Twelve years after a rancorous campaign that ended in a lawsuit, Chris Christie and John Murphy have, apparently, buried the hatchet – at least publicly. Murphy has endorsed Christie for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, something he told fellow Morris County Republicans he would do if the primary contest tightened up.
But Christie and Murphy, both strong advocates of full transparency and public disclosure, are still keeping one aspect of their tumultuous relationship a secret: the sealed records of an out of court settlement after Christie sued Murphy for defamation following his loss in the 1997 GOP primary for Morris County Freeholder.
The settlement probably isn't as sexy as the Republican State Committee's request for Gov. Jon Corzine's e-mail correspondence with his former girlfriend, Carla Katz. Still, political watchers might be curious to learn how much money Murphy had to pay Christie, if any, to drop his lawsuit. And after all, a Judge agreed to seal the records, so their hands are tied.
"The past is the past," said Christie. "John and I made an agreement. There is no chance that John and I would breach that agreement to remain private."
"It's a closed chapter… we've not thought about it or talked about it, and if it were to come to light, it would be a big yawner," said Murphy.
"Agreed," Christie added.