Codey says conviction doesn’t change his ‘feelings’ about Coniglio

Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland) says that the criminal conviction of Joseph Coniglio (D-Paramus) doesn’t change the way he feels about his former Senate colleague.

“The jury has rendered its verdict and I respect it. I have always known Joe Coniglio to be a caring and dedicated individual and this decision in no way changes my feelings for him,” Codey said in a statement released this afternoon.

Coniglio served with Codey in the State Senate from 2002 to 2008.

Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) says that Coniglio’s conviction is another example of the need for ethics reform.

“It’s a sad day when any public official is found guilty of betraying the public’s trust for the sake of his own financial enrichment. New Jersey has had far too many of these ‘sad days’ in the past few years,” said DeCroce. “It demonstrates why we need to usher in a ‘new day’ in Trenton, one that finally ends the flagrant abuse of tax dollars for personal profit.”

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) said that Gov. Jon Corzine has failed to get his ethics reform package passed by the legislature, even with bi-partisan support.

“It’s been almost seven months since Governor Corzine trumpeted a package of very modest ethics reforms,” said Beck. “It’s no wonder voters are questioning whether the governor really wants reform or if his September announcement was merely an attempt to pander to the polls in an election year.”

“If the governor is serious about ethics reform, he should immediately call for passage of Senate Bill 2315 sponsored by Senator Kevin O’Toole and myself. This bill would make it illegal for any legislator to advocate for grants on behalf of their employers. It’s common sense legislation that the corruption-weary voters of New Jersey need and deserve.”

Codey says conviction doesn’t change his ‘feelings’ about Coniglio