NJ State Government

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver called NJ Gov Christie'a assertions "outright lies," and said she wonders if the governor is "mentally deranged"

N.J. State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver tells the Philidelphia Inquirer that Gov. Chris Christie was lying when he told a crowd of gathered Republican supporters that she had asked him to help save her job during the final tense moments before the landmark vote on pension and benefits reform.  Listen to the audio tape.

Settlement in N.J. sergeant selection process case draws mixed emotions from officers

In January 2010, the Department of Justice sued the state and New Jersey Civil Service Commission, alleging the sergeants exam discriminates against black and Hispanic officers and arguing the tests weren’t necessary to prove candidates could do the job.

The lawsuit cited figures from 2000 to 2008, when 89 percent of white candidates passed the exam, compared with 77 percent of Hispanic officers and 73 percent of African-Americans. Black and Hispanic officers who passed received lower scores and were less likely to be promoted.

Under the proposed settlement, the exam will be revised and New Jersey will provide $1 million in back pay to officers deemed harmed by the promotion process.

"Me, Governor?" by Richard J. Codey

Richard J. Codey enjoyed wide popularity during a 14-month tenure as New Jersey's governor. But the reward was a clobbering by the state Democratic machine after he returned to the state Senate, Codey says in his upcoming book.

Codey said he was stripped of his Senate leadership by fellow Democrats in 2009 because Camden County powerbroker George Norcross and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo teamed up, settling old scores against him.

Codey vents about the fall from power in the book, "Me, Governor?," due out in June, saying DiVincenzo has held a grudge ever since Codey backed an opponent in a 2002 county election.

Mayor Zimmer, Tread Carefully With Respect To Public Safety

Dear Mayor Zimmer:

I have reviewed the PBA funded analysis of the DLGS (Division of Local Government Services) audit of the Hoboken Police Department.

Unfortunately, I agree with the conclusions of Northeast Labor Consultants, Inc. that the DLGS report regarding first line "patrol" officers is based on errors, miscalculations, omissions, and contradictions.

Club of $200,000-plus earners growing

The number of public school administrators paid $200,000 or more increased nearly eight-fold in the last five years, according to new payroll numbers released by the state Department of Education.

As of October, 91 administrators were in the $200,000 club — all higher than the governor's salary of $175,000. The number is up from 12 five years ago.

Most were school superintendents, assistant superintendents and business administrators, according to an Asbury Park Press review of the five years worth of school salary data from the 2005-06 to 2009-10 school years.

While the number of public school administrators and supervisors has held relatively steady over five years, their salaries have increased 13 percent to $1.1 billion, according to a review of the latest state employment data.

N.J. audit finds Corzine administration steered federally-funded jobs for youths away from private sector

Contrary to federal guidelines, state officials last year steered $17.7 million in federal stimulus money for summer youth employment programs away from private sector employers, potentially inhibiting future job possibilities for young workers, state Comptroller Matthew Boxer said Thursday.

The finding comes as part of an Office of the State Comptroller audit of federal stimulus funds targeted to provide employment for youth last summer. The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the state Employment Training Commission administered the aid for local so-called Workforce Investment Boards to subsidize the job opportunities who met federal guidelines.

Hudson County towns could move non-partisan elections to November

Hudson County municipalities could get a chance to move non-partisan elections from May to November. Jersey City and Hoboken councilmen plan to introduce ordinances that would move the May non-partisan elections in those cities to November.

The Assembly approved a measure that would allow such a move yesterday sending it to the governor's desk to be signed into law. The Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 10. The Assembly voted 49 to 25 with two abstentions.

Justice Department lawsuit accuses N.J. of discrimination in written police tests

New Jersey’s civil service test for police officers seeking a promotion to sergeant discriminates against African-American and Hispanic candidates, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday.

Even African-Americans and Hispanics who pass the multiple-choice test are less likely to receive promotions because their scores are lower, according to the 10-page lawsuit filed against the state and the Civil Service Commission. The suit seeks to block the state from using the test.

