Governor Corzine’s campaign today continued to insinuate that there is an improper relationship between Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie and members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which he ran until December of last year.
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), who is running as the Democrats’ candidate for lieutenant governor, said that First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown – who is currently paying Christie back for a $46,000 mortgage he took out on her house two years ago – should be removed from the task of retrieving the Corzine campaign’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
"The United States Attorney's office is filled with qualified professionals," said Weinberg. "Based on what we already know and on today's report by the Associated Press that Christie is refusing to answer who he's still in contact with at the U.S. attorney's office and how informed he is about day-to-day activities there, we are simply saying we need someone not caught up in this controversy to work on the FOIA requests."
Christie’s relationship with Brown, a personal friend and longtime U.S. Attorney staffer who he promoted to the office’s number two spot shortly before resigning, has been at the center of Corzine’s attacks over Christie failing to report the loan on his income taxes and federal employee disclosure forms. On Tuesday, Christie owned up to the mistake and answered reporters’ questions, but refused to take further questions from an Associated Press reporter yesterday.
Corzine’s top advisor, Tom Shea, yesterday filed legal challenges with the Justice Department to break what they say is a delay in the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office in fulfilling the campaign’s FOIA requests.
In response to Weinberg’s statement, U.S. Attorney spokesman J. Gregory Reinert pointed to Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra’s statement yesterday to the Star-Ledger that Brown has a role in fulfilling the requests because some of the records sought are her own, but that she was “not in charge of the process.”
Yesterday, Reinert issued a statement reading "The suggestion that someone from outside our office or our law enforcement partners has any input into or knowledge of ongoing cases or investigations demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about how this office operates and how seriously everyone in this office strives to make certain that justice is served."
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...
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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