On Appeal from the Superior Court, Law Division, Somerset County.
Matthews, J. H. Coleman and Gaulkin.
[194 NJSuper Page 91] The State appeals from a September 13, 1983 order directing payment to the Treasurer of Somerset County a total of $130,000 in fines collected from Carmine Franco, Anthony Scaffidi and Anthony Rizzo upon their pleas of guilty to violations of the Solid Waste Utility Control Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 48:13A-1
et seq. The State urges that the fines should be paid over to the State "revolving fund" established by N.J.S.A. 56:9-19.
On October 7, 1980 a State Grand Jury handed down an indictment charging a number of persons and firms with engaging in "a combination and conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of the business of providing garbage collection services" in violation of the New Jersey Antitrust Act, N.J.S.A. 56:9-3. Following plea negotiations, Franco, Scaffidi and Rizzo each pleaded guilty to a violation of the Solid Waste Utility Control Act, N.J.S.A. 48:13A-10(a), which provides:
No person shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person to monopolize, trade or commerce in any relevant market, located in whole or in part in this State, for the solid waste collection business or the solid waste disposal business.
The plea was entered under this statute rather than under the Antitrust Act*fn1 to avoid burdening the defendants with the "interdict" sanctions of N.J.S.A. 56:9-11(b).*fn2
Each defendant was sentenced to three years probation on condition that he serve 180 days at the Somerset County Jail. Franco was fined $50,000; Scaffidi and Rizzo were fined $40,000 each. The judgments directed that the fines be paid to the
Chief Probation Officer of Somerset County "and distributed by him in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 56:9-19."
Thereafter the County of Somerset was permitted to intervene "regarding the issue of the proper disposition of fines," and the court amended the judgments to delete the reference to the distribution of fines under N.J.S.A. 56:9-19. Following a hearing to reconsider the "decision to modify the sentences," the court ordered that the fines "be distributed by the Chief Probation Officer of the County of Somerset in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:46-4(b)(1) to the Treasurer of the County of Somerset." This appeal followed.
The State contends that the Antitrust Act, N.J.S.A. 56:9-19, allocates the fines to the State:
There is hereby appropriated out of the General State Fund to the Department of Law and Public Safety for the purpose of this act the sum of $100,000.00 for the period ending June 30, 1971, which sum shall be returned to the General State Fund from the sums derived from litigation instituted by the Attorney General under this act or the antitrust laws of the United States, as determined by the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting. In addition to the sum hereinabove appropriated, there are hereby appropriated as a revolving fund the sums derived as aforesaid for the purpose of paying any additional expenses incurred by the Attorney General in the administration of this act or litigation instituted under the antitrust laws of the United States, provided, however, that the expenditure of such ...