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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

February 28, 2010


COLLEGE VOICE, MERCER COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NJ - Mercer County Sheriff Kevin C. Larkin and what appeared to be a female aide interrupted a State and Local Politics Class at Mercer's West Windsor Campus on February 1.

Associate Professor Michael Glass was conducting a discussion of what changes students would propose to the state budget to avoid the expected $2 billion shortfall. Some students suggested cutting the salaries of what they felt were overpaid state administrators.

The issue of state employees who "double dip" into state pension plans was raised during the class. Students asked Prof. Glass for a local example. At that point, Prof. Glass provided examples of several law enforcement officers, including Sheriff Larkin, who collects a Police and Fire Retirement System Pension as well as a government salary.

Information about Larkin's pension was widely publicized in the Times of Trenton May 23, 2009 article entitled "Pension eligibility spurs controversy" by Anthony Coleman. The article described how "Larkin was cashing in on a move allowed under the state's pension system: he can legally continue working as sheriff (at a $129,634 annual salary) while collecting a pension based on his 'retirement' from that very job."

As reported by Coleman, Larkin has been collecting an $85,000 annual pension since January 1, 2009 after retiring from the Sheriff's Office at the rank of Chief Sheriff's Officer, while concurrently earning a $129,634 salary as County Sheriff. . .

The comments were made at roughly 7:30PM, when Brooke Seidl, 26, a student and County Clerk, apparently informed Sheriff Larkin of Glass's comments, via text message. . .

At 8:18PM, Mercer security logs indicate that Sheriff Larkin called the FA-107 Dispatcher "needing to reach Prof. Michael Glass." An index card requesting Prof. Glass contact Larkin was delivered to MS-205 at 8:26 PM, during the class break, according to the logs.

Glass indicated that he believed the note to be a prank from one of the students. "I thought it was a joke," said Glass. After the break Glass dismissed the supposed prank and proceeded with his lecture.

At around 9:20, a half hour before the class's scheduled 9:50 end time, Sheriff Kevin C. Larkin, dressed in a trench coat, opened the door to Prof. Glass's classroom. According to one student attending the class that night, Max Grindlinger, "[Larkin] said, 'Michael, can I see you for a minute?"

According to Buckley, Grindlinger and another student, Diane Walker, Sheriff Larkin and Prof. Glass had a roughly three-minute conversation outside of MS 205. No one overheard the conversation. The two then reentered the classroom, Prof. Glass introduced Sheriff Larkin and apologized for "making disparaging comments" about the Sheriff.

"[He] gives an apology while Sheriff Larkin is standing no less than six inches from him," said Grindlinger.

Both Buckley and Grindlinger report Sheriff Larkin as saying, "This isn't over," on his way out of the classroom. According to Buckley, Larkin's aide, who was waiting outside the classroom, said as the classroom door was closing, "You're a terrible teacher, you should get your facts from a book."


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