Meet the Cryans. They’re one of most prolific families in New Jersey. And state government has become their family business.

They’ve learned how to play the New Jersey game: Work for the government, do your job, keep your head down, and lo and behold, after 25 or 30 years you’ll find yourself with a nice Golden parachute, courtesy of the NJ tax payers.

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With that meaty send off, including pensions, sick leave you never used, medical benefits and whatever else the spenders under the Golden Dome happen to cook up, the world is your oyster. You can live comfortably, move to the south if you so choose, buy a boat, or whatever you dream of. It’s the American dream, New Jersey style, and these people do it right.

Joe Cryan is no newcomer to this systems, having served in government since 2002, first as New Jersey State Democratic Committee vice chairman, and later working his way up through the political ranks as state Dem chairman, Assembly majority leader and finally, state senator.

Not only that, he also held the positions of under sheriff and sheriff in Union County, but dumped that job and its paltry $140,716 salary in exchange for what is now a $208,840 salary, in addition to his state Senate paycheck of $49,000, for a total $257,843 of taxpayer dollars.

According to an article on, Joe Cryan has 9 other family members who work for the state government in all different positions, collectively earning over a million dollars in wages and pensions. Here, according to the piece, are the other members of the Cryan Cash Clan, their positions and yearly salaries proving that, in the true spirit of New Jersey, nepotism may be alive and well in the Cryan family.

  1. Joseph Cryan:
    Executive Director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority: $208,840
    State Senator: $49,000
    Total:  $257,843 
  2. Eileen Birch (Cryan’s sister):
    Union Township Municipal Clerk; $155,076.75. 
  3. Mary Donohue (Cryan’s other sister):
    Township of Union keyboarding clerk: salary not disclosed.
    According to the article, local ordinances show the job pays $97,000
  4. Joseph Donohue, (Cryan’s brother-in-law):
    Retired Superior Court Judge: $165,000 (till retirement in June 2016)
    Pension: $103,331.16 
  5. Richard Birch, (Cryan’s nephew)
    Union Township employee from August 18, 2015-April 26, 2019, (while a student at Seton Hall Law School)
    Now, Union County Law clerk: $50,605 
  6. Michelle Cryan (Cryan’s daughter-in-law):
    Union County Sheriff’s officer  $63,996. 
  7. Katie Peterson(Cryan’s step-daughter):
    Union Township keyboard clerk (was employed from July 29, 2013 until April 12, 2019 as a Rutgers student)
    Now, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission employee: $75,000.
  8. Emily Pearson, (Cryan’s niece):
    Union Township Public Safety Telecommunicator: $72,480.20.
  9. Karl Pearson ( Cryan’s nephew):
    Union Township building maintenance worker: $69,818.32.
  10. James Cryan, (Cryan’s cousin):
    Cranford Township Business Administrator: $137,700.

While those of us in the private sector try to squirrel away a little at a time for retirement, praying that our 401ks and social security keep us alive in our senior years the Cash Cow Cryans have it all figured out.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi’s own.

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