John Bettis, Republican candidate for the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders in District 1, today called on his opponent, Charles Garrett, to voluntarily reveal the circumstances of his hiring by the South Jersey Transportation Authority since the Authority has said it has no official documents concerning him.
Bettis said a request was filed with the Authority under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) for information concerning Garrett?s position with the Authority.
?The response from the Authority was that it had no file concerning Garrett?s hiring,? Bettis said. ?Garrett should immediately reveal his position, his salary, his duties and responsibilities, his qualifications, whether the position was advertised openly, and how he came to be hired. A refusal to do so will give credence to the suspicion that he holds a high-paid politically-connected no-show job.?
?For a public agency collecting and expending public money to dismiss a request for information about one of its employees by saying it had no paperwork concerning his job is unconscionable,? Bettis said. ?Either the Authority is guilty of incredibly sloppy management, or Garrett has the ultimate no-show job granted him through political connections. In either case, both Garrett and his superiors owe an explanation to the public.?
?Collecting a public salary carries with it a requirement that the job title and salary be readily available upon request,? Bettis said. ?In addition, the public has a right to know what Garrett?s job description is, what his qualifications are, and whether he was given the job without any public notice, effectively barring any other applicant from consideration.?
?I suggest Garrett come clean,? Bettis said. ?Tell the public if he was the recipient of a no-show job or, if he wasn?t, how he got it. His employer has said, in effect, it doesn?t know how he got his job. Garrett has an obligation to tell us.?