In lame-duck appointments, Governor Corzine nominates three Hoboken residents to state commissions, Maurice Fitzgibbons, Michael Cricco, and Scott Kisch. Who is Scott Kisch?

In the waning days of his administration, Governor Jon Corzine's office released more than 180 names for direct appointments and nominations to paid and unpaid posts.

Three Hoboken residents were on the list. 

Former Hudson County Freeholder (District-5, Hoboken) Maurice Fitzgibbons was nominated as a new appointment to the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.

Former Hoboken Councilman Michael T. Cricco was nominated for reappointment to the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.

Scott Kisch was nominated as a new appointment to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

I personally know Fitzgibbons and Cricco, but had no idea who Scott Kisch was until I came accross the following February 28, 2006 NY Times article entitled "Driven to Success."

“Citizen Service Act” Signed into Law

“Citizen Service Act” Signed into Law

The recent enactment of P.L. 2009, c.141 (S-1426/A-2784), also known as the “Citizen Service Act” requires the immediate attention of every municipal clerk.  While the Notice applies primarily to municipalities, the section on vacancies in office also applies to counties.  Each section of this Notice addresses the four sections of the new law:

  1. Changes law to require oaths of office for members of local authorities, boards and commissions (hereafter, “municipal entities”);
  2. Creating responsibility for municipal clerks requiring creation and maintenance of a directory of municipal entities, their membership and vacancies;
  3. Creation of a form to permit citizens to apply for service on municipal entities (“Citizen Leadership Form”); and,
  4. Change in laws regarding when absences of officials turn into vacancies.  This section applies to municipalities and counties.

New Jerseyans bear heaviest state, local tax burden in nation

New Jersey taxpayers bear the heaviest state and local tax burden in the country for the third year in a row, according to a report released Wednesday by a fiscal policy organization in Washington D.C.

The Tax Foundation found the state's residents paid 11.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes. The national average is 9.7 percent.

Taxpayers in New York and Connecticut aren't far behind. Residents in those states pay 11.7 percent and 11.1 percent of their income to state and local taxes respectively.

They are the only three states where taxpayers give up more than 11 percent of their income in state-local taxes, according to the report.

Feds launch probe of Carla Katz

Union leader Carla Katz

Federal authorities have opened an investigation of Carla Katz, the ousted leader of New Jersey's largest state worker union and former girlfriend of Gov. Jon Corzine.

The inquiry into her union activities came into public view Tuesday afternoon when federal agents served a subpoena on the national headquarters of the Communications Workers of America in Washington, D.C., according to three people familiar with the subpoena.

Investigators are seeking records connected to Katz's management of Local 1034, the largest state-worker union, said the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the probe. Authorities are focusing on an internal CWA probe that recently accused Katz of misappropriating union money, the sources said.


An application has been filed to the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Maritime Administration to build a man-made island nearly the size of six Giants Stadiums, located 13 miles off the coast of New York and 19 miles off the coast of New Jersey, to serve as a deepwater port for liquefied natural gas (LNG). This same area is home to endangered species and is prime fishing grounds. This proposed project is a threat to the improved ocean ecosystem that all have worked so hard to achieve in this region.

Yet, currently the state of New Jersey and its citizens are not officially part of the review process because New Jersey is not considered “an adjacent coastal state” in the application.

Currently, the application lists the state of New York as an adjacent coastal state. New York Governor Elliott Spitzer has been alerted that NY has the right to review and approve the application. In addition, public hearings will be scheduled for NY citizens to voice their concerns. Right now, New Jersey’s voice is not recognized.

Governor Jon Corzine

WARNING: TRANSLATION of Governor Jon Corzine’s complex statement of June 28 from Governmentaleeze to English. This document could cause taxpayer’s nausea and vomiting. Consult your physician if side effects continue.

