For Immediate Release
CHRISTIE KEEPS PENSION PROBE RECORDS FROM PUBLIC VIEW AS GOVERNOR EYES SECOND TERM & 2016 RACE FOR WHITE HOUSE
As Gov. Chris Christie aims for a landslide win in the November election – with an eye towards the White House in 2016 – there’s a criminal investigation the New Jersey governor wants to keep from public view.
His running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, is a central figure in a hush-hush pension fraud probe that began more than two years ago. Now the Christie administration is arguing in court that the outcome, findings and all other records of the investigation should remain state secrets.
In a quest for those records, a New Jersey Watchdog reporter is suing the state Division of Criminal Justice. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3 in Mercer County Superior Court.
DCJ began its investigation in May 2011 at the behest of a pension board, according to a sworn statement by a state official. Christie, Guadagno and DCJ officials have declined comment. In court papers, the state refuses to acknowledge whether the case is open or closed.
The inquiry followed an investigative report by New Jersey Watchdog detailing how false statements by Guadagno enabled one of her top aides to improperly collect and keep $245,000 from the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System.
The stakes also are high for Guadagno, who would become governor if a re-elected Christie leaves office mid-term to pursue the presidency in 2016.
For his role, Christie risks political consequences and questions about his judgment in handling the Guadagno-Donovan controversy. Rather than appoint an independent prosecutor or special investigator, Christie allowed DCJ to run the case.
The full story is now online at http://newjersey.watchdog.org. The direct link ishttp://newjersey.watchdog.org/2013/09/23/christie-keeps-guadagno-probe-from-public-view-as-he-eyes-2016/. For media inquiries, contact Mark Lagerkvist at mark@NJwatchdog.org.