Corruption News

Ambitious politicians from the U.S. Attorney’s Office


Good Monday morning!

Pop quiz: Which New Jersey politician launched their political career from the U.S. Attorney’s Office?

OK, that was an easy one. The answer of course is U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.). Today’s question was courtesy of former Gov. Chris Christie, who (record scratch) … Wait, what?

InsiderNJ’s Fred Snowflack recently reported Christie’s remarks at a fundraiser for Sherrill’s Republican opponent, Paul DeGroot, a former prosecutor in Passaic County who’s talked down the seriousness of Sherril’s brief role as an Outreach and Re-entry Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. As Snowflack described it, Christie accused Sherrill of using the job “merely to lay the foundation for a political career.”

I can’t speak to anyone’s motivation, but I don’t think the irony is lost on any of you. Whatever Christie intended when he lobbied for the U.S. Attorney’s job, it was a springboard for his own political career. Christie was a former one-term Morris County freeholder when he took the job and left it as the overwhelming favorite to be the 2009 Republican nominee for governor, thanks largely to an aggressive approach to political corruption. You could say it laid a new, err, foundation for him to run on.

As for Sherrill, I also can’t speak to her motivation for taking the job either. And it obviously was nowhere near as consequential as Christie. But she talks about her years as a Navy helicopter pilot more than her job in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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HAPPY BIRTHDAY — Attorney Sal Anderton, FSHC’s Jennifer Mancuso, 

WHERE’S MURPHY? No public schedule

QUOTE OF THE DAY #1: “New Jersey is used to doing this because we are a welcoming state. We are a state that believes in bringing people in.” — New Jersey New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice’s Amy Torreson the prospect of southern governors sending migrants to New Jersey.

QUOTE OF THE DAY #2: “In the unlikely event that a charter flight arrives in Lakewood (airport) with illegal immigrants destined for Toms River, I would meet the plane on the tarmac, give every passenger a box of donuts from OB CO’s and a sweatshirt from the ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ store … I would then give their bus driver directions to the White House with my compliments to the president.” — Toms River Mayor Mo Hill 

GIVE US YOUR TIRED, YOUR PERIOD, FULL STOP —  Murphy: New Jersey ‘prepared’ to accept migrants from Texas, Florida, by POLITICO’s Daniel Han: Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday said New Jersey is “prepared” to accept any migrants who might be sent from Texas and Florida, declaring that recent actions by the governors of those states regarding asylum seekers have been “shameful.” “Are we prepared? Yes, we absolutely are prepared,” Murphy told reporters at an unrelated event in New Brunswick. “We will treat these folks as human beings [not] political pawns, which is how they’re being treated in Florida and Texas right now.” … Those two states are run by particular jerks,” Murphy said at an earlier event in New Brunswick, referring to Texas and Florida, though he never mentioned Abbott and DeSantis by name.

THE BENCH — “Shortage of judges in N.J. puts families’ lives in limbo as divorce, custody cases drag on, lawyers say,” by NJ Advance Media’s Suzette Parmley: “Katherine Richardson represents a father of two who hasn’t been able to see his oldest child in more than six months. There are two obstacles in the divorce case, the Tinton Falls attorney said. One is the lack of cooperation from the Central Jersey man’s wife, but the bigger problem, she added, is a critical shortage of judges, which has delayed the matter for more than two years. ‘This is a pure custody (case) and we can’t even get it started,’ Richardson said. ‘That’s how overburdened this particular docket is.’ It’s a pervasive problem throughout the Superior Court system in New Jersey, where there are too many cases and not enough judges, attorneys and judges said. Currently, there are 64 out of 463 trial court seats open, according to the administrative office of the courts, and as a result, cases across the board are being delayed from family court, to criminal court, to the civil, landlord-tenant and chancery divisions. And although the shortage has caused hardship throughout, attorneys said, it has severely impacted some of the rawest of cases — those involving families whose lives are in transition”

AG’S OFFICE — New Jersey establishes new division to help survivors of domestic violence, rape, by POLITICO’s Ry Rivard: New Jersey is creating a new unit to help prevent future violence to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration called the new division within the attorney general’s office a “transformational step” by having a team focused on “policy, training, or coordination and management of victims’ services.”

