on the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey payroll.
Michael Gallagher of Haddonfield, N.J. -- former dean of UMDNJ's School of Osteopathic Medicine -- was charged along with Bryant in a 20-count indictment handed up Thursday. He allegedly falsified records to show that Bryant put in three full days a week at the medical school, when the state senator actually showed up for half a day each week and spent it reading the newspapers.
U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie said the job was a bribe, solicited by Bryant in return for using his position as chairman of the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to secure millions of dollars in funding for UMDNJ.
Bryant is believed to be on vacation in Mexico.
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