CORZINE STATEMENT: “In countless ways, New Jersey is the best state in America. But we need to invest in our future if we’re going to stay on top. As a result of decisions made across administrations and across party lines over the past 20 years, New Jersey has amassed over $30 billion in debt and staggering unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities.

TRANSLATION: The strength of this state has been drawn from its people, not the government. This was once a bastion of free market capitalism. Not any more. New Jersey leads the nation with the most destructive progressive income tax and advanced social engineering schemes. We have the highest sales tax, highest property tax, and third highest debt in the nation. Rather than reduce the size of government and make it affordable to taxpayers, we will raise taxes to fund lucrative employee salaries and benefits handed out to political cronies. Wake up, New Jersey taxpayers - you work for the government, it doesn’t work for you.

After 100 years, NJ still has no I&R

TRENTON — The Legislature is all for letting the people decide things when doing so is in the lawmakers' best interest, but at other times the people's will is a nuisance.

The Senate and the Assembly passed a measure headed for the November ballot that would, if approved, amend the state Constitution to mandate the remaining half of last year's sales tax hike be used for property tax relief.

That would happen without the signature of Gov. Corzine, who opposes the measure because it ties the hands of what the state can do with the money. Members of the Legislature want it because every seat in the Senate and Assembly is up in November and they need you to think they did something great. In reality, they can't think of a way to lower taxes and continue to kiss the feet of special interests.

Three questions arise: If the sales tax hike can be devoted to property tax relief, was there a need for the hike in the first place since relief wasn't the stated purpose? If there is real need for the penny hike beyond property tax relief, does that mean another increase is in the offing?

Study ranks states by highway conditions

A state ranking of highway conditions by the Reason Foundation and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Researchers evaluated roadways by traffic fatality rate, congestion, pavement condition, bridge condition, highway maintenance and administrative costs. 

Bet you can't guess where New Jersey came out on the list.

Click on the full story link. 



The following appeared today on the NJ.COM Statehouse Forum

20019. Breaking News
by peaceatlast, 2/26/07 12:36 ET
Rumors are rampant in the Statehouse this morning that as part of the subpoena probe by Chris Christie, a legislator may have been wired for a number of months. We also hear that as many as 15 lawmakers and other politicos are among the targets. (2/26/07)

20019.1. Mostly Dems??
by happyjoey, 2/26/07 12:38 ET
Re: Breaking News by peaceatlast, 2/26/07

20019.1.1. Who Cares
by Babypig, 2/26/07 12:40 ET
Re: Breaking News by peaceatlast, 2/26/07
Dem, Repbub, gay, straight, man, women, black, white, don't matter, just throw them in jail!

20019.1.1.1. Mostly theDems
by happyjoey, 2/26/07 12:46 ET
Re: Breaking News by peaceatlast, 2/26/07

20019.2. I dont care what
by AntiTerror, 2/26/07 12:49 ET
Re: Breaking News by peaceatlast, 2/26/07
Party affliation, sex orientation, or religion they are from. NJ needs to clean house.

See how they squint outside the back room

Let us pause to rejoice. Because Democrats in the Legislature are finally right where they belong -- standing against a wall with their feet spread while the FBI searches their pockets. They are in trouble now. And they deserve it.

The problem is that they got greedy. Every year at budget time, legislative leaders meet behind closed doors to divvy up millions of dollars for their pet projects.

If only Corzine spoke truth to his fellow Dems

Gaze across the border to New York state, and see what it looks like when a governor is willing to draw blood in the fight for reform.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer is getting mean and personal these days. He's visiting legislative districts to attack his opponents by name. He's refusing to help them raise money. And he's promising only more blood and tears if they keep resisting him.

The twist is that his main targets so far are not his Republican opponents. They are members of his own Democratic Party.

If only Gov. Jon Corzine could catch that virus.

Lawyers mum after subpoena hearing

TRENTON — Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney's Office and [NJ] state Office of Legislative Services said nothing publicly Wednesday after a closed-door, 80-minute hearing before a federal judge about a subpoena that the OLS is reportedly blocking.

