Caucus leaders want internet filtering software on all legislative computers

Amid the shockwaves that hit the political community last night over the revelation that Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union) is under investigation for possession of child pornography, four legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle have requested that the Office of Legislative Services begin installing the “most aggressive” possible internet filtering software on all of the legislature’s computers.

A joint statement by Senate President Dick Codey, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce said that this morning they directed the Office of Legislative Services to “immediately pursue installing the most aggressive Internet filtering software available on all computers in the Legislature.”

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Union quiet in wake of Cohen shocker

District 20 Legislative Office on Friday: Politicker photoDistrict 20 Legislative Office on Friday: Politicker photo 

UNION - The front door to the District 20 Legislative Office swung open but inside the place was almost barren.

"I’ve been instructed to refer all press to the statement on the front door," said Thomas Lynch, chief of staff to Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union), chair of the Democratic State Committee.

A pair of sound trucks were parked on Stuyvesant Avenue and a handful of reporters stood in front of the office, studying the release taped to the door.

Cryan and state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union) released the statement last night, which says they referred tbe actions of their colleague, Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Roselle) to the Office of Legislative Services.

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James sentencing on Tuesday

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, who was convicted on federal corruption charges in June, will be sentenced at 10 AM Tuesday is U.S. District Judge William Martini’s courtroom.  James faces a prison sentence of four to seven years, according to federal sentencing guidelines.

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Levy avoids prison, gets six months probation

Former Atlantic City Mayor Robert Levy, who resigned last year after a disappearing for two weeks, received six month probation for falsifying his military service record.  He earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam, but claimed to be a Green Beret and to have received combat infantryman and parachutist badges.  He was also fined $5,000, and has agreed to repay $24,683 in veterans benefits.

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Cohen update

Assembly Deputy Speaker Neil Cohen, whose office computer was seized by the state Attorney General's office after two other legislators told them it contained child pornograpy, remains hospitalized today and is seeking psychiatric help. Attorney General Anne Milgram's office continues to have no comment.

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Cryan and Lesniak reported Cohen

The child pornography investigation of Assemblyman Neil Cohen was touched off by his legislative running mates, the two legislators revealed this evening.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak and Assemblyman/Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan were notified of images found on Cohen’s computer by a staffer. They then reported the matter to the Office of Legislative Services, which in turn contacted the office of Attorney General Anne Milgram.

Below is the full joint statement from Cryan and Lesniak.

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Cohen under investigation for child pornography

Cohen under investigation for child pornography

Assembly Deputy Speaker Neil Cohen may be charged with having child pornography on his legislative office computerAssembly Deputy Speaker Neil Cohen may be charged with having child pornography on his legislative office computer
Multiple sources say that Democratic Assemblyman Neil Cohen is under investigation by state authorities over allegations that he had child pornography on his legislative office computer.

According to the sources, Cohen has reportedly checked into a nearby psychiatric facility and has not yet been arrested.

Contacted on her cell phone, Cohen chief-of-staff Gleisha Givens said “no comment.”

On Friday morning, Lee Moore, spokesman for Attorney General Anne Milgram, told PolitickerNJ.com, "Our standard policy is we don't confirm or deny investigations."

Meanwhile, the Star-Ledger reports that authorities were tipped off by fellow Union County legislators Ray Lesniak and Joseph Cryan.

The Bergen Record also has a version of the story that points out that Cohen sponsored a bill in 2001 that created a computer hotline to report child pornography and other cyber crimes.

Cohen, who’s held the office since 1994, is the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly. He is chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee and authored a stem cell research bill earlier this year.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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