Sources: Lesniak, Cryan were supicious of Cohen for previous pornography incident

Sources: Lesniak, Cryan were supicious of Cohen for previous pornography incident

The Office of Legislative Services investigated pornography on Neil Cohen's office computer last yearThe Office of Legislative Services investigated pornography on Neil Cohen's office computer last year
Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle) was suspected of harboring pornography on his district legislative office's computer system a year before he was allegedly caught with child pornography last week, according to several sources familiar with the Cohen investigation.

According to those sources, pornographic images - which did not appear to include children - were found on computers in the District 20 legislative office about one year ago. Although Cohen's office mates - state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) - suspected that the images came from Cohen, they could not prove it.

The sources also said that Lesniak and Cryan notified the non-partisan state Office of Legislative Services and asked them to investigate the matter.

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Following judge's ruling, Hawkins will remain Orange party chair

 Superior Court Judge Donald Goldman today dismissed a challenge by Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.: Politicker photoMayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.: Politicker photoNorth Ward Councilwoman Tency Eason, who had tried to declare void results of the June 9th Orange Democratic County Committee election in Orange. 

Eason lost the election to then Mayor-elect Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., by a vote of 15 to 14.

In a statement, Mayor Hawkins said he would continue to serve as chair of the county committee as a consequence of Goldman’s decision.

"I am pleased that the court has reaffirmed my election as Orange Democratic Chairman," said the mayor. "Now that the leadership question has been clarified, I invite Ms. Eason to work alongside me and other active Orange Democrats to elect Barack Obama as our next President."

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DOJ report finds wrongdoing under Gonzales

On the national news front, an internal Justice Department report concluded that politics illegally influenced the hiring of immigration judges and career prosecutors while Alberto Gonzales was Attorney General.

The report pointed much of the blame at Gonzales, although it blamed the specific wrongdoing on aides Monica Goodling, the former White House liaison, and former Gonzales chief of staff  Kyle Sampson. 

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DeFilippo: Cohen's seat to be filled within 35 days

Charlotte DeFilippo, chair of the Union County Democratic Committee, issued a statement this afternoon in response to the resignation earlier today of Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle). 

“A meeting of the Democratic Committee members from the 20th Legislative District will be held as expeditiously as possible and within the statutory 35 days to fill the vacant Assembly seat," said DeFilippo.

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Myers ratchets up fight with Blue Jersey

Republican 3rd District congressional candidate Chris Myers fired the latest salvo in a war of words with the progressive blog Blue Jersey today, accusing them of engaging in a coordinated effort with rival Democrat John Adler’s campaign to discredit Myers’s military service.

Myers held a press conference in Medford to denounce a Blue Jersey post that questioned whether he should continue to cite himself as a “combat veteran.”

“John Adler’s refusal to publicly and forcefully condemn these liberal bloggers and their vicious, dishonest attacks on me and other veterans is a disgrace,” said Myers in a statement. “John Adler could put an end to these outrageous attacks against me and the veteran’s community if he wanted to; instead chooses to sit by silently in the hopes of scoring cheap political points at my expense. He should be ashamed.”

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Estrada puts his name out there to succeed Cohen

Union County Freeholder Director Angel Estrada picked up a phone Freeholder Director Angel EstradaFreeholder Director Angel Estradatoday and told top Union County Democratic officials that he wants to be considered among the candidates to replace Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle).

"Now it’s up to the party to decide," said Estrada, 57, an Elizabeth resident who has served as a freeholder for nine years, including two, one-year terms as director.

Prior to his freeholder service, Estrada was a member of the Board of Education for six years, and a Democratic Party committeeman.

"I very much care about the needs of people, especially poor people in this district," said Estrada, who has lived in Elizabeth since he was ten. "I’m making myself available, I am interested, and beyond that there’s nothing much I can do. It’s not up to me."

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Mayor Smith eyeballs District 20 Assembly seat

ROSELLE - Now serving his second term as mayor of this Union County town of 20,000 residents, Roselle Mayor Garrett Smith threw his name into the mix today as a possible successor to Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle), who resigned this morning.

"I’m definitely exploring the option of seeking that Assembly seat," Smith told "I’m looking forward to having conversations with leaders of the Democratic Party."

Twice an off-the-line candidate for mayor who squeaked by in his last election by 300 votes, Smith is no darling of the Union County Democratic Party.

But he said his primary battles have been with Cohen, who was chair of the Roselle Democrats.

"He was really the person who was the issue, other than that there is no issue," said Smith. "I’m still trying to grasp the whole thing, but I’m open. I want to try to find a way for Roselle to be fully represented."

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DeCroce responds to Cohen resignation

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris) said today that Assemblyman Neil Cohen made the right decision by resigning his seat.

“Given the gravity of the allegations he faces, relinquishing public office is the right thing to do for his constituents,” said DeCroce in a statement. “These are serious charges. The people of New Jersey deserve a Legislature that is untainted by scandal.”

On Friday, DeCroce issued a tougher worded statement about Cohen, saying that if the allegations that he stored child pornography on a legislative office computer then it “represents one of the most deplorable acts committed by a public servant,” and that “not only must he resign from office, but he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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The Back Room

Was Buono/Silva a precursor to a national Democratic ticket?

An unprecedented number of female U.S. senators (20; 16 of them Democrats) has insiders chatting about a possible all-female national ticket if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton runs for president.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie



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