$485K Deal to Parole Board Whistleblower

New Jesey Lawyer
Cite 16 NJL 738

September 16, 2007

A state Parole Board employee is a winner as he’s getting a nearly half-million-dollar settlement for his whistleblower suit alleging the board improperly freed a reputed mob figure. But the public may be the loser because what actually happened won’t surface since the scheduled trial has been short-circuited. The story centers on Kenneth Connolly, a director at the Parole Board who says he learned in 2002 that the parole of an alleged Genovese crime family capo, Angelo Prisco, had been ordered by Gov. James E, McGreevey’s office.  Connolly took the information straight to the state police.  He was transferred quickly to a more-distant job in Newark, and he sued the state the following year fro being punished as a whistleblower.  Just as opening arguments were to begin this week, the state decided to settle for $485,000 and move Connolly to a better job in Trenton. His attorney, Christopher E. Chang, claims Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s office “jumped in” to settle because of some of the people who had been subpoenaed as witnesses, his one-time chief of staff and a top Democratic fund-raiser.