FORMER BROOKDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT
PETER BURNHAM SENTENCED TO 5-YEAR PRISON TERM
Former Brookdale Community College President Peter F. Burnham was sentenced today to five years in prison for committing official misconduct and theft by fraudulently obtaining more than $44,000 in meals, alcoholic beverages, lodging, clothing, tuition assistance, electronic equipment and other items of value, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Burnham, 68, of Colts Neck, was sentenced by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully, P.J.Cr., at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold. As part of the sentence, Judge Scully also ordered Burnham to pay $44,497 in restitution. On June 24, Burnham pleaded guilty to an Accusation filed by the State that charged him with two counts of official misconduct and one count of theft by deception. According to the terms of his plea agreement, Burnham’s five-year sentence carries a two-year period of parole ineligibility, and his sentence for each count will run concurrently with one another.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in Court:
From June 2003 through February 2011, Burnham had engaged in a continuous scheme to defraud Brookdale Community College (“BCC”) by falsely representing that certain expenses charged on two college-issued credit cards were related to official business, when in fact they were not. In many instances, Burnham falsely claimed that expenses charged related to his position as BCC President, or his participation with certain education committees and associations, when no such business was conducted or existed at the time Burnham had claimed. Once the monthly statements for school-issued credit cards were received, Burnham would present the statements to BCC executive staff after making false notations and representations on the statements to justify the expenses, which caused BCC to pay the expenses under the false impression that they related to Burnham’s official duties and responsibilities as BCC President. On other occasions, Burnham failed to provide any supporting receipts, or provided non-itemized receipts even though BCC policies and procedures required such supporting documentation, to falsely justify payment for the expenses.