PENNIES FROM TRENTON — “N.J.’s gas tax will go down next Saturday. Here’s how we’ll rank compared to other states,” by NJ Advance Media’s Derek Hall: “New Jersey’s gasoline tax will drop by one penny a gallon next weekend making it the 11th highest rate in the nation. Beginning October 1, the Garden State will collect 41.4 cents for each gallon of gasoline sold in the state and 48.4 cents on every gallon of diesel, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration announced last month. A state law enacted in 2016 requires the tax rate be adjusted each October to ensure it generates roughly $2 billion per year in revenue to support the Transportation Trust Fund, a program to pay for critical infrastructure improvements to New Jersey’s roads and bridges.”

PAPER BAG BAN HAS FORCED POLITICIANS TO CARRY BRIBES IN THEIR ARMS — ”N.J. might require stores sanitize reusable bags, refund shoppers after bag ban goes awry,” by NJ Advance Media’s Steven Rodas: “Five months into New Jersey’s ban on plastic — and in grocery stores, paper — bags, it’s been, well, a mixed bag of results. Customers are still forgetting their bags at home. Some shoppers are even stealing hand baskets. And the real “glitch” in the law, according to a legislator who wrote it, is there’s no good solution for handling online grocery deliveries since the ban includes both paper and plastic.Online shoppers are ending up with stockpiles of reusable bags that they’re required to buy, or are being given, with every order. Among the solutions are suggestions to create a system for shoppers to exchange their reusable bags and get a refund, and requiring stores to clean and re-purpose them for other shoppers.”

Kevin Dehmer, former interim state education commissioner, leaving DOE

—“NJ might allow electronic license plates that you can customize” 

—”A decade later, N.J. eyes extending online gaming for another 10 years

— ”Lawmakers advance bill to study energy from waves and tides

—“COVID, supply chain ‘issues’ deal setback to Newark airport’s Terminal A replacement” 

—“‘Hub City’ train station to get $49M upgrade. Murphy says it will be a ‘point of pride’” 

—“New Jersey stole an immigrant mother’s investment | Opinion” 

—Snowflack: “Sex education and intimations of civil war” 

—“Environmentalists say they fear more N.J. projects could be easily approved under Senate proposal” 

—“Murphy says he currently has ‘no plans’ to campaign for Dem candidates in other states” 

—“Murphy asks feds to pump brakes on congestion pricing tolling plan” 

—“There are NJ groups in favor of NYC congestion pricing — here’s why” 

—Kelly: “Letitia James takes aim at Trump’s financial games. They go back to Atlantic City” 

WILDWOOD CHAOS — “Suspect, 2 victims ID’d after chaotic unsanctioned car rally in Wildwood turns deadly,” by The Press of Atlantic City’s Bill Barlow: “Two people were killed in a Saturday collision here in an incident connected to the H2oi car rally on a day that included other crashes in the community. Police were called to a multiple-car accident at Burk and Atlantic avenues at 9:36 p.m. Saturday, with injuries to pedestrians. The driver accused of being at fault attempted to flee the scene but was quickly apprehended, according to police. Gerald J. White, 37, of Pittsburgh, faces two counts of death by automobile, two counts of assault by auto, along with charges of leaving the scene of an accident, eluding and violation of laws to protect public safety, officials announced … Officials connected the crash with the car rally, which local officials say took place without any municipal approvals and despite concerns expressed by police and the Wildwood government. Officials struggled to contain the pop-up car rally, with chaotic scenes unfolding throughout the area with people lining the sidewalks cheering impromptu drag races. [Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey] Sutherland said the impact of the event disrupted other communities and laid blame on the organizers.”

PERHAPS LAKEWOOD LEADERS WILL FINALLY SEE THE FOREST —  “We’re not just going to sit by’ Homeless advocates rally over lost Lakewood trees,” by The Asbury Park Press’ Dan Radel: “They were big, beautiful trees. But now Town Square’s trees are gone and the cutting of them down has become a bit of a battle cry for homeless advocates who said the action only further marginalized the community’s most destitute people. ‘We’re not just going to sit by and let them press people or show aggression to the homeless. The homeless have nothing. They don’t have any shelter, there’s none here,’ said Pastor Steven Brigham, director of Destiny’s Bridge, who organized a rally Saturday in the now shade-less Town Square. A goal of his rally on Saturday was again to call attention to the county’s lack of a shelter. Ocean County is the only one in New Jersey without a traditional shelter for people living on the street or out of their cars. About 60 to 70 people took part took part in Saturday’s rally.”

