Posted by Barkimba Diallo.
In the last few months, a federal investigation has helped yield numbers of guilty pleas in South Jersey. A firefighter in Atlantic City, a Margate doctor, two local pharmaceutical representatives and six others admitted fraud of more than $25 million. The number of convictions is expected to go up due to court documents showing that more than $50 million was paid to one compounding pharmacy. According to the article, this is a minor fraud case compare to the trial of Senator Bob Menendez where a Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen abetted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was convicted of Medicare fraud for more than $100 million in five years. Sen. Bob Menendez and Harry Reid allegedly contacted former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for advice on the trial and She replies in the negative.
Marc Pfeiffe, of the Bloustein Local Government Research Center at Rutgers University, said that “New Jersey’s $2.5 billion State Health Benefits Plan’s generosity presents opportunities for fraud.” He also added that the $25 million fraud represents just a smidge of what really goes on. Public servants involved in the crime do not fear the consequences of their actions as they are aware that the malaise is deep rooted.
Marc Pfeiffer, of the Bloustein Local Government Research Center at Rutgers University, said that fraud is the big reason why we don’t have fair competition among health providers because the choice of beneficiaries is done based on who gives the most kickbacks. He concluded that we should imbibe the best practices in the private sector if we want to root out corruption.
Barkimba is a graduate student at the Felicano School of Business, Montclair State University.
Posted by Briana Brandao.
This article, written by MaryAnn Spoto, brings to question whether or not Rutgers University violated the New Jersey open public meetings law, during one of their meetings held back in September of 2008. Francis McGovern Jr, a lawyer as well as audience member of this meeting, objected to the way these meetings were promoted and handled. McGovern noted that audience members waited over four hours while board members discussed issues behind closed doors. Once the board of governors finally reassembled, many audience members had grown tired of waiting and already left.
McGovern also noted that the Rutgers board of governors failed to mention topics discussed behind closed doors such as talk of Rutgers new football stadium. She stated, “This case is about governmental transparency,” and believes these long and tedious closed sessions dissuade public attendance. During her case, she asked that the court make it mandatory for Rutgers to hold public meetings first. She believed that by not bringing to light all issues discussed among Board of Governors, that Rutgers violated the law.
Although many may argue that McGovern had reason behind her case, the Supreme Court still ruled that Rutgers University was in compliance with the law. The court did not believe that Rutgers conducted their meetings in a way that discouraged public attendance. The court also stated that Rutgers Board of Governors did not violate the open public meetings law.
However, the court did agree that lawmakers should in fact look into tightening the law. Discussion of tightening this law would allow citizens the opportunity to challenge public organizations trying to get around the law. All in all, Rutgers University was pleased with the court’s decision.
Briana is a business administration major with a concentration in management and fashion studies at Montclair State University, Class of 2016.