Michael Angelini, the subject of a scathing New Jersey inspector general's report on public pension abuse in December, will not seek another term as chairman of the Gloucester County Democratic Committee.
The Woodbury lawyer, who lives in West Deptford, has held the seat since 1998, the year Democrats took exclusive control of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
State Sen. Fred Madden is expected to be named his replacement in a vote scheduled for Tuesday.
"Maybe now is the right time, after 12 years, to take a step back and do some of the things I want to do with my family," said Angelini, 57.
The pension issue did not figure into his decision, he said. He noted that two of his five children were getting married this summer and said he also hoped to address some knee problems.
The state Division of Pension and Benefits is investigating Angelini and 11 other lawyers after the Office of the Inspector General looked into Angelini's accumulated pension credits and questioned his eligibility. He has accrued a state pension of more than $100,000 a year by cobbling together part-time public jobs held while also working as a partner in the firm of Angelini, Viniar & Freedman.
The OIG said it appeared that Angelini was a contractor, not a government employee. He currently is solicitor of the Gloucester County Improvement Authority, the South Jersey Port Corp. and West Deptford Township.
He has "a lot of mixed emotions" over leaving the chair and vowed to help out when needed.
In addition to controlling the freeholder board, Democrats hold eight of the county's nine legislative seats and dominate the majority of municipal governments.
Angelini and Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney, who is director of the freeholder board, have endorsed Madden, of Washington Township, as the new chairman.
"I will be able to give something back for all the support they've given me," Madden said, explaining his reason for seeking a job that will put him in charge of Democratic campaigns and fund-raising in the county.
Madden said he had a good understanding of the party's structure and a solid base from his work in the Senate and 28 years as a state trooper. He was acting colonel of the state police from 2002 to 2003, before he was elected to the Senate.
He is impressed by "the talent and the commitment" of the Democratic candidates, Madden said.