A former deputy state attorney general is accusing Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli of making serious errors in his prosecution of Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman for keeping his ex-wife on the borough health care plan.
Patricia Prezioso, whose firm represents Roseman, says that a request for the longtime Republican mayor to appear before a grand jury was turned down, and that the prosecutor’s office has threatened Roseman and his former wife, Lori Lewin, with jail time for what she calls “an administrative error.” Prezioso says that it is common for dependents to remain on insurance policies beyond their eligibility, and that Molinelli, a former treasurer of the Bergen County Democratic Organization, was exercising selective prosecution in going after Roseman.
The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits estimates that anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 dependents enrolled in the state health care program may be ineligible, Prezioso said. She noted that Roseman requested an audit of Carlstadt’s insurance plan prior the criminal investigation, revealed that “almost all ex-spouses of divorced employees had mistakenly remained on the health plan after eligibility, including those of high ranking police officials. These instances involve the same administrative errors and none of those persons are being prosecuted.”
“There is an abundance of proof revealed by the Prosecutor’s own investigation that shows not only that no crime took place, but also that the administrative mistake seized upon by the Prosecutors was dealt with and rectified before any investigation occurred,” Prezioso said. “Mr. Roseman looks forward to reviewing the transcript of this superseding indictment and will move to dismiss the new indictments accordingly.”
Roseman’s attorney says that Roseman had no financial obligation to provide health benefits to his former wife, who “at all times … had her own robust health plan” and paid her employer $20,000 as her contribution to the plan. She says that Lewin worked with her insurance carrier to rectify the mistake and that she reimbursed the borough for every claim According to Prezioso, Roseman notified the payroll clerk to rectify the problem, and notified the plan administrator to arrange for restitution.
“Mr. Roseman absolutely did not know that his ex-wife remained on the Carlstadt benefits plan. There was no motive or financial incentive or gain for him to keep his ex-wife on the plan,” Prezioso said. “William Roseman looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name.”
Yesterday, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Michael Kasparian slammed GOP County Chairman Robert Yudin for not calling for Roseman’s resignation.