A former Georgia police officer has been sentenced to a year in jail after admitting that he claimed more than $300,000 in disability payments from the state of New Jersey while working full time.
John Robert Marion, 44, worked as a police officer in Waldwick, New Jersey, between 1998 and 2008. He retired on disability in 2008, claiming stress and medical conditions, and was thrown a fundraiser by sympathetic friends at the time, NorthJersey.com reports.
Marion had been injured at some point in his career which reportedly made it more difficult for him to work.
“It set him back and his family, and they had to sell the house, and a bunch of other things," said Waldwick firefighter Dave Barthold, who organized the fundraiser.
Marion began collecting $3,614 a month from the New Jersey Police and Firemen's Retirement System in April 2008. NorthJersey.com reports Marion applied for a special agent position with the South Georgia Drug Task Force four days after his pension from Waldwick was approved.
John Hoffman, acting New Jersey attorney general, said Marion has been continuously employed in the state of Georgia since August 2009. When Marion's new job in Georgia was discovered by New Jersey's Division of Pensions and Benefits, he lied to an evaluator at the department and said he had not had a job since retiring, reports NJ.com.
Marion's pension was terminated in July 2015.
Hoffman said of the case:
"It's reprehensible that this officer, who took an oath to uphold the law, fraudulently collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from a disability pension on top of the full-time salary he received in Georgia. He selfishly drained away assets that are needed to pay the legitimate pensions of officers who courageously continue to serve the people of New Jersey."
Marion was sentenced on Jan. 8 to 365 days in county jail for stealing $321,000 in disability pension payments, which he must pay back, NJ.com reports. He also faces four years of probation, and is barred from any public employment in New Jersey. He will began serving his sentence the day it was handed down.