Waddaya' gonna' do, it's Jersey...
November 18, 2008 -- Associates Press
Wayne R. Bryant, once head of the New Jersey State Senates powerful appropriations committee, was found guilty today on all counts in a federal corruption trial relating to his work for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Mr. Bryant was convicted by a jury for steering $10.5-million in state grants to the universitys School of Osteopathic Medicine; for soliciting a $35,000-a-year job at the school; and for mail and wire fraud because he applied for the job and was paid through the mail, according to The Star-Ledger, a newspaper in Newark, N.J.
The jury also convicted the medical schools former dean, R. Michael Gallagher, of bribery for hiring Mr. Bryant to perform a no-work job in community relations at the school. Other employees there said the senator spent just three hours a week on the campus, and the only thing observed of Bryant by anyone was that he read the newspapers. Each man faces a possible 15 years in prison upon sentencing, in March, The Star-Ledger reported.
In addition to the criminal convictions, the trial exposed how a powerful handful of Democratic state legislators controlled $12-million in state money under two previous governors through a grant program that has been suspended by Gov. Jon Corzine, also a Democrat.
Investigations by a federal monitor revealed that political patronage was rife at the university, and waste, fraud, and abuse there amounted to some $240-million.