Gov. Jon Corzine asked Joseph Doria to resign his cabinet post today, hours after federal agents raided his Bayonne home. Doria has agreed to step down as state Commissioner of Community Affairs.
Corzine also asked two Assemblymen who were indicted today, L. Harvey Smith (D-Jersey City) and Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), to resign.
Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts said he was immediately removing Smith and Van Pelt for from their committee assignments, calling the allegations against them “shocking and disgusting.”
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), the Democratic State Chairman, joined Corzine and Roberts in seeking Smith’s resignation.
“The widespread extent of these public corruption charges is beyond shocking. As a party, Democrats absolutely condemn public corruption in any and every form,” Cryan said. “New Jersey residents expect ethical behavior from the officials they have elected to represent them.”
Doria, 63, served as Assembly Speaker from 1990 to 1992 and as Minority Leader from 1992 to 2002. He lost his bid for re-election to a 13th term in the Assembly in the 2003 Democratic primary (he was defeated by Louis Manzo, who was also indicted today), and returned to Trenton as a State Senator following the death of Glenn Cunningham in 2004. He served as Mayor of Bayonne from 1999 to 2008.
Corzine appointed Doria to head the Department of Community Affairs in 2008. DCA employs more than 1,100 state employees, and has a budget of over $1.3 billion. Doria was also administering more than $10.5 billion in federal stimulus money to New Jersey.