By Bill Mooney | February 7th, 2013 - 11:59am
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TRENTON – Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto is out of patience with the Treasurer’s no-show routine, and is talking about investigating subpoena power to compel his appearance in the future.

Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff declined to appear before the Assembly Budget Committee Thursday to answer questions regarding oversight of Superstorm Sandy recovery funds. Prieto said they received a phone call a few hours ago he would not appear.

He said this is the third topic the Treasurer has declined to appear before the committee to discuss, the others being lottery privatization and fiscal year revenue updates.

“It is insulting to this committee,’’ Prieto said.  “It is insulting to the public.  He is the Treasurer of everyone in the state of New Jersey and we need answers.

“It blows my mind,’’ Prieto said.

The committee was slated to deal with two bills sponsored by Speaker Sheila Oliver regarding oversight of funding and appointing monitors as the billions of dollars in Sandy reconstruction money begins to arrive in New Jersey.

The hearing comes amid questions raised in a Star-Ledger story about a contract awarded to a debris removal company, AshBritt. Democrats claim the deal was a no-bid contract. The administration defended the move, denied it was a no-bid pact, and said it was based on a similar pact in Connecticut, and that New Jersey can access such deals through cooperative agreements.

The Star-Ledger also reported this week that the head of a lobbying firm employed by AshBritt plans to hold a fundraiser for Christie.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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