State Comptroller Matthew Boxer is leaving office after six years and he told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he feels good about the work that was accomplished while he was comptroller and he is leaving with a sense of accomplishment.
Boxer said that it has been a great six years and he feels good about the reforms that he helped usher into place in New Jersey government.
When asked if he felt a change when Gov. Chris Christie entered office, Boxer said that it was not an enormous transition because the State Comptroller is a non-partisan office that stays apart from politics.
“We look for ways for the government to save money and do a better job for taxpayers. That’s the case regardless of what political party is in power in the administration or the legislature,” Boxer said.
One change that Boxer said happened when Christie came into office is that the staff was increased substantially. He said they obtained some additional powers and jurisdictions so that expanded the scope of their work. One power that was obtained was subpoena power and a jurisdiction that was obtained was the area of Medicare fraud and the ability to recover misspent medical funds, Boxer said.
“In the last fiscal year we recovered over $120 million in misspent Medicare funds that we returned to the federal and state budgets. So it’s a high dollar area and it’s one that we really feel good about, what we were able to bring back for taxpayers,” Boxer said.
Boxer said that he has seen a number of cases where health care providers have been taken out of the program for a period of years when they have been involved with improper activity and removing these providers betters the system.
Another project that Boxer said brought tens of millions of dollars to taxpayers was finding people who were in prison but receiving improper unemployment payments. He said that the system is going to be reformed going forward.
As for halfway houses, Boxer said that research needs to be done to see what the state is getting financially from the groups. He said that the state is working toward coming up with those numbers.
After leaving office, Boxer said that he will be returning to the practice of law.
“After six years, it’s time for some new ideas at the office of the State Comptroller and I feel good about turning over the ship to the next group of folks and I look forward to that,” Boxer said.