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Stender: Questionable Civil Service Commission Vote Puts Public Trust at Risk

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) released the following statement Wednesday after the Civil Service Commission voted to weaken rules protecting taxpayers from public corruption.
The commission approved the so-called job banding program despite the Legislature last session approving legislation (ACR-215) Stender sponsored declaring the changes violated the legislative intent established in New Jersey’s constitution:

“Today’s vote is part of an effort to destroy a system that has served the public well by requiring competent professional employees hired through a fair process. Civil service is in place to constitutionally guarantee public access to publicly funded jobs, and we’ve had safeguards in place to ensure that elected or appointed officials did not turn public employment into their own personal hiring agency.
“That is now at risk.
“This vote is highly questionable. The Legislature voted last session to invalidate this bid to destroy Civil Service, so it’s uncertain how this vote could be considered legal. I will weigh what my next step will be and what my options are, but I will not rest idle and allow this commission and Gov. Christie to put the public trust at risk by decimating Civil Service.
“We need to be guided by the law and sound public policy, not the patronage needs of this administration.”