Straight talk from a lame duck State Auditor

New Jersey State Auditor Richard Fair made some headlines yesterday when he told the Assembly Budget Committee that fiscal oversight has declined dramatically, a result of political appointees replacing career professionals. The 56-year-old Fair, widely respected for his non-partisanship, is a Vietnam veteran who spent five years as the Assistant Director of the state Division of Taxation before he became State Auditor in 1989. New Jersey elects a State Auditor by a vote of a joint session of the Legislature for a five year term; Fair’s term expired in 1994, and he has been in holdover status for the last twelve years. Legislative leaders have not shown much interest in holding a vote, either to re-elect Fair or replace him; this may be a moot issue soon, if Governor Jon Corzine moves forward with his plan to elect a State Comptroller, who would essentially replace Fair.

Straight talk from a lame duck State Auditor