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Former AC Councilman Raises Claims Of Abuse Regarding State Pensions

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Seth Grossman, a former Atlantic City Councilman and County Freeholder, as well as the Executive Director of  New Jersey's first tea party group Liberty and Prosperity, says Atlantic City is paying way too much for pensions because the system is being abused.

During an interview with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Grossman cited lifeguard's salaries as an example of the kind of out of control conduct in the city.

"When I used to be on City Council, it took me a while to figure out what was going on. I'd be reviewing payroll for October and November and wonder why we had lifeguards on the payroll when there was snow on the ground. The answer was these guys are going to retire next year so we've got to juice up their pension. It was supposed to be a pension based on working two months during the Summer."

He accused politicians throughout the state of manipulating the pension system to maximize their own profit.

"New Jersey, I think, is the only pension system in the world where there is no connection whatsoever between how much you pay into the system and how much you get out. In other words, how much you get out is based on your three highest salary years. So you could be working as a part time official getting $8,000 a year but if you do what the politicians tell you to do, just before you retire you'll be appointed to some $150,000 a year position and then you retire based on half of your last three years."

Grossman also compared getting a municipal job in Atlantic City to the mafia, saying you must have a connection to get in.

"The people who worked on the lifeguards, they'd take care of each other and then they'd get their relatives [jobs]. If you want to be an Atlantic City lifeguard, don't look in the want ads of the newspaper. You have to know somebody. And then once you get to know somebody, then you'll get a job as a cop or a fireman."

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