The Senate and Assembly both passed laws disbanding and reforming the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards earlier this year. But so far, only two of the new committee’s eight seats have been filled.
That’s because it’s hard to find people interested or eligible to serve, according to Rick Wright, executive director of the Assembly Republicans.
“We are going to make appointments, but like everyone else we’re having a hard time finding people,” he said.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards has been widely considered a joke for most of its existence. It averaged one sanction against a legislator every 10 years during its nearly four decade lifespan. Meanwhile, filing toothless complaints with the committee became standard fare during the legislative campaign season, when candidates or their allies would file a complaint against an opponent and then issue press releases trumpeting it.Read More >
NJN announced today that Senior Political Correspondent Michael Aron will serve as the network’s Interim Director of News and Public Affairs.
Aron takes over for Bill Jobes, who’s retiring after holding the post for 21 years.
In addition to appearing on NJN’s newscasts, Aron hosts and produces Reporters Roundtable. He often hosts and co-produces On the Record.Read More >
NEWARK - U.S. Attorney Chris Christie rejoiced following the federal sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James today, but also acknowledged that a U.S. District Judge’s decision fell far short of what Christie and his prosecution team had sought.
He strove to focus on the positive.
"In seven weeks, Sharpe James will report to federal prison for one reason and one reason only: he is a criminal," Christie told reporters. "He is a federal felon."
Then he turned to U.S. District Judge William Martini’s imposition of a 27-month sentence on James instead of federal prosecutors’ suggestions of a 15-20 year penalty.Read More >
NEWARK - Citing violation of the public trust but noting the former mayor's overall effectiveness while in office, District Court Judge William J. Martini sentenced Sharpe James today to 27 months in prison, and a fine of $100,000.
His former girlfriend, Tamika Riley, received 15 months for her role in the corruption case.
In his sum-up, the judge reproved the prosecution for taking a heavy-handed and "inflammatory" approach to James's penalty, saying his imposition of what they hoped would be a maximum sentence of 15-20 years would be an "extreme injustice."
"It disappoints me and it shocks me that government would seek 10-20 year sentencing," Martini said. "I know in the zeal of prosecution, things sometimes get distorted. ...If the intent was to advocate for a big sentence to put this court on the spot, I'm not concerned with that, nor was it effective.
"It makes me question some of the perspectives here," added Martini, who also described as "unhelpful" letters he had received calling for the maximum penalty.
He said he struck the proper balance on a "sad day."Read More >
Update: Lance campaign response now included.
The Bridgewater Courier-News recently got wind of an overlooked story.
Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing, who cast his lot in with many other candidates in the 7th District Republican congressional primary, is running in the general election as an independent. And as of the last Federal Election Commission filing, he had more cash-on-hand than the Republican nominee, State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington).
Hsing, who’s served on the Bridgewater council for seven years, failed to make a dent in the primary, and decided to forego the nominating convention of his home county of Somerset. Lance, now the Republican nominee, won. Back then, PolitickerNJ’s Max Pizarro reported on rumors swirling about an independent Hsing bid, since he refused to endorse any of the other candidates. At the time, Hsing said “that will be determined and disclosed later."Read More >
Stay with PolitickerNJ.com for developing information in the sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James ...
EARLIER on PolitickerNJ.com ...
A former administrator and a former shop foreman at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission were convicted at trial today of charges that they directed subordinate employees to complete repairs or improvements at private homes while on-duty for the PVSC, according to Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Greenstein versus Watson Coleman in Princeton PRINCETON – When Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Chairman Jim Durbin announced a second ballot runoff tonight and the losers headed for the back of the room, he alerted committee members to the names of the two surviving competitors. But people already...
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BY JEFF BRINDLE Anytime now, the U.S. Supreme Court will render a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. And while reformists may not like it, the high court is likely to allow national parties to raise far more money. That could strengthen them... Read More >
"The governor has allowed political cronyism to continue and even flourish, rather than stamp it out, with some of his closest confidants enriching themselves through millions of dollars in state contracts, and legal and lobbying fees, an Asbury Park Press review of thousands of pages of campaign, lobbying and contracting documents found."- The Asbury Park Press
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