EDISON — “An Anti-Muslim symbol from India Is paraded on Main Street, New Jersey,” by The New York Times’ Tracy Tully: “The India Day Parade featured a pretty standard lineup of festival fare … Then, toward the middle of the caravan, came a small yellow bulldozer, decorated with photos of India’s prime minister and a hard-line protégé … those who understood its symbolism, it was a blunt and sinister taunt later likened to a noose or a burning cross at a Ku Klux Klan rally … Officials with the Indian Business Association, a private group that organized the Aug. 14 parade, said at first that the bulldozer was meant to represent law and order in India, where they said it was used to raze illegally constructed property — echoing the explanation India’s government frequently offers to justify demolitions that circumvent the legal process. ‘What is the bulldozer’s meaning?’ Chandrakant Patel, an Edison restaurant owner who leads the association, told the township council.’“Illegal land construction.’ … But within two weeks, at the urging of the mayors of Edison and the neighboring town of Woodbridge, where the parade ended, Mr. Patel had apologized. In a letter, he called the bulldozer a ‘blatant divisive’ symbol.”

—“Islamic group calls on [Teaneck] mayor to censure zoning board member over alleged racist comments

—“Teaneck Democrats under fire for anti-Hindu resolution” 

—“Construction worker dies at Robbinsville, NJ temple raided by FBI, cops say” 

PEOPLE WHO ILLEGALLY RIDE ATVS WOULD NEVER VIOLATE THE LAW AGAINST SELF-SERVE —  “Atlantic City bans gas stations from fueling up ATVs,” by The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Amy S. Rosenberg: “Atlantic City’s five gas stations are no longer permitted to fill up the gas tanks of ATVs and dirt bikes that have illegally been swarming the streets of this city, as they have elsewhere, including Philadelphia. The new ordinance, passed by the city council Wednesday night with a vote of 7-2, carries fines of up to $500 for gas station owners or employees who supply fuel to the unlicensed ATVs and dirt bikes. However, the law says that if employees feel they are in danger of physical harm if they don’t cooperate with fueling up the vehicles, they can do so, as long as they then contact the police within an hour. New Jersey does not permit self-service at gas stations.”

R.I.P. — ”22-year-old daughter of Rahway mayor dies,” by New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein: “The 22-year-old daughter of Rahway Mayor Raymond Giacobbe and his wife, school board member Laura Giacobbe, has died Annabella Marie Giacobbe passed away on Saturday following a recent medical procedure. ‘The Giacobbe family is in tremendous grief as they mourn the death of their oldest child and asks that the public respect their privacy at this time,’ a statement by the City of Rahway said.”

—“The week after a racial slur was left on a Rowan freshman’s door, charges against perpetrator are questioned

—“Paterson police criticized after teen’s beating and arrest during back-to-school event

PORTNOY HAS NO COMPLAINT — “Dave Portnoy is very close to naming the Trenton tomato pie as best in the nation,” by The Trentonian’s Jeff Edelstein: “If you see a tens of thousands of out-of-towners popping in and out of your favorite pizza restaurants in the next few days, weeks, months, and years, it’s because Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports — he of the ‘One bite, everyone knows the rules’ pizza reviews — came thisclose to doing what I advocated he do last year and name the Trenton tomato pie the single best variety of pizza in the nation. ‘The tomato pie city right up there with some of the best pizza,’ he said during a recent review of Marcello’s in Bordentown. ‘We may have to change New Haven, Manhattan to the Trenton area, the Trenton tomato pie, top of the list.’”

MASSACHUSETTS MAN SHAMES NEW JERSEYANS.. OR HIMSELF, I DUNNO — “Man eats 44 pork roll sandwiches to win the most Jersey eating contest,” by NJ Advance Media’s Michael Mancuso: “Geoffrey Esper, of Massachusetts, the world’s No. 2 competitive eater as ranked by Major League Eating, scarfed down 44 pork roll sandwiches in ten minutes to claim the crown (and belt) of Case’s Pork Roll Eating Champion. ‘Not quite as much as I was hoping,’ he lamented after besting 11 other competitive eaters on a sunny fall day on the baseball field. ‘I was hoping to get closer to 50 but they were crunchy,’ he said”

—“New Jersey’s ‘middle of the pack’ ranking in childhood obesity no cause for celebration” 

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