Bill Text: NJ A4584 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes procedures for disqualification from public office or employment upon conviction of certain crimes; creates registry.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 25-16)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-10-15 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee [A4584 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A4584-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 4584

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 15, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  HOLLY T. SCHEPISI

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  ROBERT J. KARABINCHAK

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman DePhillips, Assemblywoman DiMaso, Assemblyman Clifton, Assemblywoman B.DeCroce, Assemblymen Space, Harold J. Wirths, Rooney, Thomson, Dancer, Assemblywoman Gove, Assemblymen Webber, DiMaio, Howarth, Assemblywoman Handlin, Assemblymen Peters, Auth, A.M.Bucco, Assemblywoman N.Munoz, Assemblymen Bramnick, McGuckin, Assemblywoman Murphy, Assemblymen Wolfe, Land, Peterson, Rumpf, Carroll, DeAngelo, Benson, Andrzejczak, Johnson, Egan, Zwicker, Burzichelli, Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, Assemblymen Houghtaling, McKeon, Assemblywomen Downey and Jones

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes procedures for disqualification from public office or employment upon conviction of certain crimes; creates registry.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning forfeiture of public office or employment and amending N.J.S.2C:51-2.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:51-2 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:51-2.  Forfeiture of Public Office, Position, or Employment.

     a.    A person holding any public office, position, or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof, who is convicted of an offense shall forfeit such office, position or employment if:

     (1)  He is convicted under the laws of this State of an offense involving dishonesty or of a crime of the third degree or above or under the laws of another state or of the United States of an offense or a crime which, if committed in this State, would be such an offense or crime;

     (2)  He is convicted of an offense involving or touching such office, position or employment; or

     (3)  The Constitution so provides.

     As used in this subsection, "involving or touching such office, position or employment" means that the offense was related directly to the person's performance in, or circumstances flowing from, the specific public office, position or employment held by the person.

     b.    A court of this State shall enter an order of forfeiture pursuant to subsection a.:

     (1)  Immediately upon a finding of guilt by the trier of fact or a plea of guilty entered in any court of this State unless the court, for good cause shown, orders a stay of such forfeiture pending a hearing on the merits at the time of sentencing; or

     (2)  Upon application of the county prosecutor or the Attorney General, when the forfeiture is based upon a conviction of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States.  An order of forfeiture pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed to have taken effect on the date the person was found guilty by the trier of fact or pled guilty to the offense.

     c.    No court shall grant a stay of an order of forfeiture pending appeal of a conviction or forfeiture order unless the court is clearly convinced that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.  If the conviction be reversed or the order of forfeiture be overturned, he shall be restored, if feasible, to his office, position or employment with all the rights, emoluments and salary thereof from the date of forfeiture.

     Any official action taken by the convicted person on or after the date as of which a forfeiture of the person's office shall take effect shall, during a period of 60 days following the date on which an order of forfeiture shall have been issued hereunder, be voidable by the person's successor in office or, if the office of the person was that of member of the governing body of a county, municipality or independent authority, by that governing body.

     d.    (1) In addition to the punishment prescribed for the offense, and the forfeiture set forth in subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:51-2, any person convicted of an offense involving or touching on his public office, position or employment shall be forever disqualified from holding any office or position of honor, trust or profit under this State or any of its administrative or political subdivisions.  As used in this subsection, "involving or touching on his public office, position or employment" means that the offense was related directly to the person's performance in, or circumstances flowing from, the specific public office, position or employment held by the person.

     (2)  The disqualification provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be entered as a court order at the time the court enters the order of forfeiture set forth in subsection b. of this section.  When the conviction is for an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States, the county prosecutor or the Attorney General shall make an application for a disqualification order as provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection to a Superior Court judge designated by the Chief Justice. An order for disqualification based upon a conviction of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States shall be deemed to have taken effect on the date the person was found guilty by the trier of fact or pled guilty to the offense.

     (3)  The Administrative Office of the Courts shall establish and maintain a central registry of all persons who have had disqualification orders entered pursuant to paragraph (1) and (2) of this subsection.

     e.    Any forfeiture or disqualification under subsection a., b. or d. which is based upon a conviction of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense may be waived by the court upon application of the county prosecutor or the Attorney General and for good cause shown.

     f.     Except as may otherwise be ordered by the Attorney General as the public need may require, any person convicted of an offense under section 97 of P.L.1999, c.440 (C.2C:21-34), N.J.S.2C:27-2, N.J.S.2C:27-3, N.J.S.2C:27-5, section 100 of P.L.1999, c. 440 (C.2C:27-9), section 5 of P.L.2003, c.255 (C.2C:27-10), section 6 of P.L.2003, c.255 (C.2C:27-11), N.J.S.2C:29-4, N.J.S.2C:30-2, or N.J.S.2C:30-3 of [this] Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes shall be ineligible, either directly or indirectly, to submit a bid, enter into any contract, or to conduct any business with any board, agency, authority, department, commission, public corporation, or other body of this State, of this or one or more other states, or of one or more political subdivisions of this State for a period of, but not more than, 10 years from the date of conviction for a crime of the second degree, or five years from the date of conviction for a crime of the third degree.  It is the purpose of this subsection to bar any individual convicted of any of the above enumerated offenses and any business, including any corporation, partnership, association or proprietorship in which such individual is a principal, or with respect to which such individual owns, directly or indirectly, or controls 5% or more of the stock or other equity interest of such business, from conducting business with public entities.

     The State Treasurer shall keep and maintain a list of all corporations barred from conducting such business pursuant to this section.

     g.    In any case in which the issue of forfeiture is not raised in a court of this State at the time of a finding of guilt, entry of guilty plea or sentencing, a forfeiture of public office, position or employment required by this section may be ordered by a court of this State upon application of the county prosecutor or the Attorney General or upon application of the public officer or public entity having authority to remove the person convicted from his public office, position or employment.  The fact that a court has declined to order forfeiture shall not preclude the public officer or public entity having authority to remove the person convicted from seeking to remove or suspend the person from his office, position or employment on the ground that the conduct giving rise to the conviction demonstrates that the person is unfit to hold the office, position or employment.

(cf: P.L. 2007, c.49, s.5)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would amend N.J.S.2C:51-2 concerning forfeiture of public office, position or employment upon conviction of certain criminal offenses.

     Currently under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:51-2 a court shall enter an order of forfeiture when the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty in State court, or upon application of a county prosecutor or Attorney General when the criminal offense is based on another state's law or federal law.  Currently under subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:51-2 any person convicted of an offense "involving or touching" his public office, position, or employment is forever disqualified from holding any office or position of honor, trust or profit in the State or any of its administrative or political subdivision. This bill would establish a procedure for disqualification in subsection d. similar to the procedure set out in N.J.S.2C:51-2 under subsection b. concerning forfeiture.

     The bill would require that the court order concerning the disqualification of employment set forth in subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:51-2 be entered at the same time the court enters the order of forfeiture set forth in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:51-2.  However, if the conviction is for an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States, the county prosecutor or the Attorney General would be required to make an application to a Superior Court judge designated by the Chief Justice for a disqualification order. This disqualification order would be deemed to have taken effect on the date the person was found guilty by the trier of fact or pled guilty to the offense.

     The Administrative Office of the Courts would be required to establish and maintain a central registry of all persons who have had disqualification orders entered pursuant to subsection d of the statute.

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