The two sides met before U.S. District Judge Mary Cooper concerning a subpoena related to a grand jury investigation of whether lawmakers used their positions to illegally steer state grants to entities for personal or political profit. The probe began as an examination of state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, but could include others.

Three groups of lawyers representing different interests left the room seemingly bound by court order to keep the grand-jury proceeding sealed.

Pressure builds in probe of Legislature Corzine and GOPers call for honoring subpoena

Gov. Jon Corzine and ranking Republican legislators called yesterday for the immediate release of all records demanded by the U.S. attorney in a widening corruption probe of the New Jersey Legislature.

As Corzine added to the pressure on his own party's lawmakers, Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris) called for an emergency public meeting of the Legislative Services Commission to investigate why top legislative officials have refused to comply with a grand jury subpoena obtained by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie.

The property tax cut: What's in it for you? Average reduction would be $1,051 if adopted, but loose ends remain

The property tax cut: What's in it for you?

Average reduction would be $1,051 if adopted, but loose ends remain

02/12/07  (AP)
TRENTON — New Jersey is putting the finishing touches on its six-month bid to slice America's highest property taxes, but what does this all mean for you and your family?

Here's a rundown of where it goes from here:

U.S. Attorney, Legislature in high-stakes tiff. Inquiry into possible conflicts sparks behind-the-scenes legal fight

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie and state lawmakers are locked in a secret legal battle over his attempts to launch a wide-ranging investigation of the New Jersey Legislature.

The unusual showdown stems from a broad federal subpoena seeking internal memos, e-mails and other records that the Legislature generates each year when putting together the annual budget.

The documents are at the heart of an inquiry by Christie that is focused on potential legislative conflicts, and specifically whether some elected officials steered money to nonprofit organizations or institutions that would have benefited themselves, friends or family, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Stack to announce Senate candidacy

Stack to announce Senate candidacy

January 25, 2007 (JJ)

Union City Mayor and Assemblyman Brian Stack is expected to announce tonight that he will run for the Democratic nomination for the 31st District Senate seat, which is now held by Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny of Hoboken.

Stack has long been rumored to be interested in the post and many political observers believe it is his for the taking. Kenny, a fellow Democrat, has not publicly said whether he will fight Stack in the primary or retire.

The Democratic nominee in the heavily Democratic district - which includes much of North Hudson, Hoboken, and portions of Jersey City - is virtually assured of election.

The announcement will be at Schuetzen Park, 32nd Street and Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen, at 7:30 p.m.

Poll: Corzine blamed for no tax reform

New Jersery voters are dubious about the prospect of property tax reform anytime soon, and it’s taking a toll on their feelings about the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing.

A Qunnipiac Poll released this morning showed two out of three voters surveyed said they thought it was unlikely lawmakers would cut property tax bills.

And more than half of the voters polled disapproved of how Corzine has handled the tax reform effort. That apparently has affected his overall approval rating, too. It fell to 42 percent - the first slip below the 50 percent mark since the budget showdown last July and his lowest mark since April of last year.

The Golan Cipels Official Web Site

The Golan Cipels Official Web Site

My name is Golan Cipel, and this website is dedicated to telling my story.  The release of Jim McGreevey's book, The Confession , is the unfortunate reason why I feel I must speak, as nearly everything in that book that pertains to me and my relationship with him is a complete fabrication. 

McGreevey has spun a tale about his struggle to come out of the closet as a gay man, and his realization that he could no longer run from himself.  However, the reality is that this was never an issue of sexual orientation or a secret romance.  The fact is that I was the victim of several sexual assaults and ongoing sexual harassment by Jim McGreevey.  For now I will only describe the three main incidents of sexual assault, although in the near future I intend to post my entire story here – from the time we met, through all of the assaults, threats and lies, up to my ultimate decision to stand up and confront the Governor.

