TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator John H. Adler which would criminalize misusing public resources by non-profit entities was unanimously approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee today.
“It’s sad that so many people still don’t realize they shouldn’t be taking government money for their own personal gain,” said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill, the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Whether it’s official misconduct or private individuals defrauding the taxpayers, we need to attack corruption wherever it may appear.”
Senator Adler’s bill, S-1192, sponsored with Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, would create the crime of corruption of public resources. The bill would make it a crime to knowingly misuse public grants, loans, assets or property for purposes other than the intended governmental purpose, and would establish a graduated penalty setup, depending on the value of the resource, and the intended purpose. The bill also would impose criminal penalties for misrepresenting facts to a government agent or officer for the purpose of obtaining public resources.
“All too often, greedy private individuals have pocketed public dollars meant for worthwhile nonprofit programs,” said Senator Adler. “However, when these cases come to light, the penalties under our current law are minimal. We need to ratchet up our response to the criminal use of public tax dollars.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, before going to the full Assembly for review.