Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can

With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning.

Cohen probe ties up computers of fellow lawmakers

The investigation of former state assemblyman Neil Cohen on suspicion of accessing child pornography has raised a host of technical and legal issues, and temporarily left his two fellow lawmakers with limited computer access. (Robert Schwaneberg, The Star-Ledger)


Legislative leaders have trouble filling ethics committee seats

The Senate and Assembly both passed laws disbanding and reforming the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards earlier this year. But so far, only two of the new committee’s eight seats have been filled. (PolitickerNJ)


Ex-Newark mayor sentenced to 27 months

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James was ordered today to serve 27 months in prison and pay a $100,000 fine for fraud and conspiracy, a sentence that capped a spectacular downfall for one of New Jersey's political titans, but one that incensed prosecutors who thought it was too light. (John P. Martin, The Star-Ledger)


Christie disappointed with James' sentence

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie rejoiced following the federal sentencing of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James today, but also acknowledged that a U.S. District Judge’s decision fell far short of what Christie and his prosecution team had sought. (PolitickerNJ)


Palmer takes a trip with Bill Clinton

TRENTON — Mayor Douglas H. Palmer is spending a vacation week in Africa, joining former President Bill Clinton on his annual visit to the continent. (Andrew Kitchenman, The Trenton Times)


Dems could go outside rules for alternate

TRENTON — When New Jersey Democrats select a national convention delegate to replace former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, they might not choose one of the three alternates party rules say should get the post. (Gregory J. Volpe, Gannett)


Letter on Cherry Hill meeting comes too late for some

CHERRY HILL — The letter, signed by township Mayor Bernie Platt, included an open invitation for all Cherry Hill residents: (Adam Smeltz, The Courier-Post)


Stimulus checks remain unclaimed

More than 150,000 New Jerseyans have failed to apply for $47 million in federal economic stimulus checks. (Associated Press)


Early retirement plan pares state payroll

A controversial early-retirement program has trimmed at least 1,500 jobs off the state payroll so far, the state treasurer said yesterday. (Joe Donohue, The Star-Ledger)


U.S. bishops: Vote your conscience

LAWRENCE — If you think you know how the Catholic Church in the United States wants its members to vote in the presidential election this year, think again. (Jeff Trently, The Trenton Times)


Doctor admits illegal drug sales

TRENTON — Philip B. Eatough, the Rumson physician accused by federal prosecutors of using his medical practice as a front for illegal drug distribution, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to money laundering and the illegal distribution of oxycodone. (Ed Johnson, Asbury Park Press)


Plastics plant blast examined

While investigators sought the cause of an explosion at a plastics company in Hunterdon County, the worker who was burned in the Saturday morning blast remained in critical condition, authorities said yesterday. (Cathy Bugman, The Star-Ledger)


Rutgers marketing review deal stirs review

When Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy approved a lucrative, no-bid contract with an outside sports marketing company, he was hardly dealing with strangers. (Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman, The Star-Ledger)


Petition comes up short

Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop came up a few hundred petition signatures shy yesterday in qualifying two government reform initiatives for the November ballot. But he can easily cure the problem, city officials said yesterday. (Ken Thorbourne, Jersey Journal)


Paramus taxes to take a jump

PARAMUS – Tax hikes of 20 percent or more are about to hit property owners along the prime Route 4 and 17 commercial corridors in Paramus, forcing landlords and their tenants to cut profits or raise rents, which could lead to higher prices for shoppers. (Michael Gartland and Dave Sheingold, The Bergen Record)


Chronic illnesses hurt state's economy

Seven chronic diseases, including cancer and diabetes, are costing New Jersey $39 billion a year in lost productivity and cost of treatment, the author of a national health economics report said yesterday. (Angela Stewart, The Star-Ledger)


Man posing as council now needs some

Leon Pakulsky appeared in the Bergen County Superior Court as the attorney for an interior designer locked in a contract dispute with a client. Now, a year after the trial, he'll get his own day in court, after authorities learned Pakulsky isn't really a lawyer. (Russell Ben-Ali, The Star-Ledger)


County upgrades sex offender tracking

BRIDGETON — A recently finished computer upgrade at the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office is making it easier to track convicted sex offenders and to keep communities on notice. (Joseph P. Smith, The Daily Journal)


Famous diner pays back taxes

The owners of Olga's Diner made an undisclosed arrangement to pay the state back taxes yesterday, but when the Marlton restaurant can reopen is still uncertain. (Sam Wood, Phildelphia Inquirer)


Developer sues borough to stop work order

FLORHAM PARK — Construction has stalled on a shopping center at the corner of Columbia Turnpike and Ridgedale Avenue because of a legal tangle with the borough over a parking deal the developer made with a local Elks lodge. (Jake Remaly, The Daily Record)


First female assignment judge to retire

Sybil R. Moses, a state Superior Court judge in Bergen County and the first woman named as an assignment judge in New Jersey, yesterday announced her retirement from the bench. (Russell Ben-Ali, The Star-Ledger)


Kell resigns her post

BRIDGETON – The trial chief with the county prosecutor's office turned in her letter of resignation last week. (Matt Dunn, Bridgeton News)



With the PolitickerNJ.com Wake-Up Call e-mailed to your inbox, phone, Blackberry or PDA first thing in the morning, you can get a rundown of New Jersey's top political headlines. Sign up to get the Wake-Up Call delivered every morning. Wake-Up Call: Wednesday, July 30, 2008