?Now that Democrat Atlantic County Freeholder candidate Charles Garrett has said he?s paid $63,000 a year by the South Jersey Transportation Authority to attend parties, he owes it to the taxpayers of the county to tell them who picks up the tab for his social life,? Republican Freeholder candidate John Bettis said today.

Bettis, the candidate for the District 1 Freeholder seat, last week raised questions about Garrett?s employment at the SJTA after the agency said it had no paperwork concerning Garrett?s hiring, his qualifications, or his duties.

Garrett denied the agency?s statement and claimed that the paperwork was on file. He went on to say that his job involves representing the SJTA at charitable, political and social events.

?Nice work if you can get it; we just want to know how he got it,? Bettis said.

?Moreover, questions should now be answered concerning who pays for the tickets to the events that Garrett says he attends?? Bettis asked. ?Are the costs charged to the authority and paid for with public money? Does Garrett receive complimentary tickets and, if so, what is expected from him in return? Does he buy the tickets and receive reimbursement from the Authority? Is there any record to prove he actually attends the events??

Bettis said Garrett?s attendance at political functions is troubling as well.

?As the representative of a government authority, his attendance at political functions in an official capacity is highly questionable,? Bettis said. ?He should reveal the nature of these political functions. Are they, for example, fund raising events, rallies, voter registration efforts? Precisely what role does he fill at political functions??

?I initially raised questions about Garrett?s employment because it had all the appearances of a no-show job secured through political connections,? Bettis said. ?He denied the suggestion by saying he?s paid to attend social functions. He should now tell all of us the difference.?

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