Once powerful N.J. state senator guilty

Nov. 18, 2008 at 11:40 PM

CAMDEN, N.J., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A former New Jersey state senator and a former dean at a state medical school were convicted Tuesday of corruption charges involving a no-show job.

A jury in federal court in Camden convicted Wayne Bryant Jr., once the chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, of 12 counts involving bribery and pension fraud, the South Jersey Courier-Post reported. Dr. Michael Gallagher was convicted of being involved in the scheme to buy Bryant's influence.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford hired Bryant in 2003 for a part-time job doing community outreach at an annual salary of $35,000. Gallagher was dean at the time.

Prosecutors said Bryant did show up at the school several times a week but did nothing except read newspapers. During the trial, the jury heard evidence that Bryant helped the school get $10 million from the state after he began working there and did nothing for it before then.

Bryant was also convicted of pumping up his state pension by taking a job with Gloucester County and having associates with his law firm do the bulk of the work.

Both Bryant and Gallagher face prison time when they are sentenced in March.

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