Ethics charges against GOP legislators dismissed

Ethics complaints filed against six GOP legislators by Democratic County Chairmen Richard Perr of Burlington and Elia Pelios of Somerset have been dismissed by the Joint Committee on Ethical Standards. One Republican, Assemblyman Richard Merkt, says he may file a defamation lawsuit against Perr and Pelios for falsely accusing them of unethical conduct.

A statement issued by Merkt labeled the complaints a "politically-motivated smear by state Democrats to divert attention from the recent federal criminal indictment of Democrat Senator and kingpin Wayne Bryant, as well as numerous ongoing federal criminal probes into Democrat legislators who steered state grants so they could profit personally."

"The malicious corruption of the ethics process by Democrats for blatantly partisan purposes remains deeply troubling," said Merkt, was was accused of helping the Morris County YMCA get state grants while serving as a Trustee. Merkt noted that he was not a Trustee at the time. "The truth of the matter was always available to the Democrats in public records," said Merkt, "but they had no intention of telling the truth because it got in the way of their goal of trying to smear and silence Republican critics of Democrat corruption in Trenton." Ethics charges against GOP legislators dismissed