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Senator Pleaded for Bank Bailout that Cost Taxpayers

During the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, a member of the Senate Banking Committee urged the Treasury Department to provide bailout money to a struggling financial firm whose eventual collapse cost taxpayers $2.3 billion, newly released records show.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., wrote to then-Treasury secretary Henry Paulson in support of CIT Group, a New Jersey-based lender to businesses such as retail stores. Menendez touted CIT's importance to New Jersey and the nation and said the firm "provided strong evidence" its finances were sound, according to a copy of the letter released last month under the Freedom of Information Act.

A 22-year-old employee of the Hoboken municipal garage was arrested on Friday in connection with the theft of a police transponder from back in January 2009, according to police reports.

A 22-year-old employee of the Hoboken municipal garage was arrested on Friday in connection with the theft of a police transponder from back in January 2009, according to police reports.

On Friday, police concluded that a plastic encoded transponder and a GPS SIM card, both owned by the City of Hoboken, was initially stolen by Terry McDonald, a mechanic at the Hoboken municipal garage, 256 Observer Highway, reports said.

Police generated a warrant complaint against Terry McDonald charging him with burglary, theft and theft of services, reports said.

Lawyers' pension credits probed

State auditors are investigating how a dozen attorneys won public pension credits in recent years despite a heavily publicized reform law signed by Gov. Jon Corzine in June 2007.

"There has been an ongoing review of this situation for several months now and the findings will be forwarded to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution, if warranted," said Andrew Pratt, a spokesman for the state Treasury Department.

Mason felt comfortable in front of Gov. Christie rather than backing him

Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason, Democrat, made her points at Gov. Christie's "town meeting."

At yesterday's "invitation only" session with Gov. Chris Christie at the Hoboken Catholic Academy, most of the City Council members were on stage with the governor and Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Missing from the stage was Councilwoman Beth Mason who chose to stay in the audience. Christie is a Republican and Mason is a Democrat. Although almost all city officials on stage are Democrats, Mason thought it was inappropriate to join the others because it was tantamount to endorsing the governor's state budget and fiscal proposals.

N.J. Gov. Christie pushes for property-tax cap at Hoboken town hall meeting

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie unveiled his proposal to institute a constitutional, not statutory, 2.5-percent cap on property tax increases to a Hoboken audience on Monday, in the first of a series of town hall meetings throughout the state.

In front of a “Cap 2.5 Reform” banner on a stage in the Hoboken Catholic Academy auditorium/gymnasium, Christie explained his 33 bills to cap state spending to reduce property taxes, and argued in favor of collective bargaining reform.

ELEC filings foment spat between two Hoboken council members

The day after Councilwoman Beth Mason called for Councilman Ravi Bhalla to resign for pay-to-play violations, Bhalla struck back with a claim that Mason committed more severe violations of state election commission laws.

A review of records filed by Mason with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) show that Mason paid out $15,000 in "street money" - cash used for such things as get-out-the-vote efforts - apparently in violation of ELEC rules.

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.

Ex-Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III Pleads Guilty to Corruption

He was not the one accused of human organ trafficking, nor the money-laundering rabbi. No, in the sprawling corruption sting that shook New Jersey last year, what marked Peter J. Cammarano III, then the mayor of Hoboken, was the spectacle of a promising career blown apart almost before it started.

His downfall became complete on Tuesday, in Federal District Court in Newark, where Mr. Cammarano, 32, pleaded guilty to accepting illegal campaign contributions in return for aiding proposed development projects. The youngest mayor in the city’s history, he served 23 days in that office last year before being arrested and charged, and eight more before resigning. He now faces a probable sentence of 24 to 30 months in prison.

Hoboken's ex-mayor pleads guilty in corruption case

Former Hoboken Mayor Peter J. Cammarano III, an attorney and one-time
rising political star, pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting $25,000 in illicit campaign contributions in the state’s largest corruption sting.

Dressed in a black suit, Cammarano pleaded guilty to one count of extortion conspiracy, admitting he accepted bribes from an informant posing as a real estate developer seeking favors.

By his plea, Cammarano became the highest-ranking official of the 17 who have pleaded guilty or been convicted since federal authorities rounded up more than 40 people last July in an investigation into money laundering and political influence peddling.

Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers

WASHINGTON — It is often said that the new health care law will affect almost every American in some way. And, perhaps fittingly if unintentionally, no one may be more affected than members of Congress themselves.

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.