TRENTON - A close adviser to Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher J. Christie has opted out of the government pension system amid allegations he was pension padding.
John Inglesino had earned pension credits as a part-time political consultant for State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R., Morris). He will keep the job but said in a statement late Friday that he had asked Pennacchio to remove him immediately from the pension system.
Inglesino, a corporate lawyer, would not say yesterday whether he would give up credits he already had earned.
The $3,000-a-year job, the minimum allowing him to accumulate credit toward a pension and benefits, was reported by the Associated Press last week. Inglesino, 46, is more than halfway to accumulating 25 years of service - the threshold to receive lifetime medical benefits.
As a candidate, Christie has railed against part-time political workers in the pension system. On a New Jersey radio show Friday, he said Inglesino was a campaign volunteer and would not call on him to quit. Inglesino said yesterday that he was not on the campaign's payroll.