1 school district per NJ county proposed

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey voters would decide whether the state should create 21 county school districts under a plan considered Wednesday by legislators looking to cut the nation's highest property taxes.

The referendum would ask voters to approve the shift next year, a massive undertaking for a state with 616 school districts spread across 566 municipalities.

If the plan goes through and voters approve, new countywide districts would begin operating on July 1, 2009, and would be led by county school chiefs appointed by the governor.

David Letterman's Top-10 chapter titles for McGreevey's Book

David Letterman's Top-10 chapter titles
McGreevey's Book:

10) "The Day I Got Caught Governing Myself;"

9) "How to Pretend to Like Girls for 47 Years;"

8) "From Schwarzenegger to Pataki: Governors I'd Like to Oil Up;"

7) "Another Confession - I Can't Resist Entenmann's Pound Cake;"

6) "At First I Just Thought I Was Bipartisan;"

5) "The New Jersey Budget Crisis - What Would Judy Garland Do?;"

4) "A Look at the Governor's Balls;"

3) "Politicians Who Left a Bad Taste in My Mouth;"

2) "How to Push Through a Bill - Or a Steve or a Larry;"

And the No. 1 chapter title - drum roll, please! - "Why I Don't Like Bush."

Corzine asks CRDA to oust its attorney

TRENTON:  Gov. Jon S. Corzine wants the man [Scarinci] at the center of the latest scandal involving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to step down from his role as attorney for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Donald Scarinci, a longtime fundraiser and ally to Menendez, was caught on tape telling a psychiatrist that Menendez would afford him protection if he rehired a doctor he had fired a year before. The psychiatrist, FBI informant Oscar Sandoval, claims the 1999 conversation intended to send a message ”delivered on behalf of Menendez that Sandoval would lose his government contracts if he did not rehire the doctor.

Former Attorney General Farber misses court date

A municipal prosecutor may ask a judge to cite former Attorney General Zulima Farber for contempt of court after she failed to appear today as a witness in a traffic case against her boyfriend, Hamlet Goore.

The case stems from the now-infamous Memorial Day weekend traffic stop in Bergen County in which Farber went to the aid of Goore after he was ticketed for driving on a suspended license. The incident ultimately led to Farber's resignation last month when a special prosecutor found she had violated state ethics rules by going to the scene.

Up in Smoke. N.J. loses $16 million in hedge-fund crash

New Jersey's foray into high-risk investing suffered a setback this week as the implosion of a Greenwich, Conn., hedge fund swallowed up about $16 million in state funds, including millions that had been in vested just weeks ago.

Part-time attorneys' pensions under fire Trenton seeks to restrict state retirement funds

Local government attorneys, who for decades have parlayed part-time political appointments into generous taxpayer-funded retirements, would be shut out of the state pension system under a variety of measures gaining momen tum in Trenton.

Trustees of the retirement system for state and local government workers have asked the Attorney General to review whether any part-time professionals should qualify for the state retirement program.

All Trenton is shocked (Shocked!) at Bryant

Maybe Sen. Gerald Cardinale was joking this week when he demanded that Democrats convene the Legislature's ethics committee to investigate Sen. Wayne Bryant's no-show job.

That committee has not met once this year. It has no chairman. It has no schedule. It is a tired old watchdog that snores while burglars climb in the window.

McGreevey to tell his story on Oprah

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey is to tell the story of his rise to power as a closeted gay man and his shocking fall from grace as the nation's first openly gay governor in a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday.

The interview will air Sept. 19, the same day McGreevey's political memoir, "The Confession," goes on sale.

Publisher Regan Books is launching McGreevey's national book tour with the Oprah program. The day after it airs, McGreevey is to appear on NBC's "Today" show, "The View" and "Hannity & Colmes" on Fox News.

McGreevey, 49, retreated from the limelight and has remained publicly silent since resigning as governor two years ago amid a gay sex scandal.