My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Legalized theft

It bears putting into perspective what Mayor Douglas H. Palmer is now asking Trenton City Council to do in possibly enacting a residency waiver provision to spare the employment of Police Director Joseph Santiago, and apparently other city employees who have been living outside the law and outside of Trenton.

Stealing funds from the city is an offense that would nearly always result in termination for any city employee. It is also an offense that, as a city rule, carries equal weight in terms of termination as the city's residency law, which says any employee who stops living within city limits is also open to termination.

If Mayor Palmer had prosecuted dozens of city employees and fired them for stealing, it would be similar to the way the mayor has fired dozens employees of falsely maintaining residences within Trenton.

If Mr. Santiago had been found guilty of stealing, but Mayor Palmer purported that the director had been granted a "stealing" waiver preventing him from meeting the fate of other city employees who had stolen funds from the city, it would also be similar to this situation.

For argument's sake, say a group of residents had filed a lawsuit to remove Mr. Santiago for stealing, and a judge had ruled that, indeed, Mr. Santiago had committed theft and should be removed for that offense, but also providing that if it so deemed, City Council could come in and create a theft waiver that would allow Mr. Santiago to continue on as a city director despite his past transgression.

What is going on now is parallel to that scenario.

Mayor Palmer would now be saying that while he has prosecuted dozens of other employees for theft, he has allowed others to go unscathed, improperly, in the same process that he spared Mr. Santiago from his looming fate of dismissal.

Would that reality mean that City Council should go ahead, and enact a theft waiver to not only spare the cadre of city employees who have avoided prosecution and removal, but also Mr. Santiago, who has been deemed worthy of removal by a high court in the State of New Jersey?

Let us not forget that the continued presence of these employees being paid city dollars while not maintaining residences within the city basically does amount to theft, in the form of all of that city tax money and disposable dollars not spent here in Trenton.

What do you think?


Nicholas Stewart said...

Gee, I think you could be on to something.

Lucy said...

From those of us who remember when Trenton was part of the civilized world: today is the 40th anniversary of the night Trenton died.

I wish you could have seen what it was like. A delightful, prosperous small city. Destroyed within a decade, with the final blow coming 40 years ago tonight.

We miss you Trenton. Rest in Peace.