State PBA LogoAs reported by, the president of the New Jersey police union that represents nearly 33,000 officers lashed out against Governor Chris Christie after the Governor called him a “pension pig.”  Pat Colligan, president of the New Jersey State PBA, referred to the Governor as a “schoolyard bully” and said Christie’s statement “didn’t surprise” him.  “I just hope the people of New Hampshire look at his record eventually,” he said.

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Christie called Colligan a “pension pig” who acted more like a politician than a cop.  Christie’s comment came at an event where the Governor accepted the endorsement of a law enforcement coalition of local police chiefs and other peace officers in Concord.

Colligan, rightfully so, has been an outspoken critic of Christie, who was asked why he thought the PBA president has been such a vocal opponent.  “It’s because he’s a pension pig, that’s why,” Christie said.  “That’s exactly what it’s all about.  He’s a pension pig.  That’s what it’s always been about.  It’s about feeding at the trough as much as he possibly can,” he said.  “That’s what they’ve always been about.”

Thereafter, the governor attacked Colligan for being a critic of the pension reforms.  “Listen, never be fooled by that union leaders necessarily represent the points of view of their members, and that’s particularly true in New Jersey when those guys spend more time in Trenton and in the Statehouse than most legislators,” Christie said.  “The last time that guy strapped on a gun and tried to defend somebody was quite a long time ago.  If he wants to be a politician, that’s fine, he’ll be treated like a politician.”

Christie’s comments prompted a sharp rebuke from Colligan, who accused the governor of being nothing more than “one of the biggest money bundlers for George W. Bush before he was appointed to be U.S. Attorney” who is now representing himself as a law enforcement official to voters outside of New Jersey.  “The Chris Christie the people in New Hampshire saw today is the same one our members have been dealing with for the past six years.  This is a man who has proven time and again he will say and do whatever it takes to claw his way to the next political position,” Colligan said in a statement.

“Six years ago, in his first campaign for governor, he sent a letter to rank-and-file officers throughout New Jersey promising that he would never harm their pensions. That was a lie,” Colligan said.  “The sad fact is that Chris Christie has been representing himself as a qualified lawman to the people of New Hampshire.”  Colligan added: “Now he thinks that putting together a press event, attacking me and lying again about his broken promises on our pensions will somehow convince police officers across the country that he has their best interests at heart.  He does not.”

Christie’s shameful remarks about President Colligan represent a new “low” in his woeful administration.  While all New Jersey public safety officers recognize the broken promises Christie has made regarding healthcare and pension benefits, the fact that he has delved into personal attacks, especially in the midst of a presidential campaign, is altogether reprehensible.  To this end, President Colligan’s remarks must be duly noted and appreciated.  This is the same governor public safety officers have been dealing with for six years.  This is the same man who has repeatedly misled the public and broken various promises.  This is the same man who imposed a monetary cap upon law enforcement and firefighters’ wage increases, irrespective of the vital public safety function they provide.  The point here is:  He is the same man who, throughout his reign as governor, has done nothing more than strip away and slowly eviscerate each and every benefit to New Jersey public safety officers.  The great people of the United States need to recognize this before “the same man” utilizes the same tactics on a nationwide scale.

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Donald C. Barbati Donald C. Barbati

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues…

Donald C. Barbati is a shareholder of Crivelli, Barbati & DeRose, L.L.C. His primary practice revolves around the representation of numerous public employee labor unions in various capacities to include contract negotiation, unfair labor practice litigation, contract grievance arbitration, and other diverse issues litigated before the courts and administrative tribunals throughout the State of New Jersey. In addition, Mr. Barbati also routinely represents individuals in various types of public pension appeals, real estate transactions, and general litigation matters. He is a frequent contributor to the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog, a free legal publication designed to keep New Jersey public safety officers up-to-date and informed about legal issues pertinent to their profession. During his years of practice, Mr. Barbati has established a reputation for achieving favorable results for his clients in a cost-efficient manner.

Mr. Barbati has also handled numerous novel legal issues while representing New Jersey Public Safety Officers. Most notably, he served as lead counsel for the Appellants in the published case In re Rodriguez, 423 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2011). In that case, Mr. Barbati successfully argued on behalf of the Appellants, thereby overturning the Attorney General’s denial of counsel to two prison guards in a civil rights suit arising from an inmate assault. In the process, the Court clarified the standard to be utilized by the Attorney General in assessing whether a public employee is entitled to legal representation and mandated that reliance must be placed on up-to-date information.

Prior to becoming a practicing attorney, Mr. Barbati served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Linda R. Feinberg, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage. During his clerkship Mr. Barbati handled numerous complex and novel substantive and procedural issues arising from complaints in lieu of prerogative writs, orders to show cause, and motion practice. These include appeals from decisions by planning and zoning boards and local government bodies, bidding challenges under the Local Public Contract Law, Open Public Records Act requests, the taking of private property under the eminent domain statute, and election law disputes. In addition, Mr. Barbati, as a certified mediator, mediated many small claims disputes in the Special Civil Part.

Mr. Barbati received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, magna cum laude, from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Upon graduating, Mr. Barbati attended Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware. In 2007, he received his juris doctorate, magna cum laude, graduating in the top five percent of his class. During law school, Mr. Barbati interned for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas, Senior United States District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey, assisting on various constitutional, employment, and Third Circuit Court of Appeals litigation, including numerous civil rights, social security, and immigration cases.