N.J. company faces lawsuit, criminal charges in death of teen

The mother of a Utah teenager who died after a month in a wilderness boot camp is suing the West Caldwell-based Community Education Centers, Inc., (CEC) alleging that the staff at their facility in Colorado ignored signs of what turned out to be a staph infection.  The company is also facing a Colorado criminal trial in March.

CEC operates treatment facilities for criminal defendants in twenty states and manages a prison in Delaware, according to the Associated Press.  The Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Public Affairs for the company is William Palatucci, who is also a top advisor to Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie.  Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci,, the law firm where Palatucci and Christie were partners, represented CEC for fifteen years before Palatucci joined the firm full time.

The 15-year-old, Caleb Jensen, had been sentenced to sixty days at a "rigorous boot camp," according to an Associated Press Report.  He was "forced to take long hikes in the Colorado backcountry without water. He was dragged by arm and wrist restraints when he stumbled in pain by counselors who believed he was faking an illness."

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Happy Birthday, Senator Lautenberg

Happy Birthday, Senator Lautenberg
Credit: Getty Images Photo
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, 85, with President Barack Obama, 47

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg is 85-years-old today.   Born on January 23, 1924 in Paterson, Lautenberg founded Automated Data Processing (ADP) and served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1982.  He was re-elected in 1988 and 1994, and again in 2002 and 2008. 

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Buttressed by Jersey power structure, 'unpretentious' Healy runs on his record

Buttressed by Jersey power structure, 'unpretentious' Healy runs on his record
Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy, flanked by Gov. Jon Corzine, left, and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York).

JERSEY CITY - Professing to be an agent of "change you can see," Mayor Jerry Healy launched his bid for a second term tonight in the politically muscle bound company of Gov. Jon Corzine, Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex), State Party Chairman Joe Cryan, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and no fewer than three congressmen.  

The apparent backing of longtime local foe, Councilman Steve Fulop, drew some bewildered gasps from the crowd here at the Culinary Arts Institute, and one of Healy's three challengers, former Assemblyman Lou Manzo (D-Jersey City), later admitted of the councilman's presence at the event, "I'm surpirsed." 

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Kasparian assumes leadership of BCDO, and pledges independent organizational audit

Kasparian assumes leadership of BCDO, and pledges independent organizational audit
BCDO Chairman Michael Kasparian

HACKENSACK - Paramus-based developer Michael Kasparian of Hohokus became the new chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) tonight with well over 500 county committee votes cast in his favor at a special convention held in the Hackensack Middle School.

In a process supervised by BCDO attorney Joseph Mariniello, Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney nominated Kasparian, and Kasparian ran unopposed.  

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Wilson argues Corzine's shrug-off leaves him with no choice but to fight email verdict

Wilson argues Corzine's shrug-off leaves him with no choice but to fight email verdict
Gov. Jon Corzine

Digging in against a court ruling that went against him, State GOP Chairman Tom Wilson said he would give Gov. Jon Corzine until noon today to cough up emails between himself and former labor leader Carla Katz. 

Convinced the governor does not plan to make the emails public after Corzine didn't make Wilson's ten-day deadline, Wilson said he has decided to pursue an appeal to the State Supreme Court in the matter.  

An appellate judge ruled earlier this month in Corzine’s favor, agreeing with him that he could invoke executive privilege to keep private email communications he had with girlfriend Katz while negotiating the terms of a state workers contract with the former Communication Workers of America (CWA) leader. 

But Wilson wants another shot at the emails.

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Rothman deputy chief heads to White House

Shelly Stoneman, deputy chief of staff/legislative director for U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn), will serve as a member of President Barack Obama’s legislative team.

According to a press release issued by Rothman’s office, Stoneman will work in the East Wing. She has served with Rothman since 2003 directing much of his work on the House Appropriations Committee. 

“I am very pleased that Shelly will be joining President Obama’s staff and continuing to work on issues that benefit New Jersey, the nation and the world,” said Rothman, the sole member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to endorse Obama in last year’s Democratic Primary. 

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Englewood Dems pass anti-Kasparian resolution but lack a publicly declared candidate

HACKENSACK - Although the Englewood Democratic Municipal Committee last night passed a resolution opposing the candidacy of Paramus-based developer Michael Kasparian for chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO), it remains unlikely Kasparian’s opponents will be able to unseat him at a special party convention at 4:30 p.m.

Indeed, it’s a question mark at this point whether they’ll even try.

“I’m not going to put my name in, I’m not running,” said local labor leader Richard “Buzzy” Dressel, who had originally hoped to be the anti-Kasparian candidate in the name of striking a blow against  Kasparian ally and outgoing BCDO Chairman Joe Ferriero.

Ferriero’s leaving to fight federal corruption charges, and Dressel’s convinced he’s rigged the game at this afternoon’s convention, so why participate.

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Ex-Glen Ridge mayor says he'll challenge Corzine in Democratic primary

Ex-Glen Ridge mayor says he'll challenge Corzine in Democratic primary
Former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson says he'll announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor within the next two weeks.

Former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson says he wants to challenge Gov. Jon Corzine and expects to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor within the next few weeks. 

"The Corzine Administration has been a complete failure at every level, and if Democrats don't stand up now and demand better leadership, we're dooming the state to either a Republican Governor in 2010, or four more years of Jon Corzine's incompetence," Bergmanson told PolitickerNJ.com

Bergmanson was elected to the Glen Ridge Council as an Independent in 1990.  He gave up his seat to run unsuccessfully for Mayor in 1999, but returned and won election as Mayor in 2003.  He didn't run again in 2007, but instead discussed a possible campaign to recall Corzine.  He launched his exploratory committee on January 12 and says "the reception thus far has been completely positive."

"Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I will be announcing my candidacy for the Democratic Nomination for Governor within the next two weeks," Bergmanson said.

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The Back Room

Christie v. Astorino in Aspen

Dismissed by Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to confront his tormentor tonight at a GOP fundraiser in Aspen.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

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Op-Ed

Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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