New Jersey Forfeiture Statute

The Forfeiture Statute is part of a series of provisions dealing with the loss and restoration of rights as a result of conviction of an offense. N.J.S.A. 2C:51-1 to 2C:51-5. As the Court noted in N.J. Turnpike Employees Union v. N.J. Turnpike Authority, 200 N.J. Super. 48, 54, 490 A.2d 338 (App.Div.), certif. denied, 101 N.J. 294, 501 A.2d 954 (1985), subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2 sets out this State's public policy that persons who hold any public office, position or employment "under the government of this State" must avoid criminal conduct or sacrifice their State position. The Court concluded that the Legislature intended to include all employees of state government, even Turnpike Authority employees, despite legal precedent and a constitutional provision which excepted authorities from classification as state agencies or political subdivisions. Id. at 52-54, 490 A.2d 338. In Pastore v. County of Essex, 237 N.J. Super. 371, 377, 568 A.2d 81 (App.Div.1989), the Court observed that the Forfeiture Statute was intended to preclude anyone who violated the public trust from obtaining a second opportunity to do so.