Sen. Bryant says he’s not guilty of corruption

Posted: April 09, 2007

TRENTON - New Jersey Sen. Wayne Bryant pleaded not guilty to fraud, bribery and pension-padding charges this morning as his odyssey as criminal defendant continues.

Bryant, 59, answered procedural questions, acknowledging that he had read the 20-count indictment charging him with using his clout as head of the Senate Budget Committee to steer millions in grants to two state universities that gave him no-show jobs.

The arraignment hearing was over in 20 minutes.

The federal indictment charges Bryant with tripling his taxpayer-funded pension through jobs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Rutgers-Camden Law School, and the Gloucester County Board of Social Services.

Former UMDNJ dean R. Michael Gallagher of Haddonfield also pleaded not guilty to multiple fraud charges.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie alleges that Bryant and Gallagher both gained financially from their relationship.

The indictment alleges that Gallagher capitalized on Bryant's influence to become dean, then put Bryant on the school's payroll. In exchange, the senator - at one time one of Trenton's most powerful lawmakers - is accused of looked out for the school's interests at budget time.

Both remain free on $250,000 unsecured bond.


Contact staff writer Troy Graham at 856-779-3893 or at tgraham@phillynews.com.

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